Sunday, November 30, 2014

Memory and The Road

One of the themes McCarthy seems to focus on heavily is that of memory. While McCarthy does not necessarily make the memory out to be the best thing, but he doesn't necessarily say "death to memory!" Instead, McCarthy seems to look at memory as being something which takes the characters minds off of survival. When you're reflecting on the past, it is easy to get lost in that, especially during times of extreme trauma. So for the father and the boy, they can't necessarily spare any time looking back on the life they once had, or the things that made them happy; instead, they have to keep moving forward, fighting for survival. I found this to be crucial to the novel. It wouldn't make sense to never touch on the subject of the characters' memories, but too much of that reflection would really water down the work, much in a way I discussed in my previous blog post.

One quote which really stuck out to me is found on page 131: "The cold drove him forth to mend the fire. Memory of her crossing the lawn toward the house in the early morning in a thin rose gown that clung to her breasts. He thought each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins. As in a party game. Say the word and pass it on. So be sparing. What you alter in the remembering has yet a reality, known or not."

Goodness, all of the feels you guys. But in all honesty, McCarthy really killed it here. He relates memories to "party games," more specifically, to Telephone. The more he recalls a memory, the more it is distorted and changed. It's truly sad, because the idea of him remembering his wife until eventually it is too distorted to call a true memory, just breaks my heart.

I'd love to see some quotes about memory that you guys found and what you thought about them!

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