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Death Vs Hope
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| Words: 2605 | Submitted: 17-Mar-2015
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DescriptionEssay is about death vs hope in The Road by Cormac McCarthy
People react in different ways when they are faced with death, especially in a post-apocalyptic world. When faced with death, both perseverance and hope are internal characteristics that can lead to survival. Cormac McCarthy’s The Road constantly discusses the perseverance and struggles that both the man (the boy’s father) and the boy possess in order to survive in such an abysmal world. The perseverance to survive is evident in the novel through what the man and boy call “carrying the fire” (57). They use carrying the fire as a symbol to transfer the good that existed in humanity from the old world to the new world. Carrying the fire also means to persevere through the struggles that arose as a result of the apocalypse. This paper will discuss situations on the road that taught the boy about what it means to carry the fire. Luck is something that not many people in post-apocalyptic novels have. Yet, through hope, perseverance, and a little luck along the way, the man and the boy can survive the treacherous living conditions and overcome the struggles of the new world.
On the contrary to persevering for survival, the boy’s mother commits suicide as a result of the new world and the decline of humanity. Throughout the novel, the man has happy memories and dreams of his wife by remembering her “smell” and attempting to take care of her when she was sick. He did not like to think about the good times he had with his wife because escaping to a better world showed that you were giving up hope. The sickness that his wife had was believing that they were living in a horror film which meant being raped and eaten by the bad guys. Referring to death, the woman said “I’ve taken a new lover. He can give me what you cannot” (57). The woman provides an important understanding of what carrying the fire exemplifies. She succumbed to death because she believes the struggles of running into the bad guys and the constant starvation are worse than death. On the other hand, the man and the boy decided that they want to control their own fate and continue carrying on the good, or the fire, that once existed in humanity. While the term carrying the fire stemmed from the woman committing suicide, the man frequently uses the fire to inspire his son not to succumb to death like his mother, and to continue persevering for survival and hoping that the road taken will lead them to a better place – even if that place is unknown.
In order to carry the fire, the boy needed to first learn the difference between the “good guys” ...
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