Conquering Dyslexia: The Road to Succeeding in Life with the Learning Disability
Dyslexia is a common “syndrome” that people everywhere continue to be forced to either overcome or let it overpower them (Wennas Brante 1). In all actuality, a person with dyslexia does not have to deal with flipped or misjudged letters. Instead the usual difficulty for dyslexics is that reading is much more difficult because words just do not ‘click’. In a way, a dyslexic person deals with learning the word all over again (Gorman 2). Is this Disability Even Conquerable? Can a person with Dyslexia still succeed in life with this disorder? Even If you are a person who is dyslexic, never fall into thinking that you can do nothing about it and will never be able to do anything spectacular with your life; because not only can you overcome this disability, you can succeed and do amazing things, because being dyslexic does not define you.
Dyslexia is not a disease, and because of that, with hard work anyone can break, or at least weaken, the mental chains this reading disorder has on them. Being a syndrome, this disorder can “manifest in various ways in different individuals” (Wennas Brante 1). This means that throughout all the research so far, the cases of dyslexia for people are all different; because it cannot be categorized, there is not a clear cut definition on what dyslexia is, and how it can be fixed. But the popular image of Dyslexia is a difficulty dealing with reading (Doering 100). No matter the severities, or the hardship of what this disorder (which can also affect your spelling and writing skills); a person can work through this, because even though they might have the disorder, it still does not have to define what they are (Gorman 8). “Homework and study”, no matter what article you read every informative guide on this topic has one point in common; the only way to get better, is to work (Wennas Brante 1). The most damaging myth about this disorder is that it can be outgrown! It cannot! Something has to be done about it as soon as it is noticed, and that something is fighting back. (Gorman 2). Being a slow reader, a person can often find their confidence crumble “as they see other students progressing” (3). Imagine this, you are trying to read a textbook, but because you recognizing words is not automatic, you have to “deal with each word you see as if you had never come across it before”, because of this, reading is slow and laborious (5). This is hard, and often time’s people with dyslexia are filled with low academic self-esteem, anxiety with performing tasks, prejudice, and time pressure (Wennas Brante 2). To some people, this burden may look huge and unconquerable. But people who have this disability still have conquered it; they have studied, they have read, they have pushed themselves to the limit and they have succeeded.
There are no quick fixes. “Dyslexic students often have to put many more hours into their course work than naturally skilled readers do. But the results are worth it.” People who have dyslexia learn to persevere (Gorman 6). People with this disorder are not brain damaged, in fact, “Dyslexics… seems to have a distinct advantage when it comes to thinking outside the box” (1). People with dyslexia can and do continue on to higher education, literally the only thing that is stopping a person with this or any disorder is themselves. (Wennas Brante 1) “The creative side of dyselxics’ brains are often very well developed and this, coupled with and unconventional approach to structure, has opened opportunites to dyslexics in these areas” (Doering 102). These areas are artists, scientists, and business exectives! Which “dyslexics are overrepresented in the top ranks of” (Gorman 2). Never believe that because you have dyslexia, you cannot do anything in life, instead remember this, Tom Cruise, Jay Leno, Agatha Christie, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, and Whoopi Goldberg (to name a few) all had (and some still have) dyslexia. And instead of letting the disorder stop them, “in some cases it may have fueled their creative fires” (Gorman7).
So what is stopping you? Who is telling you that because you have this disorder you can’t still do something amazing?
The Road by Cormac Mccarthy
This passage is The Road by Cormac Mccarthy and the main theme of the text and novel in a whole is survival and relicense. It starts with the father and son who are living on the road and are really poor also have nothing but a shopping cart full of supplies as well as one backpack each just in case they had to leave the cart. In the beginning, they are trying to find out where to travel next since they know that they will not be able to survive their another winter, as a result the father decides to go down south since there is a much warmer climate. As the boy and his father travel on the road coast, they have to really scavenge for food and materials that will help them survive in the cold. The only thing that keeps them both alive is a pistol with one bullet inside it, their food, supplies, and most importantly each other.
In this passage, McCarthy intentionally uses the man and boy as a reference of what being poor is like and not being in the supreme class. McCarthy shows this by having the father as well as the boy survive on minimum material everyday. Where McCarthy allows the reader to understand that there is no word to describe the poor within this novel instead he wanted the reader to understand that these people are poor themselves,. The author emphasizes that not everyone is supreme, as well as powerful and that there are people in this world who are fighting to survive each and every single day . The man as well as the boy are ultimately the representation of values and survival within society.
The main argument of this passage is emphasized by McCarthy choice of words within the novel, this can be analyzed in this quote” You think were going to die , don’t you? (McCarthy 85). This mention of death is important in this passage because it is showing what the author was trying to portray that since they are really poor and have not eaten any food in the last couple of days prior they were questioning themselves on whether or not they are going to die. Also the ideas of poor and survival plays a strong role throughout the novel . As the man and boy are considered nothing in society since they are really poor and are ignored by the government , which makes their life unpredictable. The use of the two main points in one argument proves how related the theme of relicense and survival are in the novel.
What is apparent in the novel is the author uses a lot of repetition this is very important in this passage as it can be further analyzed when the boy asks,” Why do you think we are going to die? “(McCarthy 85) this a has a relation with trying to survive as for instance in the novel “ We don’t have anything to eat . We’ll find something” (McCarthy 85). This is showing that even though they think they are going to die because of the minimum food and resources they have but it also shows that they are determined to find food sooner than later. This shows a strong resemblance to the poor in the novel , in which each and every-one of them are trying to do anything to survive. Repetition is also important when the man says “ I don’t know “ ( Mccarthy 85). This reference represents all aspects of humans who don’t know if they are going to be able to survive another day because of limited resources but are willing to do anything in order to still wake up the next day and it clearly depicts the theme of survival and reliance in society.
The road forward for securely connected cars
This paper basically deals with self-driven cars and their vehicle to environment connection to provide low carbon dioxide emission, avoid accidents. Since the car is evolving with time in today’s world ninety percent of car innovation is in electronics. Vehicles are transformed into a mobile personalized information. Advanced Driver Assistance System permits the security and safety of drivers and passengers and enhances automation in driving. Self-driven cars will bring a heterogeneity of wireless connections for the exchange of data with other vehicles and the surrounding environment all this will aim at understanding the world around it in a way to reduces accidents and give passengers confidence in using these new secure self-driven cars. In this paper, we will be presenting an idea for decreasing the data storage problem in self-driven car and method for handling such enormous amount of data.
The solution is to not store any data in the car apart from it download everything from the cloud as per the need of a vehicle, surrounding and driver. In this, we are relying on cloud infrastructure for the cloud. Capable of reliable wireless and wired communication technologies together with powerful data-processing system, at the peak levels of privacy and system security, are analytical. This paper gives an idea of what it takes to really believe the securely connected car of the future.
In today’s world wired communication in the car is influence by Local Interconnect Network(LIN) and Controller Area Network(CAN). LIN is a serial network protocol (protocols are basically some set of defined rules for transmission of data between deferent devices ) used for transferring information between a variable component in the vehicle. CAN is basically a bus designed in such a way to permit microcontroller and various devices to share information with each other. the the the the bandwidth of LIN is up to 20kbps and CAN is up to 1mbps each of these is cost effective we can achieve high bandwidth link using point-to-point links (shielded cables). There is a demand for a system with higher bandwidth and for this, we required a new communication technology for avoiding the increasing cost and weight of copper cable in the car. The application which required higher bandwidth includes V2X, ADAS, Car radar. For this automotive ethernet is a new point-to-point network communication technology that is based on an unshielded twisted paper (UTP). It gives us an increase in bandwidth, increased data capacity, cost-efficient, reducing weight but it leads in toughness of design. this is because of switches, transceivers, and controllers used in it. Deterministic Ethernet points to a technology which uses the time to schedule for bringing deterministic real-time communication to a predefined IEEE 802 ethernet. It operates using a global sense of time.
