The Road

August 1, 2011

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book has it all: sad and happy, ugly and pretty, dark and bright. It is a somber journey of a dying man and a boy; they see nothing, but show everything. A post-apocalyptic novel can be difficult to comprehend because it is beyond what we can imagine. However, McCarthy intertwines struggles with warm conversations that readers can naturally immerse into the world of near end. The man and the boy have no name, but that is the beauty. They have no name, and therefore no specific identity. They simply represent humanity standing on the threshold of death.

And death is nothing scary here. Actually, death is another living entity. It is personified as a lover, who will also face death. The man does not try to save his son, rather, he teaches son how to deal with what they face, for their struggles can threaten to death. Even in this harsh situation, the man does not kill for his avarice. It is only the exceptional cases when he uses violence: for his son. That’s how we see paternal love. For the man, “the boy was all that stood between him and death,” and for that reason, their relationship warms up the readers in the midst of cold, flat barren.

McCarthy’s prose is real. His words are simple, but they carry something more. The conversations are succinct, and actions are small. However, because he narrates like a doodle, on the whole, the picture is pretty. Then is death pretty? Is the man’s death pretty? The hopeful ending suggests that death is not pretty, but beautiful. It is natural.

The good versus evil fight ends with the man’s death – clear ending, and not sad. In fact, it was impressive.


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