McCarthy uses his unique gift of powerful language to express his ideas in his dramatic novel, The Road. Using figurative language, such as diction, tone, and religious imagery, McCarthy evokes strong feelings of remorse and sorrow in his readers. All of these aspects join together harmoniously to create an awe-striking story of hope in the midst of destruction.
In his novel, McCarthy uses powerful, meaningful words to express his thoughts. He utilizes his unique way of writing to produce a detailed image of the surroundings and situations in the reader’s mind. The intense plot of The Road is complimented by his potent diction and thoroughly supplies the effect that it is meant to have. Phrases such as, “As mute as stone,” and “Like an animal inside a skull looking out the eyeholes,” (Pages 66 and 63) supply the reader wit graphic, detailed mental images of the fatalistic scenes taking places. Without McCarthy’s supreme diction, the novel would have a much smaller impact on the reader’s mind.
From the beginning of the story, the tone is apparent. McCarthy depicts an apocalyptic society in which all is destroyed and left in ruins. Nothing remains except the lugubrious surroundings and the slim, bitter, cannibalistic humans striving to survive. All seems hopeless for the man and his son who are traveling the road, heading south, aiming to survive. Although faced with this somber atmosphere, there is still hope stricken within the boy’s heart. He pleads to help every stranger they come across on the journey. Only once does he succeed when they feed the old man, Ely. This “light in the darkness” illustrates a hint of hope and goodness amidst the corrupt and destroyed fragment of humanity.
To add to the diction and gloomy atmosphere of the novel, McCarthy employs religious references to give the story a more solemn effect. Often the father tells his son of the reason they must push forward and survive: to keep the “fire” going. He...