The Road: Dramatic Theme

Cormac McCarthy is the author of many awe-inspiring books. In The Road, a glimpse is allowed into his powerful, poignant voice and unique style. As the man and boy travel the perilous road, they encounter many ominous people and life-threatening situations. McCarthy uses a plethora of literary devices to convey the dramatic experience the main characters undergo.
McCarthy’s tone aids in exemplifying the dramatic atmosphere of The Road. He uses a bleak tone which contains a lack of warmth and life. His writing suggests a sense of urgency, which is created, in part, by the variation in his sentences. Fragments state the surrounding details in an emotional, theatrical manner, such as “Ghostly pale and shivering. The boy so thin it stopped his heart” (Pg. 36). His run-ons amplify the emotion even more and utilize similes to intensify his descriptions. “The soft black talc blew through the streets like squid ink uncoiling along the sea floor… in the ancient dark beyond” (Pg. 179). This run-on portrays an eerie atmosphere; the desolation and destruction gives the earth unfamiliar aura.
McCarthy also utilizes his unique diction to dramatize details. “Rubble white of tooth and eye” (Pg. 179) is a curious statement to describe the color white. McCarthy takes advantage of similes to express the setting that envelops the man and the boy. “Like an animal inside a skull looking out of the eyeholes” (Pg. 61) twists a very simple idea into a theatrical description of a man’s eyes. Familiar objects become outlandish and pedantic when written with McCarthy’s clever diction.
Imagery is a major device used by McCarthy. The image planted in the mind of the reader from the beginning is a terrible, fatalistic one because of the mysterious creature described by McCarthy. Scenes of high interest attract the reader’s attention and use vivid phrases to emphasize the characters’ experiences, such as “He dove and grabbed the boy and rolled and came up… with the knife around his throat”...