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The Road

The Road


by Cormac McCarthy

The Road Sections 381-390 Summary

How It All Goes Down

Section 381

  • The Boy tries to find some food but he can't. The Man tells The Boy that he needs to set out on his own, but The Boy won't leave him.
  • He gives The Boy some advice: keep the gun with you, find the "good guys," and carry the fire.
  • The Boy wants to die with The Man, but The Man tells him he won't allow it. He tells The Boy that he can still talk to him even after he dies.

Section 382

  • The Boy walks down the road. When he comes back, The Man is asleep.

Section 383

  • The Man wakes up coughing in the night. He's been dreaming of the cave (see 1.1) where he and The Boy keep groping in the dark with only The Boy's candle to guide them.

Section 384

  • The Boy asks The Man if he remembers that little boy they saw (see 131-132). He does. The Boy wants to know who will find and help the boy. The Man answers that "goodness will find the little boy" (384.10).

Section 385

  • When The Boy wakes up, The Man is dead. The Boy calls out his father's name "over and over again" (385.1).

Section 386

  • After three days, The Boy walks out to the road. He meets another man there who looks pretty tough (we'll call this guy "The Veteran").
  • The Veteran asks about The Boy's father and offers to let him join their group. The Boy is a little hesitant and asks all sorts of questions: whether The Veteran has the fire, is one of the "good guys," if he has children, and whether he eats human beings. The Veteran passes the test, and The Boy decides to go with him.

Section 387

  • The Boy and The Veteran go to where The Boy's father is laid out. The Boy makes sure the man covers his father with a blanket.

Section 388

  • The Boy waits for The Veteran back at the road. The Boy tries to give The Veteran the pistol, but he won't take it.
  • The Boy asks to go say good-bye to his father. He cries over his father's body and tells him he'll talk to him every day.

Section 389

  • The Boy joins The Veteran and a woman who seems to be his wife. The woman talks to The Boy about God, but The Boy tells her he just talks to his father. The woman thinks this is OK.

Section 390

  • The book ends with an unexpected and gorgeous description of brook trout in mountain streams.

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