Detection will be the most significant application for Ethernet since it requires much higher bandwidth for video transportation.
Ease of Use
A. VEHICLE-TO-EVERYTHING(V2X) COMMUNICATION It basically involves the sharing of information of vehicle and traffic related data between cars and different frames. The main aim for this is safety with energy saving. It is based on WLAN technology. Examples of V2X messages are warning about hazardous location, emergency braking, time of traffic lights. This technology is highly recommended for reducing road accident, decreasing carbon dioxide emission, improving the flow of traffic, enabling autonomous driving. This technology enables a car to trace more than 300 objects and respond size is less than 20ms and it has a very low latency. Challenges are penetration level of V2X.For having effective network of cars at least 10% of them must have ITS module.
B. Car radar
Basically, a radar is used to detect if the speed is being observed by cops using a radar gun they are generally used so that the driver can decrease the cars speed before being caught by the police. It uses the Doppler effect to masseur the relative speed of the vehicle. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) demands self-sufficient emergency braking system and pedestrian protection system. Radar provides range, velocity information to different sensors such as a camera. Nowadays reducing power consumption or increasing power efficiency can be achieved by reducing sensor size. The radar IC is used for covering 76-81GHz bandwidth for high range resolution. It is being verified by RFCMOS radars are used for operating in micrometer Wave band and by this, we can use the system on chip automotive radar including processors on a monolithic die.
C. Automotive Quality
Devices in Self-driven cars must withstand difficult environmental condition there for it requires rigorous packaging, circuit design, control of processing technologies. It will have various constraints, Stricter rules on device size. As a consequence, this leads to design consuming high power in order to full fill this robustness requirement.
D.Near area information exchange
It is commonly known as near field communication (NFC). It connects devices over the smaller range and high-frequency wireless communication technology can be achieved. It enables the transfer of data between devices about a distance of 10cm. It interfaces a smart card and a reader into one device it permits the exchange of data between digital devices like using a cell phone for booking online tickets. As it’s range is very less it gives a higher degree of security than commonly use Bluetooth it can also work if power is not being supplied in the device. The most important thing is that the tree operation modes are supported that is read/write, card emulation and device-to-device communication.
This technology is used for transmitting processed data over a large bandwidth. A 100 kHz signal is communicated through multiple antennae within the car to make a response in the key, giving information regarding space between the car and the key by calculating the strength of the signal. IEEE suggest a different method by calculating the time of flight(TOF) of RF signal between the source and the destination. The TOF efficiency is directly proposal to signal bandwidth. It can also be used for tracking purpose of wireless monitoring of windows or mirror adjustment.
The thing we have discuss like a various electronic function it gives the driver and increases comfort, safety, accuracy, convenient, but it has some risks with it. This day’s vehicles are turning to (smartphones on whiles) which processes, store, exchange a large amount of data. By using wireless interfaces we can connect to the external network but it increases the probability of being hacked, resulting in the vehicle to be more vulnerable to cyber attacks. Hacker’s can gain complete remote control over the vehicle. This leads to security by design and privacy by design the key objects of security system includes hardware for example(Trust Anchors) which save our data against being hacked. This is the small crypto chips used in various products like ATM cards. passports, visa but safety system may be isolated from the entertainment system present in the car. This architecture needs to be regularly to handle attacks with more efficiency. We should implement multiple security techniques to minimize the risks of electronics devices that are being inside in the car. firstly we need to protect car external interfaces as they are prone for remote and scalable attacks the channel should be secure against data manipulation and unauthorized access by this interfaces. For providing protection in this layers cryptographic technologies must be used for encryption and decryption of data received that the receiver side.
But a securing system with this system is not sufficient. The security implementation should be isolated from deferent not secure code. To secure against side-channel attacks hardware should be designed in such a way that it does not leak unintended information with timing, consumption of power or leakage due to the electromagnetic field that could be an advantage for a hacker to find out information about what hardware is doing or what data store it. This is all about the internal protection but a physical attack requires physical protection. when hackers want to attack IC’s there should be some tamper resistance for detecting some attacks. For example, people may use integrated sensors and after detection of the attack, it should automatically take appropriate counter masseur like powering of or distorting critical data so that it cannot be stolen.
We will be assuming that the connectivity of the network is available throughout.The data which we will be receiving from various sources is not necessary to search space to store its cloud is the exact solution for this. If the data is required the software will use it by downloading it. We should take care of some external storage to store the area map so that it can be run even if the network is not available. Now when the driven will be starting the car the computer will get connected to the network which will run web console and asked the user to sign in with username and password which was already registered with the cloud service provider. The user can now input the location where we want to reach, the software will download set of programs to process the data and the data which is already stored in the cloud will be taken by it and it starts processing. And it will act as a learning agent which basically learn from its experiences for example where a particular person goes often which are its favorite routes and it will use this information for the next time. It will also have the privacy which the user wants.Suppose a user wants to go to the place where the network is not available to the vehicle automatically store the data in advance. And if it sea a network issue it will ask the user to drive manually. When the location is reached the software delete all the data thus increase the security . The self-driven car will also spot the mechanical problem in advanced and even repair it. Self-driving cars use the two-dimensional camera and “LiDAR” to recognize different objects.
H.Types of Automation
1.No Automation: This is level zero automation in which the driver is the only person who will be having control over vehicle such as break accelerator staring.
2.Function defined automation: This is level one automation in which one or more function will be automated for example a car which has automatic gear will automatically change inside the system. It basically assists the driver.
3. Combine function automation: In this level minimal of two operations should be automatic for example the driver may have his hand and foot at a particular time while which the vehicle will be operating on the car.
This self-driven fully connected cars will only be a reality if they are secure and 100% reliable. The quality and security are the foremost requirements to gain customer confidence in this highly advanced new technology. Functionality like V2X, car radar, ethernet is already available but will continue to increase performance as well as their integration.
We would like to show our special thanks of gratitude to our professor Dr. Ramesh Vaddi for providing us this golden opportunity and guiding us. With this project, we came to know
The Double Death Of Humanity In Cormac McCarthy’s The Road
The famous phrase: “the simplest things are usually the most difficult to understand,” well suited to the book Cormac McCarthy’s Road. Indeed, before us, it would seem, is almost a classic story of the journey, from point A to point B. Between these places we are simultaneously exposed to the world around us, and the author Cormac McCarthy shows the development of the characters, the changes that they undergo throughout the journey along the Road. In the novel The Road, there are only two characters whose names we do not know, and a bit of an impersonal second plan where we hear another name, it’s possible that we’ve made it up (Eli). Almost absent detailing of the world of that very road and the open ending of Cormac McCarthy with the possibility of a variety of guesses, as far as the imagination. And here is an amazing feature of the book Road. Cormac McCarthy really did not give us a thoughtful world, where the author carefully places everything on the shelves, about the causes and consequences, about the characters of the characters, about the surrounding world, to the smallest detail. Instead, he created a field of artistic reality, a kind of ideological template, a framework that we, the readers, fill with our own world of thoughts and fantasies, as far as individuality allows. When the author writes about how the father and son find the consequences of a terrible picnic, where a newborn baby was cooked at the stake, it would seem that all readers should present the same picture. But Cormac McCarthy superficially delivers a snippet of information, allowing you to figure out the events that have unfolded here, the images of those strangers on the road, the consequences of what happened, how the place of this sinister supper did. We read about the cache with food, with hygiene products and even clothes, which are found by the heroes of the Road after a long journey of deprivation.
