by Cormac McCarthy
Strength and Skill Quotes in The Road
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Section.Paragraph)
When he had carried everything into the saloon and stacked it against the companionway he went back into the galley and opened the toolbox and set about removing one of the burners from the little gimballed stove. He disconnected the braided flexline and removed the aluminum spiders from the burners and put one of them in the pocket of his coat. He unfastened the brass fittings with a wrench and took the burners loose. Then he uncoupled them and fastened the hose to the coupling pipe and fitted the other end of the hose to the gasbottle and carried it out to the saloon. Lastly he made a bindle in a plastic tarp of some cans of juice and cans of fruit and vegetables and tied it with a cord and then he stripped out of his clothes and piled them among the goods he'd collected and went up onto the deck naked and slid down to the railing with the tarp and swung over the side and dropped into the gray and freezing sea. (320.1)
Even though The Man makes it to the shore just fine in the next paragraph, we think this passage helps illustrate the brave fight he's waging against extinction. The whole world is ash and, as Ely says, headed for its final, unpopulated stage. But The Man keeps at it. He's taking apart gimballed stoves and fixing shopping carts up until the very end. He's making sure his son is as comfortable as possible before he "drop[s] into the gray and freezing sea."