by Cormac McCarthy
The Road Sections 131-140 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- While sitting on the front steps of the house, The Boy sees (or thinks he sees) another boy across the street. He even gets up and runs across the street, but there's no one there. Actually, it's unclear whether there's actually someone across the road or The Boy hallucinated the whole thing.
- Anyway, the Man rushes back and is a little angry with The Boy. The Boy cries.
- They retrieve their coats from the abandoned car, get their cart, and leave town. The Boy is a little upset that they left the other little boy alone in the town. He cries (again), saying, "What about the little boy?" (132.12).
- They have a look at the map. The Boy still wants to go back for the other little boy.
- They camp near the road in a woodlot and eat some leftover cornmeal cakes.
- The Man remembers something that happened earlier. We're not totally sure when it was, but we think it must be after the disaster and before The Woman committed suicide. All three of them – The Man, The Woman, and The Boy – are out on the road. A dog follows them for two days and The Man tries to catch it with a noose. The Woman walks away down the road. The Boy asks The Man not to kill the dog and The Man says he won't.
- They eat some raisins. It's the last of their food.
- They cross a field and find a stand of trees to hide in. The Man gets a fire going.
- They're quiet. The Man feels kind of depressed and thinks about the disappearance of the world: "The world shrinking down about a raw core of parsible entities. The names of things slowly following those things into oblivion. Colors. The names of birds. Things to eat" (137.1).
- In the morning, The Man gets the fire going again and walks to the edge of the woodlot. There's a barn in the distance.
- They walk down a dirt road to the barn. Inside, they eat few handfuls of unrecognizable grain.
- They head across the fields back to the road. It's a nightmare of a scene: "The wall beyond held a frieze of human heads, all faced alike, dried and caved with their taut grins and shrunken eyes" (140.1)
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