The Road’ of Life – White Nights Marathon
The book, The Road, by Cormac McCarthy displays numerous types of geographical, physical, and cultural surroundings. In this post-apocalyptic earth, these environments are drastically different, compared to what we have in our world. They have a large influence on the feelings and emotions of the main characters as they go through their journey on the road. In this essay, I will be comparing three physical areas and how they affect the man’s perspective on his own life and the world.
Throughout the entirety of the book, the man and the boy survive by traveling on the main road. They soon arrive at where the man once lived. The physical setting of this house gives the man a sense of nostalgia. The man states,”This is where I used to live, my cot was against this wall”. In this quote, the man reminisces of his former room. He tries to remember all the items he once had and compares his former life to the cruel world that he lives in now. He knows he cannot go back to the past or change the future, leaving him emotional as he recalls what he once had. Going into this house impacts the man because of the sentimentality it brings back to him. “We should go, Papa, Yes, the man said. But he resisted”. This text emphasizes that the boy wants to leave the house in fear of someone being there. But, the man does not want to leave because he has not accepted the fact that the world they live in now is his reality.
The second physical surrounding that is being displayed in the text is the road. This area has a large impact on the man as it is where they spend the majority of their time. They travel on this road to escape the winter that is drawing near. The road gives the man hope that he and the boy can continue to survive. It acts as a sense of direction to the protagonists as they seek for salvation. The man describes the road as, “a black shape running from dark to dark”. This quote shows how the man perceives the road. Although he describes the road as plain and simple, he still has faith that it can lead them to where they need to go. The trials he overcomes to reach the coast has revealed a trait of perseverance in the man.
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