by Cormac McCarthy
The Road Sections 41-50 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- They're "in the foothills of the eastern mountains" (41.1). (We think these are the Appalachians.)
- They feel the tremors of an earthquake.
- The Man reminisces about the first years after the disaster. Back then, more refugees wandered the roads.
- The Man thinks about the frailty of the world.
- In an old abandoned house, The Man asks himself if he'll be able to kill The Boy if "the time comes" (43.1).
- They eat cold beans and rice on the road.
- The Man knows that The Boy is all that's keeping him alive.
- The Man thinks about the road ahead. They'll have to cross the mountains, and the pass tops off at 5,000 feet. It's going to be really cold.
- They pass through a resort town and cross a stone bridge. The Man remembers seeing trout in these waters.
- It's tough going uphill. The Man has to stop to rest. He coughs up some blood.
- They build a lean-to against a boulder. The Man gets a fire going.
- The Man drops some of his cryptic knowledge: "Not all dying words are true and this blessing is no less real for being shorn of its ground" (47.1). We're waiting for our special decoder ring in the mail.
- It's morning. The Man sees a forest fire along the ridges and is inspired by this sudden burst of color.
- They're definitely up in the mountains.
- They travel "a few miles each day" and are "hungry all the time" (49.1).
- In a dream, The Man cares for his wife. He knows this isn't how things happened; his wife died alone.
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