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The Road

The Road


by Cormac McCarthy

The Road Sections 51-60 Summary

How It All Goes Down

Section 51

  • The Man feels quite alone on the road because there aren't any other good people out there.
  • There's a brief philosophical musing about what never existed versus what will never exist. Don't bother your brain too much on this one; it's like one of those thorny "nature versus nurture" questions.

Section 52

  • The moon is now coming out at night. McCarthy dazzles us with a terrific metaphor: "By day the banished sun circles the earth like a grieving mother with a lamp" (52.1).

Section 53

  • The Man remembers the early days after the disaster. People sat on the sidewalk, half-dead, and soon "[o]thers would come to help them" (53.1).
  • After a year, the crazies took over. There was lots of murdering and chanting.

Section 54

  • They're close to the summit of the mountain. It's tough pushing the cart uphill through the snow.

Section 55

  • They arrive at the gap.

Section 56

  • The next morning they keep going.
  • When they stop and The Man makes some cocoa for The Boy. The Boy shares it with him and tells The Man he shouldn't give everything to him.

Section 57

  • They trudge down the slope of the mountain. The Man wishes they had something to make a sled out of.

Section 58

  • They have to unpack and repack their cart to get past all the fallen trees.

Section 59

  • They make camp by a creek and dry their clothes.

Section 60

  • The Boy wakes up in the middle of the night. He had a bad dream: "I had this penguin that you wound up and it would waddle and flap its flippers. And we were in that house that we used to live in and it came around the corner but nobody had wound it up and it was really scary" (60.6). That does sound pretty scary.

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