There is a list of a number of benefits that are here, but without details. The reader himself fills this general image of the bunker with his fantasies or desires. Finally, the Road itself is described as a dead road without traces of vegetation or living creatures, where everything is covered with ashes and signs of an approaching winter. It’s hard to imagine how this clouded world can look better in the summer. Two key characters in the novel The road is referred to as The man and The boy. Sometimes Father (father) and Son (son). Such stinginess of synonyms, as each time the author Cormac McCarthy presents his characters, well reflects the emptiness in the world around them. Where for a long time are not important the names or surnames, the attributes of a past life, the very past before the post apocalypse. We need only know the degree of kinship that connects these two travelers on the road. Throughout the history of The Road, they conduct brief conversations with other unnamed characters, but it is through the conversations of these two that the story unfolds.
The text does not differ in the depth of the thought shown, stylistic refinement or eloquence. Again, this format of the book The Road even more immerses into the atmosphere of a gloomy world around where the lengthy reasoning has remained in the past. Where we do not know who worked or how the man lived before all that happened. His son was born after an unknown catastrophe. He did not go to school, did not watch movies or read books. Since his birth, his social circle was limited to the family and a few travelers on the road. The simple communication of heroes in The Road emphasizes that in the world after the end, dotted with ashes, there is no room for philosophical sayings. For this and many other virtues, Cormac McCarthy’s Road has been awarded several prestigious awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for a work of art.
The concept of traveling from point A to point B requires the characters through which this path is revealed, through their interaction or inner world. In our case, The man and The boy, the Father and the Son are the simplest, but effective choice of the author of Cormac McCarthy – family ties. For the man who saw the former world in his former glory, the present Road is the way of life for his son. He himself coughs up blood and does not help. The man protects the only thing that keeps his life alive – his son. For him, he – a piece of the old life, the former world, where there was still no ash and cannibalism. The boy has never seen that world, but he is his reflection – a nested father from memories and concepts of what is good and what’s bad.
Cormac McCarthy does not voice the thoughts of the meaning of life on the forehead – Father and Son are simply moving forward, symbolizing the very flow of life that simply persists. It simply exists on the Earth, without much sense and meaning, except for the presence itself, like the Road. The boy, who is the Son, only knows this gloomy world of shelters and a permanent path. We do not disclose the details of the life that preceded the immediate events of the book Road – how it was lived by the two. How many bunkers or warehouses with supplies they came across earlier. How many trolleys from the supermarket they changed, shifting their few belongings. How long they lingered in what kind of shelter. How many thousands of hours of monotonous laconic dialogues took place between the Father and the Son and how events reflected on the road were reflected in them. These two representatives of two different generations of the world Before and After go foot in foot, supporting each other. In fact, the man himself no longer had anything light from the past – it all turned into the image of the Boy who walks next to him. As in the book, and after in the film The Road (2009), readers and viewers are remembered scenes where the Man is ready to commit an unthinkable act – to shoot his son. He is ready to do this so that the child does not fall into the bandits, is not raped, tortured with hunger, and after being eaten by a gang of dirty movers. In this case, the man himself does not care what happens after him. Not only because his life and so soon will end, but because it will not become the only component that moves his legs all these years along the road. Although time after time such a terrible decision can be avoided, these scenes are, perhaps, the apogee of the entire semantic part of the book Road. It is noteworthy that Cormac McCarthy later admitted that he drew inspiration for his heroes in his own relationship with his son and even snippets of dialogues and their tonality were reflected in the text of the work. As I noted above, Cormac McCarthy in the novel Road did not give his reader too much information about the world around him. He created a model that we fill waves with our own imagination. This increases the participation of the reader in what is happening and, accordingly, the belief in the written, in the possibility of the existence of such a joyless world of the future. People are experiencing a certain excitement from the contrast between the benefits that surround us and those bleak pictures that are painted in the works of post-apocalypse
In this sense, the book Road represents one of the darkest and most depressing pictures of the future for mankind. It seems that there are no colors of any shades here, except black and gray. There are no such descriptions in the text – the world draws imagination. And in this sense, the film Road is an almost perfect adaptation to the transfer of the atmosphere.
We do not know and are compelled, in a good creative sense, to think out the reason for such a sharp change in human civilization. Most of all, the consequences of a world nuclear war that has turned the world of the Road into a lifeless wasteland begs. The roads and the remains of cities are covered with ashes. Heroes bypass the former large cities and travel on their way through the American outback. It is possible that the former megacities simply erased from the face of the Earth
In any case, the probability of meeting people there is higher, then in cities it is more dangerous. Cold and hunger slowly kill the remaining travelers, but it’s much worse meeting people. In this world, there are fewer such travelers as the Men and the Boy, practically defenseless. They calm themselves, somehow pacifying the chaos of what is happening, calling themselves “good people”
The most dangerous event on the road is now a meeting with people. The most resilient and strong are united in gangs, which with the help of common force, violence and weapons kill travelers one by one or even several. They take their belongings and kill them. The fact is that since this world does not grow vegetation, especially in the cold season and there are no references to animals, there are only two sources of supplies. The first is the remnants of the former world, which, after so many years, are basically canned.
Canned peaches, fish and meat, vegetables. This is the resource that is not renewed now, which is getting smaller every day. With each new canned can, their reserves are increasingly difficult to find in abandoned houses or shops. Discover a warehouse on the Road – it’s incredible luck.
The second resource, which conditionally distinguish “good” from “bad” in the commemoration of a child in the book Road – human bodies. These same gangs and even small groups of people kill other travelers and eat them. In the book Road Cormac, McCarthy cites several memorable scenes, each of which conveys the gloom of this new world. Former associates in the gang without a twinge of conscience and doubt eat the body of their murdered companion. A group of men with a pregnant woman are walking along the road, and then they are cooked at the stake of the newborn.
A man and a boy find a “people’s warehouse” – a local gang keeps prisoners who, like animals, eat one by one on this horrible farm. The theme of cannibalism is that aspect of the book The Road that pushes away from it especially impressionable, but without which the gloomy world of the future will be only a beautiful fairy tale that has no connection with reality.
‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy Analytical Essay
‘The Road’ is a book by Cormac McCarthy that focuses on a post-apocalyptic event involving a nuclear war. Evil is prevalent and man seems to have lost any sense of morality. Theft, murder, cannibalism and all forms of brutality seem to be the order of the day. This quote from the book is a clear indication of how worse things had become:
People sitting on the sidewalk in the dawn half immolate smoking in their clothes, like failed sectarian suicides. Others would come to help them. Within a year there were fires on the ridges and deranged chanting. The screams of the murdered, by day the dead impaled on spikes along the road. What had they done? He thought that in the history of the world it might even be that there was more punishment than crime but he took small comfort from it (McCarthy 53).
The story is centered on a post apocalyptic event that causes the suffering of humanity. People lack the most basic necessities and live under extreme cruelty. An unnamed man and his small boy are exposed to the brutality. There are incidences of rape, theft and cannibalism all over. When they try to escape from the brutality, they come across one of the ‘bad guys’ who intends to kidnap and kill the boy.
The man shoots him and they escape but they are disturbed by the incidence. When the man and the boy run out of food, they go to a place where they come across some scary scenes. Humans are held captive by some gang, and are kept like livestock to be feasted upon. Such was the intensity of human cruelty. In one of the passages the writer says; “The frailty of everything revealed at last. Old and troubling issues resolved into nothingness and night (McCarthy 24).”
People are prone to hunger and starvation, the man and the boy, for instance, are at the verge of starvation when they come across an apple orchard and a well. This cushions them against starvation. When they run out of their food reserves again, they came across canned food at some bomb shelters but they do not take the same with ease as they fear for their security.
