In The Road, there are actual groups of "good guys" and "bad guys," which is somewhat surprising for a work of literary fiction. In the wake of a world catastrophe, though, goodness has all but disappeared. The protagonists sometimes use a private language to describe goodness (e.g. "carrying the fire"), but goodness more or less means not eating other human beings and not brutalizing those weaker than you. That may not seem like much, but the universe of the novel is so bleak and terrible that even small acts of kindness seem heroic.