Honors English 10-7
6 April 2013
A Parent Will Go Great Lengths to Protect Their Child
In Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road a man and his son are stuck trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world full of cannibals and suspicious people as they travel south to find a home and a better life. As the man and boy are trying to survive, McCarthy applies the idea that a parent will go to great lengths to protect their child, to show how the man and boy protect each other, which helps them to keep going and survive. The man protects the little boy from as much harm as he can as they travel south; the boy protects the man from giving into death and losing his faith. McCarthy utilizes the theme A parent will go great lengths to protect their child through brutal yet concerned diction, horrific desperate imagery, and hopeful symbolism.
As McCarthy opens the novel the man is watching the little boy sleep with “each precious breath” (3). The concerned diction McCarthy applies, as the father counts every breath shows how much he truly cares for the boy. The reader can feel a sense of protection for the boy as the father watches him sleep. As the novel continues, the reader can already tell the love that the father and son share will be an everlasting love, through the father’s sense of protection. As McCarthy forces the man and boy to trudge on down the road, they come across some strange men that the man doesn’t trust. One of the men approaches the