McCarthy’s book The Road is an essay that vividly depicts the different sufferings that people face on a daily basis. An analysis of society reveals that people face a variety of problems, some of which are the result of natural disasters, while others are the result of human ignorance and greed. The theme of deprivation pervades all of the actions undertaken by the Man and the Boy (in The Road) in their quest to find a solution to the difficulties they were experiencing. McCarthy depicts the mental and physical suffering of humanity in the dystopian period in The Path. One of the challenges that the man and his son experience is the road agents who are cannibals. The road agents consistently search for other people to eat thus the man and his son have to keep ducking in the forests as a way of evading the cannibals (road agents) from finding and eating them (McCarthy 61). From the actions of the man and his son, it is evident that the road agents are the real threat to the man’s welfare and does not allow him to execute his plans efficiently. Notably, the man has decided to keep his pistol with a bullet to help him combat the road agents, although he has doubts concerning his ability to counter the cannibals. Consequently, he plans on offering his son to the road agents as a gift for securing his freedom from the cannibals.
The absence of food and drinks also significantly contributes to the suffering of the man and his son. In various occasions, the man had to forego food and let his son eat the little meals that they retrieved from some of the structures that they visited. The lack of food critically led to the starvation of the man and reduced his strengths to embark on their journey efficiently. Apart from hunger, the man was sick, and his coughs had stains of blood, which is an indication that he had chest problems. McCarthy (117) says the man “looked like something from a death camp. Starved, exhausted, sick with fear.…” Although the man was already suffering from starvation, thieves still came and stole some of the little food that he had gathered thereby adversely affecting the man.
Adverse weather conditions also significantly affect the individuals in the apocalypse world thus deteriorating the people’s health conditions. Through The Road, it is evident that the man and his son suffered extreme colds during the nights due to the absence of proper bedding in the various places where they took refuge. Besides, the clothes that they wore were not effective in reducing the cold that was prevalent in the areas where they inhabited. McCarthy (81) states that the man had no proper abode and it was getting dark and cold hence he had to cover his son with two coats as a way of proving the boy with warmth. The death of the man’s wife also significantly contributed to the coldness that he suffered. Notably, the man says “she was gone, and the coldness of it was the final gift.”(McCarthy 58). Therefore, it is evident that the man is significantly missing the comfort of his wife. The harsh weather conditions that the man and his son suffer in the apocalyptical world also involved occasional rains, which immensely impeded their plans concerning the search for a better life.
Through The Road, McCarthy also shows that in the apocalyptical era people suffer emotionally. In the novel mentioned above, there are several situations where the man has to make critical decisions to save his life and that of his son. For instance, the man has kept two bullets in his pistol, which he intends to use in killing his son if the road agents find him. In reality, he plans to kill his son and offer the kid’s corpse to the road agents as a way of appeasing the cannibals (road agents). However, the man perceives his son as a treasure and would not like to let him die. Consequently, he opts to kill one of the road agents to help him and his son flee when a group of the cannibals caught them in the forest. The emotional problems that the man underwent also resulted from the disappearance of his wife. Finally, the theme of suffering in the novel The Road is evident when someone, through a window, shoots the man with an arrow thereby leading to his death (McCarthy 265).
To conclude, suffering is prevalent in the apocalyptical era and significantly influences the behaviors of humankind. As discussed in this essay, the man and his son underwent emotional challenges, which significantly affected their appearance as good people while others especially the road agents as evil individuals. Apart from the psychological problems, in the apocalyptical era people suffer from harsh weather conditions, and lack of essential commodities such as food and clothing. Therefore, through The Road, McCarthy has critically portrayed that the apocalyptical period involves various challenges to the humankind.
McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. London: Picador, 2010. Print.