The theme of violence is also brought out when the boy’s mother clearly expresses her fears that they might soon be found, raped and killed, as such had become normal in the society. She even states that in the past they would talk about death but they no longer did as it was being witnessed everywhere. This is evident in her statement:
No, I’m speaking the truth. Sooner or later they will catch us and they will kill us. They will rape me. They’ll rape him. They are going to rape us and kill us and eat us and you won’t face it… We used to talk about death,” she said, “We don’t anymore. Why is that?… It’s because it’s here. There’s nothing left to talk about (McCarthy 93).
All these point to the absence of law and order. The scarcity of resources drives people to steal, kill and even become cannibals. Those who attempt decency try to avoid the vices and are only driven to the extremes out of necessity.
This is evident in the passage, “The man had already dropped to the ground and he swung with him and leveled the pistol and fired from a two-handed position balanced on both knees at a distance of six feet. The man fell back instantly and lay with blood bubbling from the hole in his forehead (McCarthy 102).” In spite of all these, the man and the boy remain compassionate and generous.
The boy, for instance, does not harm anyone, while the man does so only when it is really necessary. This implies that in the midst of all the cruelty, the virtues of compassion and morality can still prevail. The woman however opts to commit suicide so as to escape the cruelty. The man also preserves two bullets in the gun for self destruction incase things get to the extreme. This is evident in the passage:
She was gone and the coldness of it was her final gift. She would do it with a flake of obsidian… and she was right. There was no argument. The hundred nights they’d sat up debating the pros and cons of self destruction with the earnestness of philosophers chained to a madhouse wall (McCarthy 94)
This is a clear indication that suicide seemed a better option under extreme brutality.
On their journey, they come across incidences of cannibalism as evident in the passage, “Coming back he found the bones and the skin piled together with rocks over them…He pushed at the bones with the toe of his shoe.
They looked to have been boiled (McCarthy 110).” In the novel, it is also quite evident that the people are subjected to abject poverty to the level that some do not even have clothing as evident in the passage, “Huddled against the back wall were naked people, male and female, all trying to hide, shielding their faces with their hands (McCarthy 168).”
Such lack is what drives the people to cruelty for survival. It is a man-eat-man society and virtues seem rare. People are raised just like livestock for slaughter, and the conditions under which they are raised are pathetic. The boy is exposed to the world at its worst and the man is not even able to explain the same to him.
Cruelty had become normal and one had to use any means including hurting or killing so as to survive. Someone, for instance, tries to kill them by shooting them with an arrow. The man is wounded on the leg but manages to protect the boy. Before the offender could aim again, the man shoots at him and they all hear him scream.
The Man and the boy seem to be living in isolation from the good people. It almost seems as though even God had abandoned them. In spite of all these, their affection for each other remains strong. Their memory of a better past makes it so hard for them to come into terms with the current happenings. The writer seems to be pointing to the fact that with such cruelty, human are likely disappear from the face of the earth. One of the characters, for instance says:
When we’re all gone at last then there’ll be nobody here but death and his days will be numbered too. He’ll be out in the road there with nothing to do and nobody to do it to. He’ll say: Where did everybody go? And that’s how it will be. What’s wrong with that? (McCarthy 237).
At first the boy is left by the mother, who opts to commit suicide as she can no longer cope with the hopelessness. At the end the boy is also left by the father, who dies and leaves him alone in a world that is so difficult to cope with. People are in a state of disillusion and it is even hard for one to imagine that things will ever get better. The man for instance says, “Well, I don’t think we’re likely to meet any good guys on the road (McCarthy 224).” This is a clear indication of the hopelessness that existed.
The land is unproductive and in desolation. It is quite evident from their conversation that people were hiding from each other. The phrase points to the fear and isolation that had become evident. No one could trust another. The man refuses to imagine that the ancestors were watching and that there would be any form of justice at the end. According to him, they were dead and that was all. It is as though the human history and morality had been eroded by that devastating apocalyptic event.
While asked the purpose of the gun, the man indicated that he possessed it for the purpose of setting others on fire and not necessarily signaling. Such are the extremes that the world had reached so that a grisly weapon is used for signaling and setting others on fire. The society seems to be divided into two, the ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys.’ The bad ones seem to engage in acts that demean and even eliminate those that are weaker than them.
They enslave, torture and even kill them while the good ones try not to harm others unless if it is out of necessity as in the case of self defense. The man and the boy fall in this category. He assures the boy that they were still good guys. The man goes ahead to assure the boy that they would not eat a human even if they were starving. This is a basic form of decency that any man is expected to have but it is quite surprising that most people.
McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. New York: Pan Macmillan Limited, 2010. Print.
Orwells’ The Road to Wigan Pier: Sentence Analysis Essay (Critical Writing)
This work analyzes the abstract from George Orwell’s novel The Road to Wigan Pier. Specifically, it verifies the usage of connective elements in the sentences. According to the results of the examination, the first paragraph contains a range of key terms, which underline the general idea of the abstract. For instance, the author uses words coal and machine throughout the whole introduction, which recapitulates the overall content. Nevertheless, the sentences from the first paragraph do not start with connective expressions. The feature deprives the part of the flowing tone. Moreover, the sentence, which begins with he lacks clarity. Consequently, the usage of defining terms is ineffective. The subsequent parts bear a similar tone. Mainly, George Orwell did not employ any connectives except for the expression, for instance. Furthermore, the defining words, which often give a start to the author’s sentences, are vague. For example, the word may refer to several concepts from the previous sentence.
The actual improvement of one’s writing style, which is based on the principle of connectivity, can be represented by a practical example. Thus, in this work, we present the quality editing of the following passage:
“Doyle uses the fifth passage to crown his message of life and love through the metaphor of the heart. He compares different types of creatures with their distinct hearts. He examines the fragility of the heart by depicting it as the human beings’ little shelter that they fight to sustain, but later it comes to a halt depending on the choice of lifestyle. He insists that the heart has so much to treasure, be it in a lifetime, in a day, or a moment. He simply wants to show the reader the importance of life and letting people inside their hearts. Doyle passes the message that people should not be afraid or selective in letting others inside their hearts.”
One may notice that the abstract from the essay is marked by monotony since every sentence starts with a personal pronoun. The impression of speech flow may be improved by the insertion of connectives and defining words. Therefore, the edited paragraph evolves in the following form:
“Doyle uses the fifth passage to crown his message of life and love through the metaphor of the heart. Specifically, he compares different types of creatures with their distinct hearts. For instance, the author examines the fragility of the heart by depicting it as the human beings’ little shelter that they fight to sustain, but later the sustention comes to a halt depending on the choice of lifestyle. The central point of the work emphasizes that the heart has so much to treasure, be it in a lifetime, in a day, or a moment. In other words, the author simply wants to show the reader the importance of life and letting people inside their hearts. Consequently, Doyle passes the message that people should not be afraid or selective in letting others inside their hearts.”
According to the assigned reading, metacommentary serves as a distinct example of text improvement. The device targets the aspect of contextual clarity, which implies that metacommentary is usually used by the authors so that to recapitulate their points and to bring the content of the text to the readers. Specifically, one differentiates such metacommentary expressions as what I mean is, in other words, do not take me wrong, etc.
The practical application of the language technique may be illustrated by the distinct examples. For instance, efficient metacommentary use prevents contextual misunderstandings. Specifically, the following example serves as an illustration of the potential content delusion: “In the second paragraph, Doyle explains the mighty talents of the hummingbird, such as having the ability to dive at a speed of six miles per hour or fly long distances without stopping to rest. The author switches quickly to explain the dangers underlying this practice.” Since the author does not clarify the ground for changing the contextual situation, the meaning may be blurred. The application of metacommentary evolves in the subsequent passage: “In the second paragraph, Doyle explains the mighty talents of the hummingbird, such as having the ability to dive at a speed of six miles per hour or fly long distances without stopping to rest. The author switches quickly to explain the dangers underlying this practice so that to emphasize that the physical specifications of the bird do not serve as the point of the argument.”
