LITERATURE: The Road – Setting

McCarthy has given a lot of thought to creating this world, and the greyness of it that he so repeatedly and rather singlely described it as is truly all it is. 

He hits us below the belt with the simple journey of the man and the boy.  Our fears are of the unknown, the grey dust of nightmares in which we come upon monsters.  But it is the known that offers the real danger, and maybe this is the message.  The few people, the few houses, the road itself are to be feared; in the dark woods there is safety.  McCarthy has reversed what we feel we can trust.

That, as I’ve learned from experience, is the worst fear of all.

What he gives us as the only enduring trait among men turned cannibalistic is a father’s love for his son.  The child holds onto a mere shred of trust in his father; he has come to question his decisions, has come to develop his own instincts for survival yet has a child’s easy acceptance of the ultimate outcome.  He hopes rather than trusts that his father can keep them from death. 

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