The Road by Cormac McCarthy - Key notes (pages 4 - 20)

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Key Notes


  • Dialogue is usually embedded in the text

Role reversal - Usually the boy is inquisitive and the man is silent or blunt, which changes when he asks "Are you okay?" and the boy remains silent.

Man thinks aloud: "I think we should check it out, the man said. Take a look" - we see the man's point of view, and he speaks in an authoritative tone.

Similar "normal" life situation is captured in dialogue: "You can read me a story, the boy said. Cant you Papa? Yes, he said, I can" - shows how the father tends to give the child what he wants.

Irony: "I'm alright, the boy said" - ironic because they are most certainly not alright, but they don't focus on the negative, because they believe hope will prevail.

Father tends to reiterate what the boy says: "To make lights. Yes to make lights" - this shows clarification from the father, a technique familiar in bringing children up. Shows how the man is preparing the boy for the future.


  • Every building they find helps them to survive

"garage" indicates the change in setting from the wasteland and the road.
However, "dust and ash" shows that they can't escape from the disaster.

Interstate Highway is sometimes mentioned - shows…



where you say 'the shape of the dialogue looks like a skyline' i don't quite get this .... when i look at this to me it doesn't, i know it is different to different people but could you explain more?? :) thanks *** (really good though)

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