Writers provide glimpses of other worlds, giving readers opportunities to reflect on their own world To what extent do you agree with this view? The Road written by Cormac McCarthy is a post-apocalyptic novel about a man and a boy travelling down across what seems to be a bleak and dull land. In this book, we see a world that seems to have a bleak and dark future without a lot of hope. Land is somehow destroyed, perhaps by a natural cause. The cycle of seasons has been completely altered and there is a lack of civilisation.
Although the book is constantly depressing and dark, there are moments that we have some glimpse of hope, and moments where there are some humanity portrayed. This is usually shown by one of the main characters, the boy. Through this novel, we are able to look at a world that is almost completely ruined and allows us to reflect on that. McCarthy is shows us through vivid description that if we continue to play around with nature, such as polluting our current world, one of the possible conclusions could result to being in a world such as the one we see in The Road.
Therefore I agree to a large extent that the book provides us readers and opportunity to reflect on our own world. McCarthy’s use of language provides us a vivid image in our minds to the post apocalyptic world that the book is set in. We are seen through a number of ways such as through descriptions of reality, morality, immorality and violence to show us the world The Road is set. “People sitting on the sidewalk in dawn half immolate smoking in their clothes… Within a year there were fires on the ridges and deranged chanting.
The screams of the murdered…there was more punishment than crime but he took small comfort from it. “ This quote is the perfect quote showing us the brutality of the world in The Road. This is one of the few quotes that lead us to see how the world could have become the way it did. We are shown that derange and murder are involved, but an excuse being provided from the actions of this, being punishment rather than crime. This shows us that humans in The Road prefers justice than solving problems and making them right. The bones of seabirds…One vast salt sepulchre. Senseless. Senseless…” This quote provide us with imagery of the dead, not only humans but animals such as the bones of seabirds. But another interesting aspect of this quote is the repeated “senseless” which really means pointless. This is indeed true as the world in The Road is a pointless place to be, what is the point of fighting for survival? What would you gain? “Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before. Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world. This description sets an image to our minds from the very beginning of the dark and depressive world that The Road is in. We just see never ending darkness and grey. There is a lack of colour which also provides to us a lack of positive emotions. McCarthy does a very good job throughout the book to bring us back to this place of depression and gloom. The theme of destruction of the world is shown throughout the novel through the vivid description of the surroundings. McCarthy takes us back into the past where the world was.
Not only to allow us to make a comparison between the world in The Road but also to emphasis to us the beautiful things that we have in our current world. “Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains… Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again…” The use of “once” shows us what we had in the past, which is the brook trout in the stream. We know that in our current world there are indeed brook trout, so in a way McCarthy is telling us that we are currently living in the past.
This allows us to reflect on our current situation and not take things for granted as they may one day be gone. This is emphasised by “…could not be put back. Not be made right again…” Showing us that if we take everything for granted and destroy the world we will not be able to have the exact same world ever again. We know that the world in The Road is definitely reality. “Then they set out along the blacktop in the gunmetal light, shuffling through the ash, each the other’s world entire. ” This quote shows to us that the boy and the man are seeing and experiencing the same thing, of a world with just darkness and ash. And the dreams so rich in colour…Waking in the cold dawn it all turned to ash instantly…” This quote again gives us some comparison between two worlds, this time the world in a person’s dream and the world in reality. This quote describes the man dreaming in colour and then waking up finding it cold, dark and filled with ash. We see that the man keeps reminding himself of reality, as perhaps happiness is too difficult to pursue as he knows that he knows that his dreams that are full of colour is in the past and currently he is living in a grey world that he is unable to control.
We are able to see the destructions of the natural environments such as the seasons and the plants etc. However there is also the destruction of civilisation. In this book we see cannibalism and the desperation of fight for survival. For something such as eating each other to occur shows the lost of civilisation and again emphasising the lost of hope. This is the world that the boy and man are living in now, and this is the world that we could be living in if our actions continue to destroy the world. We are also shown by the characters how hard it is to live through a world such as the one in The Road. Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave. ” This quote shows to us that the world has come to a stage where it is unbearable to be living in and perhaps death is easier. But we are also given a glimpse of hope when we see “…nobody wants to leave. ” Perhaps, this is showing that people don’t want to leave not because it’s hard to die but because the world may get better in the future so there is a fight for survival. “He walked out in the gray light and stood and he saw for a brief moment the absolute truth of the world.
The cold relentless circling of the intestate earth. Darkness implacable…. Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it. ” This is one of the most honest representations of how one of the characters, the man, felt about the world. Through the use of the word “cold” we are sent a chill through our spine of the coldness of the world that The Road portrays. Another important word used is “darkness” which provides us with not only an imagery of never ending darkness but the mood of depression that is shared by all characters, and readers in the book.
The quote ends with “…borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it. ” The repetition of borrowed emphasises that we would need to give back something. This is quite ironic as we know that eyes provide us with all memories, imagination and thought. What you see with your eyes can not ever be taken back. Therefore it reflects all the things that has been seen and done and we are not able to take the damage back. McCarthy uses the main characters, the boy and the man to show us the way of coping in this damaged world.
Although most of the other characters we see show that the easy way for them to cope with this kind of world is to commit immoral activities, such as cannibalism. The man and boy allows me to reflect that I have this is not the right way to go and no matter how desperate we are our morals are also extremely important in having creating a world with a better future. Although there is a lot of negativity and depression and gloom shown in this novel we are able to see that there is still hope in a world like this.
This book shows us that the largest destruction to earth occurs from natural disasters and the nature. Therefore we should reflect on this novel in a way that we also have hope and do not destruct the natural environment of our current world. This could be being more aware of things such as global warming or polluting the environment. This book is successful in showing us the world that the boy and man are living in as it is like us looking through other characters eyes through McCarthy’s vivid descriptions.