Due Date: November 27/2014
The post-apocalyptic wasteland of McCarthy's "The Road" is filled with imagery of death and darkness. The boy and man wander south down the road towards an unknown destination, running into murderers, cannibals, burned corpses, fires and ash. Apart from the occasional soda or canned meal, the characters are given no break against the barren and broken remains of the crumbling world. Despite the seemingly endless horrors that face them, they push on. The only thing from keeping the man and the boy from conceding was their love for each other. However, the man and the boy have different reasons to push forward into the wasteland.
The man is sick and sleepless. He is dreaming of his son surviving the post-apocalypse but no image of himself surviving. It is apparent that he is an atheist, or a non-believing man at the beginning. On page 12 the mans says, "Have you a heart? Damn you eternally have you a soul? Oh, God..." Later on in the novel the man says, "Do you think that your father is watching? That they weigh you in their ledger book? Against what? There is no book and your father is dead in the ground (pg. 198)" This thought signifies his disbelief of any form of an afterlife, or any haven with a God. Practically, if not completely, faithless, the man's will to live lies with his son. The man’s devotion solely comes from a fatherly love. In McCarthy's post-apocalyptic wasteland, his son is without a doubt the single reason for his continued existence. 1
The boy's will to live is more complex. He lives not only for the life of his father, but also to "carry the fire". The symbol of fire signifies the boy's duty to lead humankind forward. The man knows he is dying and despite his own beliefs towards God, he consistently reinforces ideas of faith in his son. He did this so his son has something to live for after his death. The man doesn't want his son to lose faith in his ability to live on. "He wrapped him in his own parka and wrapped him in the blanket and sat holding him, rocking back and forth.” The man consistently reinforces that the boy's life revolves around "carrying the fire". With that in mind, he lives on after his father's death. He continues to talk to his father and to God. He joins others of faith, walking down…