The authors, who are inattentive to the contextual peculiarities of their texts, tend to omit full explanations of their arguments and suggestions. Despite brevity is a sister of talent, the unexplained point might spoil the passage. The instance is illustrated by two statements: “He compares this kind of life to that of a tortoise. He uses facts to indicate that with about two billion heartbeats, one can live his or her life in various ways.” It is impossible to trace the link between the comparisons. Therefore, the improved sentences evolve in the following formulation: “He compares this kind of life to that of a tortoise. In other words, he specifies that a human being is too lazy so that to realize the potential that is assigned to them by nature.” To sum it up, metacommentary provides an active device of text structuring, which improves its total clarity.
Natural and Moral Decay in The Road: Fiction and Film
Natural decay directly influences moral decay in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and John Hillcoat’s film adaptation by the same title. The end of the world in this narrative is so severe because of the loss of nature. When humans see the end of their natural environments, something in them is changed; by severing their ties to the natural world, they also subsequently lose their ties to humanity. This is seen in the contrast between the man and boy versus the cannibal gangs. The writing tool of setting is especially important for this topic because McCarthy often describes where the man and boy are based on natural setting. Throughout the novel we read descriptions of gray skies, fallen trees, and dark oceans—all markers of the earth’s decay. Some scholars have called McCarthy’s novel the first to write from an environmentalist perspective; while there have been other post-apocalyptic novels and films prior to The Road, McCarthy’s is one of the first to include decay of the earth as well as decay of humanity.
The sparse dialogue in the novel is perhaps a visual representation of the dying world; just as the earth has been stripped of its beauty and natural elegance so has human conversation. The scarcity on the page visually represents the scarcity of the world. John Hillcoat’s film adaptation of the novel also focuses on portraying an environmentally decayed world. By using real devastated locations, Hillcoat represents how the real environment and nature have been impacted. The on-set locations are especially impactful. The visual representation of American devastation accurately represents McCarthy’s novel. On-screen, we see the destruction of Mt. St. Helens in Washington, Hurricane Katrina damage in Louisiana, abandoned highways and old steel mills in Pennsylvania, and run down parts of Pittsburgh. Abandoned shopping malls, stranded semi-trucks, and ruined stadiums all visually represent how man-made neglect and destruction has impacted our nation. Marooned ships, dark landscapes, and a lake filled with fallen trees from a Mt. St. Helen’s eerily reveal how natural disasters have destroyed parts of our society. There is even a shot where Hillcoat chose to put real footage of the smoke cloud from September 11th. All of these on-screen representations communicate the devastation which can occur in our world. In addition, Hillcoat makes use of dark landscapes and matching lighting. Grays and browns in the landscape match the demeanor of the characters; from clouds in the sky to burnt trees, Hillcoat ensures that each scene matches the story. Both McCarthy’s novel and Hillcoat’s adaptation are warnings to their audiences: take care of your families; maintain your morals; value the natural world. Don’t let destruction like this happen to you. A likely response to this novel and film would then be to spend time with your family as you see families ripped apart and a father/son draw closer than ever in order to survive; to explore what it means to be the “good guy” and “carry the fire” in today’s society; and to spend time appreciating the value of our natural environment, realizing how vital it is to our survival. By examining the setting in the novel and the mise-en-scene in the film, we will discover how natural decay leads to moral decay.
In the film and the novel nature is linked somehow with morality. When nature decays and is destroyed, so is our morality. While natural disasters are out of human control, humans still suffer during them. During these natural disasters, human morality is tested; we hear of people stealing and looting, but we also hear of heroic rescues. In The Road we also see two sides: those who are the “good guys,” trying to maintain morality and “carry the fire,” and the bad guys, those who have forsaken their morality and have turned to violence and cannibalism.
The novel describes many scenes of nature’s decay. The second sentence of the novel reads: “Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before” (McCarthy 3). From the start, our characters Man and Boy are in a very dark, very bleak world. As we continue, there are more signs of destruction: “The city was mostly burned. No sign of life” (McCarthy 12). It is important to note that “no sign of life” includes animal and plant life as well as human life. In this post-apocalyptic world, not even animals or plants have survived. Later in the book we learn that the Boy doesn’t believe birds exist in real life; he has only seen them in books. The most eerie aspect of this world is its barrenness; it is utterly lifeless. Countless times as the man looks out over the landscape, all he sees is “everything paling away into the murk” (McCarthy 4). He looks out “among the dead trees” hoping to find “anything of color. Any movement. Any trace of standing smoke,” but he found nothing (McCarthy 4). The nature of this world is made up of dead trees, clouded skies, and bleakness. There is no bright light of the sun, only gray and lighter gray. The earth is deteriorating, and as it does, so is the humanity of the people still living.
Next to starvation and hypothermia, the heartless cannibal gangs are the Man and Boy’s worst enemy. They encounter them along the road, and they come across their houses multiple times in the book. Halfway through the novel it says, “The world soon to be largely populated by men who would eat your children in front of your eyes and the cities themselves held by cores of blackened looters who tunneled among the ruins and crawled from the rubble white of tooth and eye carrying charred and anonymous tins of food in nylon nets like shoppers in the commissaries of hell” (McCarthy 181). As these people have lost touch with the natural world, they have also lost concern for any sort of morality. Cannibals are seen eating a baby over a fire and spit in the woods, holding starving naked humans in a basement as a food supply, and stealing from anyone who they could benefit from. These people are ruthless and heartless. They are not the good guys, as the novel describes, and in fact, there are very few good guys left.
The film also holds up these themes. Setting plays a large part in John Hillcoat’s adaptation. The elements of design, as described in the Looking at Movies text, are very important in this film. In order to communicate the sense of decay and despair, Hillcoat made sure that the setting was as bleak and bare as possible. One aspect of the mise-en-scene is lighting, and Hillcoat used lighting to his advantage. In Looking at Movies, it says regarding light: “Often, much of what we remember about a film is its expressive style of lighting faces, figures, surfaces, settings, or landscapes” (Barsam 185-6). In the opening scene of The Road, lighting portrays emotion to the audience. As the movie begins, we see a brightly lit outdoor shot of a home and flowering trees. By minute 1:51, there is a jarring switch from this brightly lit scene, with Charlize Theron’s clean, soft face, to a dark scene showing Viggo Mortesen’s dirty, bearded face. The quick lighting change shocks the viewer, and subtly we realize that this brightly colored scene was a dreamed memory. Throughout the course of the film, lighting continues to play a large role as there is no sun in this world but only a dull gray light. Lighting effects were used when the sun came out during shooting, and sometimes scenes had to be shot multiple times if the sun shone on the actors. Another very important aspect of the film is the on-location filming which was expertly found by Hillcoat. Most of the scenes were filmed in real disaster locations. Mt. St. Helen’s, Katrina aftermath, abandoned highways in Pennsylvania, dark and dreary beaches in Oregon, run down parts of Pittsburgh and other places as well. This effect brought a truth to the screen; by knowing this seemingly trivial fact, the viewer is able to understand that this imagined world isn’t so imaginary after all.
