The Road Passage Analysis

Comparing two passages in The Road
Martin Guzman

In the novel The Road by Cormac McCarthy, an innominate father and son traverse through a ravaged post apocalyptic landscape. Unsettled and exposed in a bitter cold world reigned by fear and hysteria, the father aspires to reach the warmer shores of the southern coast. Within the passages selected, McCarthy depicts through the use of vivid imagery an abiding, ever-present fear of death overwhelming the every day life of two survivors in a post apocalyptic world. The passages incorporated in the narrative are vital to clarify the purpose of the novel, an unwavering contemplation of how tenacity and tenderness between the man and the boy preserves the remaining measure of goodness that the inhumane post apocalyptic world contains.

Pervasive throughout the novel, McCarthy utilizes vivid descriptive imagery to convey the vulnerability of the man and the boy faced with an afflictive and agonizing cold. For instance, McCarthy describes that the world is enveloped in devastating cold climate when he says, “The falling snow…see anything at either side of the road.” (McCarthy, 94). There was such an abundance of snow descending onto the ground that it was impossible to see anything at either side of the state road. Subsequently, McCarthy describes the debilitation of both survivors when he says, “He was coughing again and again and the boy was shivering.” (McCarthy, 94). Here, the vivid imagery describing the ailing physical health of the man and the boy with symptoms of incessant coughing and shivering indicates the severity of the conditions they live under. Moreover, the symptoms could be interpreted to be foreshadowing death, as the cold is tolling the passage of time, incrementally jeopardizing the overall health of the man and the boy. In a similar fashion, McCarthy explicitly denotes the inevitability of death in the man’s thoughts as he says, “He was beginning to think that death was finally upon them.”...