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The Road Analysis
Symbols, Imagery, Allegory
The RoadHighways and interstates (and some minor roads) comprise the setting of this novel. (The characters do stop at a few houses, but these function as pauses in their journey.) The characters s...
Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland; the Southeastern U.S.McCarthy continually reminds us of the bleakness of the landscape in The Road. You can't go for more than two pages before reading something like th...
Third Person (Omniscient)An omniscient narrator tells the story of The Boy and The Man in The Road, but we'd be short-changing you if we didn't say more. Sure, it's third person – but it's a...
Tender, Elegiac, Unflinching, and FactualIt's really amazing that McCarthy can combine what's basically a horror tale of wild cannibals with a tender father-son love story. It would take us forever...
King Jamesy, No-NonsenseMcCarthy shifts between two styles in The Road. When he's waxing lyrical and getting all worked up about something lost to the world, he tends to bust out the fifty-dollar w...
What's Up With the Title?
This title practices the KISS rule: Keep It Simple Stupid. No fancy-pants phrases or obscure allusions to W.B. Yeats here. McCarthy simply names the book after the dominant setting: the road. (Comp...
What's Up With the Ending?
The ending of the novel is surprisingly hopeful. After 200-odd pages of gore and wandering, and after The Man dies, leaving The Boy all alone, some kind souls take in The Boy. Throughout the whole...
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