One source on this topic is an article by Kenneth Brandt, who examines the final paragraph of the book. He argues that the ending paragraph “is meant to emphasize the totality of the loss of natural-world experience by the book’s characters and to highlight the dependence of humanity on ecosystems” (Brandt). As McCarthy and Hillcoat call for a return to gratitude and appreciation for family, nature, and blessings, Brandt echoes their message by saying that humankind is indebted to natural ecosystems. There is something about being in the beauty of nature that awakens a deep part of the human soul. The contrary is clearly also true: the death of nature kills something deep within the human soul. Brandt says the concluding paragraph of the book echoes “humanity’s essential need to exist in concert with functioning ecosystems” (64). Humankind and the natural world need each other. Brandt concludes his argument with this final line:
Aptly, McCarthy’s concluding passage spotlights a web of environmental interrelationships and presents a contrapuntal arrangement of images that implicitly conveys the totality of humanity’s dependence on ecological stability (66). Hillcoat echoes this in the final words of his director’s commentary. He says that the film and the book have been sort of a wake-up call to society. That in response people went home to be with their families and to cherish the things that the Man and the Boy had lost. Viewers can learn from these characters and from The Road that humans need each other and humans need the natural world.
Barsam, Richard, and Dave Monahan. Looking at Movies. New York: W.W. Norton & Company,
Brandt, Kenneth K.1. “A World Thoroughly Unmade: Mccarthy’s Conclusion To THE ROAD.” Explicator 70.1 (2012): 63-66. OmniFile Full Text Select (H.W. Wilson). Web. 3 May 2015.
McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. New York: Vintage International, 2006. Print.
The Road. Dir. John Hillcoat. Perf. Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall, and Guy Pierce. Dimension Films and 2929 Productions, 2009. Film.
The Road to Adulthood
The Road by Cormac McCarthy is a piece of literature that depicts the possible effects of a post-apocalyptic world on a man and his son. From a surface-level reading, the novel portrays the bond between parent and child and the struggle to survive unforgiving scenarios. However, upon closer study, McCarthy’s true intentions to warn humanity of the possible consequences for the world’s development are revealed. This story not only suggests that our fate is a violent and bleak one, but also predicts the self-destruction of humanity. It would be incomplete and insufficient to read this book without considering what it suggests about the evolution and structure of our mortality, representation, and beliefs. Under the clarity of a psychoanalytical lens, The Road can be read as a novel about the development of the individuality of a young boy in a post-apocalyptic world. The insights of fear, loss, and personality theory brought to light by psychoanalysis are prominent components of the boy’s path to becoming an individual and distinguishing himself from his father. It is through these ideas that it becomes apparent that “the road” is not just the literal one that the man and son walk, but the figurative road that the boy takes to become who he is at the end of the story.
Psychoanalysis, which explains much of how McCarthy’s novel operates, is a study founded by 20th century psychologist Sigmund Freud. This field explores the unconscious mind, instinct, repression, desire, and sexuality. The concealed part of the mind, which Freud called the “unconscious,” is a dimension of the mind that is consciously inaccessible, yet in indirect ways influences our behavior and components of our personalities. Part of this unconscious includes the personality theory of Freud’s work in which he explains the movements between our instinctual and moral decisions: the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is the site of the uncontrollable instincts in the mind, the ego is the part that controls the id to keep our behavior in line with what is appropriate socially, and the superego has a moral influence on the ego. These parts that influence morality act symbolically in The Road, as manifested in the characters themselves. Another of the central features of psychoanalysis is Freud’s idea of fear, which he defines in his A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis: “the occasions, the objects and situations which arouse fear, will depend largely on our knowledge of and our feeling of power over the outer world” (Freud, 4). The boy’s fears prove to be compatible with this definition as we study their manifestations. His knowledge of and control over the outer world is weak due to the nature of the devastated and unforgiving world around him. He initially feels no power over the outer world and clings to his father, but then gradually develops his own voice and influences their path during the novel. The fear that the boy most clearly expresses is that of being alone, which is explained by Freud as originating from the separation of the child from his mother’s womb at birth. This fear is then expressed throughout life as the fear of being alone (Freud, 5). This fear is intensified for the boy because he loses his mother a second time, to death, which is more powerful than the separation at birth because the boy is conscious of the situation. These parts of psychoanalysis allow the reasons for the boy’s behavior during his maturation to become clear and comprehensible.
Fear of separation is immediately apparent in the first conversation of the novel, when the boy wakes and calls for his father: “hi, Papa, he said. ‘I’m right here.’ I know” (McCarthy, 5). This shows that the boy needs reassurance that his father is still with him after having woken up one morning to find that his mother has left (58). It is evident that the two need each other, and this interaction comforts the boy. As revealed by Freud’s work, the first fear that people experience is an initial separation from mother at birth, which reverberates throughout life. The boy is a more extreme case of this because he experienced such a crisis twice: once at birth, and once with his mother’s death. This puts him in constant separation anxiety and affects his behavior during the novel. This behavior gradually reveals that his fear of being alone overpowers his fear of death. This is most intensely evident when the father asks the boy if he wants to die as a result of seeing someone else die, and the boy responds with “I don’t care, the boy said, sobbing. I don’t care” (McCarthy 85). This complete submission to his anxiety is powerful because it parallels his mother’s suicide. Having both severances from his mother so close together (a disruptive occurrence in Freud’s theory) caused the boy to reveal some issues he may have as a result of the apocalypse. After this behavior, the father becomes concerned and tells his son that he “musn’t say that.” The way that the father quickly becomes calm in order to comfort the boy reveals that this reminds the father of his wife; he fears that the same suicidal idea may be manifest in his son. This is the first occurrence which shows that the boy has a separate mind from his father’s, launching the boy’s development of his own path.
The id, ego, and the superego appear in The Road in a way that is symbolic and extremely important to the boy’s role in the novel. Rather than these components of the unconscious being significant in the boy himself, they are significant to the relationship between the boy, his father, and the world around them. As the boy matures, he is shown to recognize the importance of morality in this new world. He often questions his own father’s decisions to keep him tethered to his values. A simple example of this is when the two are sharing hot cocoa and the father pours more into his son’s cup. The boy catches him, playfully reminding his father of his promise:
I have to watch you all the time, the boy said.
If you break little promises, you’ll break big ones. That’s what you said.
I know. But I won’t. (McCarthy, 34)
By keeping his father in line, the boy acts as a reminder of his father’s principle of not breaking promises, despite his father’s initial motive to give his son a larger share. This is symbolic of the interaction between the ego and the superego. According to psychoanalysis, the job of the superego is to be like a parental influence on the ego and counteract the innate instincts of the id. With the boy’s role as the father’s superego, he serves as a constant keeper of their morality. When the father abandons these morals in order to keep himself and his son alive, the son refuses to speak to him (52). However, as he grows up, the boy learns to rationalize with his father rather than keep silent. He shifts his tone from questioning to pleading: “just help him, Papa. Just help him” (259). The repetition in this phrase underlines the boy’s realization of his ability to sway his father’s thinking. This shift is parallel with the boy’s growing separation from his father.
While at the beginning of the novel we saw the boy and the man as one agreeable pair, we now see individuality in the boy. The final separation of the two occurs at the most powerful instance of the boy’s development: the father’s death. Despite his previously evident fear of being left alone, the boy shows acceptance of the fact that his father is dying. He asks his father if a little boy who is lost will be okay, and his father responds “goodness will find the little boy” (281). This exchange is the boy’s way of asking his father what will happen to him personally when he is left alone rather than what will happen to another little boy. He is no longer crying and pleading with his father to not leave him, but instead understands that he can receive reassurance in his father’s final words. It is in this moment that the boy takes responsibility for himself as an individual and completes his development. Now that his father is gone, he is expected to make his own moral judgements and speak for himself with the lessons that his father taught him. In truth, the boy has progressed immensely as an individual since the beginning of the novel. With this final separation completing the boy’s formation of his superego, he can battle the post-apocalyptic world on his own.
