The Road - Cormac McCarthy - Shooting the 'roadrat' pp62 - 69


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  • Created by: Tiffany
  • Created on: 10-04-12 12:39

Feeling and Reactions

Fear - "We have to run. Don't look back. Come on."

- Sense of tension. We are corncerned for them both, hoping that they won't be found.

Horror - "Some of them wearing canister masks. One in a biohazard suit. Stained and filthy."

- Their appearence indicates that these people are a threat. The 'bad guys'.

Anxiety - "Talk to me, he said, but he would not."

- We worry that this incident will damage the relationship of the man and the boy.

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Narrative Structure

What happened just before we meet the people on the truck?

A flashback/analepsis of the woman's suicide. She highlight's hopelessness and the dangers they will sooner or later face, "Sooner or later they will catch us and they will kill us." After this flashback, the man and the boy come across these people and we are fearful for their lives.

What happens after the man shoots the 'roadrat'?

They are back on the road again, camping and finding food. The boy claims to of seen a little boy. He tries to run after him, "Come back, he called. I wont hurt you." This shows that the boy is after companionship.

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Characters and characterisation

The man - Shows in action the man's love for the boy - the fact that he is the most important thing in his life. The man's life is focused solely on protecting the boy. "My job is to take care of you. I was appointed to do that by God. I will kill anyone who touches you." The man perhaps complicate's the relationship too. In protecting the boy physically the man has had to expose him to violence - he's literally tainted by it.

The boy - He see's his father in a different way, and this scares him, he asks "Are we sill the good guys?"

The roadrat - The roadrat represents what has become of the human race. He is the first person we meet who is a threat. We know that he is someone who is used to conflict, "I think you're chickenshit."

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Narrative and language techniques

Short sentences - "Don't look back there. Look at me."

Repetition - "Run, he said. Run."

Adajency pairs - "Why are you looking at him? I can look where i want to..."

Minor sentences - "Run."

Similes - "Like an animal inside a skull looking out the eyeholes." "...mute as a stone."

Specialist lexis - "To hear it you will need a frontal lobe and things with names like colliculus and temporal gyrus..."

Ambiguous - "He looked at the boy." (Either he indicates he eats humans or the man won't shoot him infront of the boy)

Imparatives - "Don't look back there. Look at me."

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The Roadrat only makes a brief appearance in the novel, but he's still important. Watching The Man go up against the Roadrat, we start to wonder if our hero is actually a good guy. Is The Man really any different from these men who steal and kill? The episode shows the relationship between the man and boy and how it develops.

We also learn that the man had a past. "Are you a doctor?" which he denies "I'm not anything."

This is also the first moment in the novel where we get some action.

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this is good :) just what i needed! ***



Your welcome, :]

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