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The Road

The Road


by Cormac McCarthy

The Road Sections 331-340 Summary

How It All Goes Down

Section 331

  • They carry all their stuff down the beach to pack it in the cart. The Man thinks he might go back to the ship again to look around.

Section 332

  • The Man goes back out to the ship and tries to think where else the crew would have stowed useful stuff. He checks under some benches and finds a first-aid kit, flashlights, and a flarepistol. Score.

Section 333

  • The Man wades ashore and tells The Boy that he found a first-aid kit and a flarepistol. The Boy wants to know about the flarepistol. The Man explains that "[i]t shoots a thing up in the air and it makes a big light" (203.11). The Man thinks it'll make a good weapon. In any event, there's no one they could signal. The Boy asks if they can try it when it gets dark. The Man says OK.

Section 334

  • The Boy asks what happened to the people on the ship. They agree that the sailors probably died.
  • Then The Boy wants to know how many people are left in the world. The Man doesn't really answer him. So The Boy asks if people could survive on other planets. The Man says no.
  • The Boy starts to wonder what they're doing if no one is left on the earth. The Man reassures him that they'll find some other people.

Section 335

  • The Boy plays in the sand while The Man fixes dinner.

Section 336

  • They take the flarepistol down the beach. The Boy wants The Man to shoot it. "The flare arced up into the murk with a long whoosh and broke somewhere out over the water in a clouded light and hung there" (336.1).
  • The Boy wants to know if someone could see the flare from far away. The Man says no. But then The Boy realizes that, if the "bad guys" can't see it, neither can the "good guys"…or God.

Section 337

  • The Man walks along the beach in the morning. When he gets back to camp The Boy is standing up. He's sick.

Section 338

  • The Man tries to get The Boy to drink some water. The Boy is terrified.

Section 339

  • The Man holds The Boy all night. The fever is still pretty bad in the morning. The Man whispers to The Boy that he won't "send [him] [...] into the darkness alone" (339.1). We think this means The Man is ready to kill himself if The Boy dies.

Section 340

  • The Man gives The Boy some aspirin from the first-aid kit. He tries to get some of the blankets off The Boy in order to fight the fever.

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