The Road is not simply a story about a family’s struggle in the apocalypse. Under the insights provided by psychoanalysis, it reveals itself as a symbolic novel about overcoming fears, defending morals, and creating a new path. The boy’s development throughout the story is directly correlated to psychoanalytical ideas about the result of growing up under various conditions that suggest the importance of understanding humanity’s values. We can use this lens to inspect our own paths and discover the roles they have in deciding our principles and values. It is important that we know how we became who we are as a society so we can prevent becoming as barbaric and merciless as so many of the characters in The Road. Such analysis, furthermore, poses many more questions about how the story could have changed. What if the man had lived? Would the boy still eventually detach himself from his father? What if the mother had lived; would the boy have experienced his separation fear much less intensely? An interesting exploration would be to use this criticism to reveal why the father acts as he does throughout the novel, and why he did not become savage like the others. The incredibly bleak and hopeless nature of the apocalypse poses more questions about what it means for the boy as he grows into adulthood. These are just some possible analyses to pursue, since McCarthy leaves the novel open for many future debates. Yet regardless of future critiques, it is safe to say that The Road serves as a symbolic tool for decoding the mysteries of humanity: how we develop personality individually and why we do the things we do.
Works CitedMcCarthy, Cormac. The Road. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. Print.Rivkin, Julie, and Michael Ryan. Literary Theory, an Anthology. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1998. Print.Freud, Sigmund. “XXV. Fear and Anxiety. Sigmund Freud. 1920. A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis.” XXV. Fear and Anxiety. Sigmund Freud. 1920. A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis. Web.
Imagery and Themes Establish McCarthy’s Views in The Road
Cormac McCarthy uses a variety of literary techniques in “The Road” to establish his views on a wide range of themes.First, the manner in which McCarthy describes the scenes throughout the novel distinctly conveys the bleak world he has created. Punctuation is notably scarce as simple grammatical rules are ignored (such as the use of commas, hyphens, etc) – this keeps to the minimalistic style of the novel, stripping the content down to the bare essentials. McCarthy seems to play around with this style, as he experiments with the use of contractions – for example, on page 2, he uses an apostrophe in “there’d” but dismisses any possibility of regularity of this in “hadnt”. The use of this literary device creates a somewhat ambiguous response in the reader, as the author’s intentions are unclear and misty, similar to the atmosphere of the setting. It is also noted that McCarthy avoids using quotation marks, thereby integrating dialogue with exposition, perhaps portraying the feelings of the characters in the novel; these details are considered unimportant and perhaps even trivial in the post-apocalyptic world. Likewise, occasionally indentations are not used to distinguish the beginning of speech, instead bleeding into the prose – this is shown on page 9, in the lines “His face in the small light streaked with black from the rain like some old thespian. Can I ask you something? he said”. Additionally, the fragmentation of this text portrays the broken world that the author is trying to describe, thus strengthening the impact of the scene.In addition, we are immediately made aware of an indistinct sense of timing; for instance, we are told that the man “thought the month was October but he wasnt sure. He hadnt kept a calendar for years.” McCarthy hereby skilfully informs the audience that time is irrelevant in this world, as the novel begins in the midst of action, after ruin has taken place. Although the novel is structured chronologically, timing is purposely presented as vague, seemingly unimportant and somewhat trivial in the current world, where only a bleak, foggy atmosphere of the past life remains.McCarthy forms a strong sense of the scenes he is describing through imagery; this technique is introduced in the very second line, showing the significance of epitome (“Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before.”). This ominous description instantly sets the scene as an incredibly grim one; this idea is reinforced further as the novel evolves (“Cars in the street caked with ash, everything covered with ash and dust. Fossil tracks in the dried sludge.”) The repetitive use of dull and demeaning adjectives to describe the remains of the city emphasises the effects of an urban tragedy on society, leaving but only broken remnants of the once ‘whole’ world. The vision McCarthy has created is almost a real-life representation of hell, possibly provoking fear and deterrence within the reader. The word “ash” is used repetitively through description to support these ideas, so as to persuade the reader to consider these thoughts and perhaps develop their own interpretations and understanding of death.Arguably the most common references featured in “The Road” are those with religious connotations – these are introduced from the start of the novel, which gives an insight into the depths of these ideas. For example, McCarthy personifies light in connection with “pilgrims in a fable swallowed up and lost among the inward parts of some granitic beast”. This clear biblical reference showcases the journey the man and boy are undertaking, like that of those on a pilgrimage. On the other hand, the journey could also symbolise the religious journey one takes to lead them to the afterlife, which could be seen as means of avoiding, or perhaps even cheating, death.Furthermore, death is personified on page 20, in the line “How else would death call you?” The author’s use of language here conveys death to be crafty and sinister, perhaps suggesting that in order to beat death, ‘he’ must be befriended. Although not physically possible, this description provides juxtaposition between the concepts of living and death, in allowing the reader to consider other solutions to the inevitable happenings of death. The prospect of death is indeed brought to the forefront of the scene throughout the novel; it is even present in unconsciousness, as shown on page 17 (“He said the right dreams for a man in peril were dreams of peril and all else was the call of languor and of death”). This detail highlights the role of death in the current world, perhaps in an attempt to reassure the characters – for example, if death is frequently spoken about, it may not seem so patronising or terrifying as the time draws closer. Another key reference to death is given on page 29, as we are given a heart-warming insight into the relationship between father and son – “the boy was all that stood between him and death”.The relationship between the father and boy is portrayed as a loving, protective one; this is shown from the very beginning of the novel as the man awakes to “reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him”. This instantly establishes the intense bond between father and son through protection, a subconscious reaction towards a loved one – McCarthy presents this relationship in such a way that the audience find themselves able to connect with the characters, as they will most likely be able to relate to this relentless feeling. Yet another recurring theme throughout the novel is the destination to which the father and son are travelling; the repetitive use of the word “south” (pages 2, 8, 9, 12, 13 and 24) establishes the destination to both the reader and characters. The man almost appears reassuring as he confirms that they are “still going south”, perhaps in an attempt to persuade the boy that their journey is not wasted or worthless. He is also described as having “studied the country to the south”, indicating that plans have been made in preparation, thus confirming that the direction is certain and necessary. On page 29, we are told that “everything depended on reaching the coast” – this detail is more specific than previously mentioned, as a precise destination is given. Moreover, this quote can be compared to the myth of Odyssey, as, like in “The Road”, a journey of hope was undertaken. The journey throughout the novel symbolises life in whole (life is a journey, in which one may have to face seemingly impossible tasks).To conclude, McCarthy is able to convey his views of death, religion, and relationships through the use of many literary devices, including structure, language and imagery, thus strengthening his vision. This proves to be very effective, as the audience is invited to connect with the characters throughout the novel, provoking both thought and feeling.
