Monday, November 24, 2014

The Road: Ashen Dismay and Survival

The dystopian setting of The Road is quite alluring. How did the country fall? What gives father and son the will to continue on? The Road entices the reader to question their very being. The cause of the deteriorating world is never formally addressed although the decay is ever present. It makes one question their own reality. Could this happen to me? I’ve always found dystopian novels a little unsettling because many questions arise. If this happened to me, would I survive? The strength of the the father and son astound me. The father’s will to survive seems contingent on his son. His father does seem to understand that their may be no hope. After finding a soda in an abandoned gas station the father gives it to his son and says “ you drink it”(McCarthy23). The boy responds with “it’s because I won’t ever get to drink another one, isn’t it”(McCarthy24). The father’s response is simply “ever is a long time”(McCarthy24). The father knows of darkness to come. The ashen gray is all to expect. Even in his dreams, the father refuses to think of happiness as he knows it will never be. His goal is simply survival for his son. Without his son, I do believe he would succumb to the grayness of the fallen world. To give his son life is his only desire. The question is not how it happened, but how will one respond. Is the father doing the right thing for his son? Is it better to live through the seemingly endless travesties of the world or succumb to the eventuality of fate? 


  1. I kept thinking the same thing--would I want my children to live through that nightmare or would it be better to die. It seemed crazy to work so hard to stay alive- for what? It doesn't seem like there was much to live for. I would hate my children to see all of the things that kid saw

  2. Katie,
    I am curious what you thought about the critical article we read and its argument about an "aesthetics of exhaustion" in the novel...