cormac mccarthy the road

The Path, when read for the first time, exhumes the truth that readers seek in most novels. As a result, the fictional universe is forced to float abroad in a prose grammatical implementation. In a cursory reading of the novel, the reader may conclude that the staging is that of a relationship between a father and his son. This is a strictly non-analytic appraisal of the truly fascinating plot that the author is attempting to present. A keen evaluation of the novel leads to a fascinating and artistical characterization that not only brings love to the surface but also the duality of the mind (Hillier, 2017, p. 265). Cormac McCarthy suggests a binary composition that alludes to omnipresence in human. However, the failure to comprehend the uniqueness in the book’s rhetoric storytelling may deprive the reader of such an idiosyncratic comprehension. Even though the man and the boy have diverse characteristics, they are a single person but in a duality of the mind.

The book constitutes a comprehensive range of themes that are quite comparative to other authors but for the distinction in its individuality. The themes on which The Road is about form the framework upon which the author wrote the novel. The ideas help portray the major message that the writer had the intention of disseminating to the reader. How much knowledge learners gain from the thematic composition of the novel is actually up to those who read it. However, concerning novels, an in-depth interpretation is necessary otherwise the actual message will be understood at all. This is because of the reality and the mentality on which the writing relies on, is often deep within a simple reading and understanding.


In his failure to create a world full of perfection and utmost comfort for the characters in the novel, he compensates for this by including love in its thematic context. The author, through the theory of the parallel dual-systems, brings to attention the relationship that is between a father and his son (Dhurubathanan et al.). The story envisions an apocalyptic event in which all the predators become extinct leaving human beings to partake of their roles. The novel’s setting seems to be unsafe since the boy and his father are seen to be struggling to stay alive in the dangerous environment. In the apocalyptic mystic place, the world is unfit for human survival and has an elevation to the extent in which people are the only real predators. This alludes to a merciless and precarious planet.

According to the means by which the author explains the bond that the boy had with his father, it gives a clear indication that they took care of each other. The man seems to worry so much about the safety of his son (Dhurubathanan et al.). “When the man woke up in cold and dark night in the woods, he would reach out to his son who was sleeping by his side (1).” This demonstrates the possession of human feelings but rather in a cruel society where hunting practice is on people and not animals. The man genuine worry the man has towards the child is due to the violence that the world is experiencing at that particular time. It is rather ironical that the author envisions a world that is merciless and full of barbarity but in the midst of it all, reserves a place for the survival of the normal human feelings that are mutual but only existent in the real world.


Contrary to most novels that have their settings in the contemporary societies that seem to offer a lot of comfort for the characters but just for a little pain, The Road thrives on violence (Hillier, 2017, p. 269). The story line of the novel revolves around the perilous journey that the boy and his father are taking. The author shades some light on the trip to bring the imperfection in that particular society to the surface. He mentions the fact that the boy and his father are struggling to survive from predation. This is a clear show that the author does not compromise on the lives of the characters in his article (Hillier, 2017, p. 272). Due to the prevalence of violence, the man gives the boy a gun to protect himself in case he was in any danger.

In the forest, a man who was traveling with his colleagues and got their car jammed holds a knife to the boy’s throat, and the child’s father shoots at him in retaliation to safeguard the kid. “The man fell on his back and lay on the ground with blood oozing from the bullet hole on his forehead (66).” The father came to the realization that the man was a cannibal who had set out on a hunt for food in the forest when he met them. “I was given the job of protecting you by God. I will take the life of anyone who tries to position you in harm’s way 66.” This is an apparent indication that there is a prevalence of violence in the novel. This is because guns and knives are often objects of violence.


In the ordinary society in the world, there are no anticipations that human beings hunt one another for food. The man in the forest whom the child’s father shot was in a desperate need of food that he was willing to kill a fellow human being. This is a point of peak distress for food. The father made an inquiry of food to the man, “What do you eat?” and he spoke in reply, “Whatever I can get my hands on (Huebert, 2017, p. 67).” The man made his response as he was staring at the boy just before holding a knife to his throat. This shows how desperate the man had been for a meal. However, the point of controversy is when the man makes a gesture to show that he would even feed on the boy. It indicates that the author has made an evolutionary society in which human beings have no remorse but to scavenge on each other which is a sneak peek into an entirely different society.


Conclusively, comprehending the novel is quite an uphill task since it requires a lot of effort to interpret. This is because the author has made a composition of a world that is convulsive in nature and makes the reader not to understand the profound picture that he is trying to portray. In the literary prose, the author intentionally avoids using punctuation marks to show the critical nature of the situation in the novel. Also, he applies poetic devices to create irony and metaphorical situations.

Works Cited

Dhurubathanan, D., V. Malarkodi, and D. D. E. English Wing. “Father and Son Relationship in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.”

Hillier, Russell M. “Coda—The Good of Story in The Road.” Morality in Cormac McCarthy’s Fiction. Springer International Publishing, 2017. 263-277.

Huebert, David. “Eating and Mourning the Corpse of the World: Ecological Cannibalism and Elegiac Protomourning in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.” The Cormac McCarthy Journal 15.1 (2017): 66-87.

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