The Journey Motif in Works of American Literature
The journey motif is one of the most widely used elements in American literature. The journey is a powerful symbol often used to represent a character’s adventure leading to an epiphany, or some sort of self-realization. This literary device can be applied in the background, working invisibly alongside the plot, or it can comprise the entirety of the plot itself so that all of the character’s experiences are centered on the journey. There are a number of American works and writers spanning centuries that have applied this device to their characters. Three literary works, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, and The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, use the journey motif to illustrate the mental and physical challenges and tribulations that the characters must experience. However, although all of these novels utilize a journey, the type of journey used is extremely varied. The journey is used to represent a mental or physical challenge, often daunting, that the characters in question must undertake as a part of their enlightenment integral to their character development. Usually, journeys represent something lacking within the lives of the protagonists, so they leave their current predicaments in order to find the lacking piece of their character. Journeys can be literal, such as those in The Road and in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, or introspective, such as the journey in To Kill a Mockingbird. The physical journeys are as suggested by their genre: the character(s) must literally move from one area to another, regardless of destination. However, it is not the literal act of moving through which the journey motif exerts its symbolic significance. Rather, the journey involves passage through unfamiliar areas, and the characters must face and solve problems and hardships encountered along the way. It is these attributes of a physical journey that culture a dynamic character by causing the characters to realize, through introspection spurred by the hardships encountered during the journey, an element either hidden or unrealized within themselves or in those around them.In The Road, as the title implies, the protagonists, named “The Man” and “The Boy,” follow a path from the United States down to the ambiguous “south” (McCarthy 7) after an unspecified cataclysm devastates modern society and leaves these characters ostensibly among the few survivors on the planet. However, the sudden and apocalyptic reduction in population does not shield them from the prospect of danger, for there are nomadic groups of cannibals roaming the scorched land. The Man and The Boy must constantly work to defend themselves from these groups while at the same time foraging for food and resources to refill the dwindling supplies in their shopping cart (McCarthy 3). The reason for their physical journey is obvious: they lack safety in their current situation, and although their situation seems hopeless no matter where they go, they hope that they can find refuge and safety by searching for it. In this case, the author makes no note or hint about a destination, indicating that a journey does not necessarily need to have a definitive end. Rather, it can be seen as an ongoing process. In addition to the search for safety and the need to survive, one of the protagonists, The Boy, who seems to be no older than a pre-adolescent is faced with the imminent death of his father, who chronically coughs up blood. Because the boy has never known independence, he, essentially, faces a “second” journey on top of the metaphysical journey experienced by both characters. To The Boy, it is the journey to responsible manhood, being able to provide for and survive by himself, something he has not had to do because of the presence of his father. Both have to realize their true position in this reformed society (or the absence of it). The father now understands that no matter how much he wants his son to survive, his purpose is to keep his son alive as long as possible, with the slim hope that he will be able to survive and, presumably, procreate. However, the son’s purpose is to reach independence, and the life-or-death experiences faced by these characters merely serve to develop his independence. In this sense, The Road can also been seen as a quasi-Bildungsroman, a genre involving a young protagonist who experiences psychological and moral growth throughout the story. The Boy, who is fearful and fawning at the beginning, slowly begins to exert his independence, as exhibited through certain actions of rebellion against his father. For example, when his father wishes to enter an abandoned house in search of resources, The Boy refuses to enter, citing it as unsafe (McCarthy 13). It is also made known that the boy is silently aware of his father’s illness (McCarthy 28), meaning that he has slowly learned to accept the fact that his father will not always be around to protect and provide for him. By the novel’s end, when the boy’s father dies, the boy fearlessly faces a stranger with his family and, presumably, follows them into safety.The Road ideally embodies a quote by the novelist Don Williams Jr., who said, “The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” In the characters of The Road, the lessons of survival, epiphany, and growth stem solely from the dangers that are experienced along the journey, never from the destination. The destination, in fact, is unmentioned, further emphasizing the author’s desire for perpetually developing self-enlightenment.The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is another work in which a physical journey motif is utilized. However, unlike the morose, barren journey for carnal survival as undertaken in The Road, Huck Finn tells the story of an escaped slave and a naïve yet independent young boy on their road to freedom. This freedom is different for each character: the slave, Jim, hopes to achieve freedom from his slave status by escaping north, while the boy, Huck, hopes to achieve freedom from the decorum of civilized society (Twain 32). In a sense, both characters lack freedom in their positions at the beginning of the novel, and they set off to gain it no matter the hardships. However, despite the absence of cannibals as in The Road, Huck and Jim’s journey brings upon them a distinct set of problems, such as being held “hostage” by two quacks (Twain 122), having to life a double life when they stumble upon communities (Twain 145), and escaping recapture (at least for Jim) when they discover that their journey to freedom has taken a wrong turn. In this metaphorical journey, Huck’s story embodies a Bildungsroman, and he is the more dynamic character of the duo. He transforms from a naïve young boy to a slightly more mature, learned young boy, having seen the true colors of discrimination and having learned about the nature of people from the various feuds and plans that snake through the slave-holding community. For instance, before embarking on this journey, Huck maintains the traditional viewpoint that Blacks were to be subservient to Whites and that they were nothing more than cattle in human flesh. However, midway through their journey, Huck learns that Jim, although a slave, is a human like Huck himself, and he even accepts condemnation to Hell for refusing to turn him in (Twain 205). This realization marks one of the most profound turning points in the novel. Despite the epiphanies that Huck himself experiences, his travel partner, Jim, remains relatively static, clinging to his beliefs from the beginning of the story and perhaps only learning that not all Whites are bad through Huck’s kindness.A figurative journey, on the other hand, does not require an actual movement from one area to another, although it does not necessarily exclude one. However, characters who embark on such a journey are far from idle, as they must face a fluid, active, and often powerful society that influences and attempts to mold them. It is this process of being molded that constitutes the hardships that are faced along a figurative journey. One of the archetypal figurative journeys is utilized in the novel set in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, To Kill a Mockingbird, in which the protagonists, Jean Louis Finch (“Scout”) and Jeremy Finch, two young children, experience the true colors of society and are forced to face the miseries of maturity beyond their years. At the beginning of the story, the readers learn that their father, Atticus, is a prominent attorney in the town, and that he has chosen to defend a Black man, Jim, in their discriminatory society (Lee 18). Because of this, Jem and Scout become the subject of scorn from many of the town’s characters. Jem is also slammed with a dual lesson of death and courage through his forced community service to Mrs. Dubose, a cranky morphine addict (Lee 103). Of the two, Jem appears to be the most affected by the psychological journey that the two protagonists embark on. During the actual trial, though it is clear that Atticus has made a powerful defense and discredited Jim’s accusers multiple times (Lee 205), Jim is still found guilty and is later shot while trying to escape (Lee 212). Jem is shattered during this ordeal, and his faith in both the utopian society that he had believed in during his years of naivety and the legal system is compromised. Both he and Scout learn that the world is definitely not an ideal place and that stigma can play a large role in determining factors as large as life or death. Although it appears that Jem treks along the journey faster than Scout, by the end of the novel, Scout appears to have actually learned more than Jem. The father of girl who had accused Jim of raping her is bitter about his defeat, and near the end of the novel, he attempts to kill Scout and Jem as they are walking home. However, they are saved by the prompt appearance of Boo Radley, a hermit, about whom Jem and his friends have perpetually spread gruesome rumors, attempting to lure him out of hiding. Scout, however, quickly learns that what Jem was doing was inconsiderate, and she even makes an extremely sharp conjecture about Boo’s desire to remain hidden. During the ordeals of the trial, Scout says that perhaps Boo does not want to leave his house because of how poisonous the outside society is (Lee 231). When Boo saves Scout and Jem, Jem is left unconscious, but Scout finally sees Boo as a real, breathing, kind person, not the monster that her brother and his friends have asserted him to be (Lee 271). By the end, although both Scout and Jem follow a path to the same destination, maturity, both take a different route and experience different events along the way. Jem approaches his destination through enduring and facing the corrupting miasma of a discriminatory, racist society and how society’s judgment can affect people’s lives. Scout approaches her destination through learning of people’s true colors, culminating with her amiable connection with Boo at the conclusion of the novel. The journey is widely employed not only in American literature but in literary works that span the history of fiction. As demonstrated in The Road, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the journey is employed to demonstrate a particular self-realization or epiphany gained through experiencing daunting hardships or problems faced along the way, forcing the characters to reexamine their positions in their surroundings through introspection. In this sense, the journey is one of the most effective examples of symbolism in conveying such a motif.Works CitedLee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1960. Print.McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. Print.Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Collector’s Library, 1912. Print.