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The Road

The Road


by Cormac McCarthy

The Road Sections 281-290 Summary

How It All Goes Down

Section 281

  • The Man filters the water through a cloth into a jar. He and The Boy drink "until they could hold no more" (281.6). They haven't eaten in two days.

Section 282

  • They're sleeping a lot, and hard: "More than once they woke sprawled in the road like traffic victims" (282.1).
  • The Boy spots a farmhouse about a mile from the road. Although he isn't too excited about checking it out, The Man reminds him that they need food.

Section 283

  • They walk across the fields to the house. They find some arrowheads and a Spanish coin along the way.

Section 284

  • Once they're at the house, The Man starts up the porch stairs, but The Boy is still scared and wants him to wait.

Section 285

  • The front door is open, which spooks The Boy. The Man takes out the water and they drink some before going inside the house.
  • They look around in "the darkened hall" (285.10). So far, nothing too bad.

Section 286

  • They walk into the drawing room. The furniture is under sheets, "pale squares on the walls where paintings once had hung," and a grand piano (286.1).

Section 287

  • They walk into the kitchen and then the pantry. In it they find "several dozen quart jars" with green beans, red peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, corn, and okra (287.1). Score. The Man thinks the food will be fine if they cook it really well.

Section 288

  • They make a fire in the dining room fireplace. For some reason, The Boy still seems a little spooked.

Section 289

  • The Man gathers pots and pans from the kitchen and some of the jars from the pantry. The lids are on really tight and The Man can't open them at first. He uses a door and doorjamb as leverage and finally gets the lids off. He smells the food and it's still good.

Section 290

  • They eat at the dining room table. The Boy falls asleep at the table and The Man carries him over to the fire, where he's laid down some bedding.
  • The Man wakes up later at the table. He rebuilds the fire and sits beside The Boy. Then he thinks that "maybe they are watching [...] for a thing that even death cannot undo" (290.1). We're not sure who "they" are. We're also not sure what thing "death cannot undo," though love would be our best guess (290.1).

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