The Road - Cormac McCarthy - The Woman pp56-60

These cards will highlight a specific section in The Road. This section is on the womans suicide (the mans wife). I will highlight characters and characterisation, our feelings and reactions, narrative structure, techniques and language use, and the importance of that key episode.

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  • Created by: Tiffany
  • Created on: 29-03-12 08:31

Feelings and Reactions

Shocked - "They're going to eat us, and **** us..."

- The woman in the novel is the only character who portrays what happens on 'The Road'

Fearful - Referring to them as "they"

Pessimistic - "We're not survivors. We're the walking dead in a horror film."

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Narrative Structure

What happened just before we meet the woman?

The man and the boy come upon a man struck by lightning. The boy want's to help him but the man tell's him they can't. This is the first person we come across in 'The Road'. Before we get the flashback the boy says "I wish i was with my mom". This highlights how bad the world is. Straight after this, we get a flashback from when the woman chooses to commit sucide, she also highlight's hopelessness.

What happen's after this?

They hear a truck and see some men holding rifles. They come close enough to one of the bad guys and the man points his pistol at him. When the roadrat grabs the boy, the man shoots him in the head. The roadrat represents what has become of the human race.

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Characters and characterisation

The woman - The woman represents the giving of life and the temptation of death.
                      Many of the man's dreams or memories are of her, and he knows
                      that death is near when he starts having comforting and fond dreams
                      about her. The woman reveals her true feelings and lacks hope.
                      "We're not survivors". She wanted to take the boy with her but the
                      man refused to let her. "I'd take him with me if it weren't for you."

The man - He is trying to stop his wife from leaving them. "I'm begging you." ,

The boy - He is more accepting than his father "She's gone hasn't she?"

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Narrative and language techniques

Repition - "I don't care. I don't care..." , "I'm beggining you"

Minor sentences - "Please"

Declaratives - "They will **** me. They'll **** him" (McCarthy adding threat/danger)

Semantic field of death - "He coughed till he could taste the blood"
                                       "You mean you wish you were dead."

Metaphor - "whorish heart"

Syndetic List - "They are going to **** us and kill us and eat us and you wont face it"                

Personification - "Death is not a lover"

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The father dreams about his wife with the world as it was, however here it is a flaskback/analepsis of her discussing her own suicide.

The woman explains women are unfortunate enough to survive of the road.
She knew the world was no place either her and the boy.

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Thanks. This is great :)

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