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A Review of The Road Xander Melkonian June 16, 2011

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, is a story that displays the hardships of a post apocalyptic world. McCarthy’s novel tells the story of a boy and his father searching for somewhere safe, away from the cannibals. The cannibals are dirty people, usually traveling in packs that kill and eat you. They are humans, who survived the apocalypse, and have turned to cannibalism as a means to survive. A huge theme in The Road is the struggle for survival. Throughout the book there are many events where this theme comes to life. One example of this theme is when the cannibals enter the forest. Terrified, the father leads his son further out into the woods. However one cannibal still finds them, and after a suspenseful conversation the father ends up shooting the man. With all the other cannibals searching the forest for the gunshot origin the father leads his son to safety, out of the forest. This is a key example in the struggle for survival; it displays the tough decisions that you must make to stay alive. Another big use of this theme goes into the fact of their supplies and environment. In one instance the father and son find a small bunker underground. The bunker contained enough food to last for a good while. Later in the book a thief steals their food while the father is away, and the boy is asleep. The environment is also very dangerous in the post apocalyptic wastes.

Examples of this are the burnt trees constantly falling, in one case almost crushing the two main characters. Even the smallest sound of leaves rustling can be deadly in a cannibal chase. Finally, one of the biggest uses of this theme is what the father’s six-shooter represents. In the story the father tells his son that if he is ever in danger of being captured, he should shoot himself. Also, the father uses the six-shooter to protect the two of them in many parts of the novel. These two examples bring out the survival theme in some of the biggest ways possible. Overall the six-shooter represents protection for the two of them. This novel was both unique and interesting. Stories with this kind of “what if� theme really open your mind and makes you think about what could happen if the scenario really happened. The most important theme in The Road is simply the struggle to survive. This kind of story is a really good way of imagining what would happen in that situation, and that is way this was overall an amazing story.

The Road  
The Road  

How does the theme "survival" fit in the novel "The Road"?