The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Subject: Business
Type: Critical Analysis Essay
Pages: 5
Word count: 1327
Topics: Tourism, Book, Love, Social Psychology

The Road by Cormac shows the persistence of persons in the face of destructions and challenges in life. Also, the Road shows the impacts of motivators in our day to day life. For instance, love for the son motivated the father to continue with the journey to protect his son.

Throughout the book, the Road by Cormac McCarthy the man and the boy throughout their journey, a story set in the post-apocalypse; have several dreams that play a prominent role as the man’s nightmares reassert his primary concern of protecting his younger son. Thus, the dreams tell much and explain about their adventure. For instance, the man had a dream in which he and the boy were wandering like pilgrims in a fable in a cave as they walk into the cave deeper and deeper in a stone room they see an ancient lake that is black.On the other side, there is a nasty creature that raised its dripping mouth and stared into the light that seemed to be as a result of the man and boy’s presence with eyes sightless as the spider’s eggs and dead white (YOUNG 27-32). After the creature sniffing the air and sensing the man and boy’s presence, it is seemingly disturbed by it, it shakes its head, gives out a moan, turned, lurched away and soundlessly loped into the dark. The dream is symbolic as its setting connotes an ancient world and their walk in a dark cave puts them to be part of an old realm while the light portrays them as to be of no different with the early humans. In their real life situation, they live in nature, a word of no civilization. For instance toiling in the silence of the earth’ minutes, hours, days and years without ceasing. Illustrate the age of the earth as it will continue to exist as it has done for millennia even with person extinction. Since it is a nightmare, this reassures as that the man is still fighting to survive to protect his son.

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Also, the creature may also be a symbol of the lost humanity, due to its blindness and after sensing the light, it relegates to the shadows. Thus, it could not stand in the presence of two fighting to uphold purity and innocence. Also, the man and the boy are likened to the pilgrims in a fable in the dream and with a mythical and spiritual quality in the novel. Pilgrims embark on a journey to find solace in a spiritual destination (Sakine 164-176). They head to the south to find some comfort with the hope to find a better world. As they walk out of the cave, some light follows them this relates to the fire they carry with them as this fire to represents the hope they have in a bleak and dark world they are.

The man dreams about his wife while nearing his death, after carrying on with their journey for a long time and it had turned out to be more exhaustive which was a total flashback of her life while still alive and the times before the world went barren. His wife’s life before the world turned barren was one that portrayed the life of hope and a brighter future, but after the transformation of the world it became a hopeless one with no indication of a new dawn, and that is why the wife decided to die. About their journey the time the man and the boy have supplies when they find food after entering a room using the plywood door on the ground where they were able to eat and have some good sleep and when they meet with good people reflects the first life of his wife. The world turns barren to them when they meet challenges like; interacting with the bad person from the track who tried to grab his son, and the man shot him with one bullet (Kuper 645). Also, when they lack supplies like when they were starving, and the man left the boy to survey the area when he found an old apple orchard and water. The wife’s death can be related to the time the man lost hope when they lacked food supplies for long, the people they found in the basement, and they could not help them.  About the current world, the start life of his wife relates to the time when persons are in a position to afford their needs and want thus allowing them to live a standardized life. The turning of the world to be barren shows the challenges faced in life hindering one’s efforts to achieve their objectives in life. On the other hand, the dying of the man’s wife shows moments when persons give up and succumb to the problems facing them thus they remain stagnated in all life sectors resulting in deterioration of their living standards.

The man starts to dream about his dead relatives, and the better times in his life this is too emphasized by the boy’s dreams on his father’s death since this was a bad dream the man assured the boy that they were going to survive and live. Thus, this relates to when they encounter numerous dead bodies and melted roads that reset in distorted shapes when they arrive at the coast, and the water looks gray instead of blue showing no life ahead. While the better life relates to when they are passed by a pregnant woman, and when they reach their camp, they find a newborn baby indicating hope, new life, and the existence of a better environment (The road, by Cormac McCarthy). About the current world, when one is faced with difficulties beyond them such as chronic diseases, natural disasters among others. They tend to lose hope, and others even decide to wait for nature to determine for them their life. On the other hand, when hope starts to knock their door in that they are assisted or get solutions to their problems they begin to see the advancement of light in the tunnel and a new life full of a good future.

The man’s dreams began to soften to him this represented the call of languor and death as it indicated that his struggle to keep the boy safe by protecting him had come to its ultimate end. Thus, this is seen on the shore when he tells his son to keep going and live him after he saw some light and hope in his boy who refuses to do so and remains with his father whose condition worsens and eventually dies. Just like in the current world when one has been pressed by problems for instance after being treated, and there are no signs of any change this leads to giving up and consenting to the God’s will.

The man advocated for the dreams of peril for a man in peril, like him as he slept little and poorly as the good ones were a sign of indolence and eventual death. The man also dreamt of a flowering wood where they were walking in it, and birds flew before them while he and his son were aching blue as he was as he was learning to wake himself from such siren world. He thought that the world would be lost in the case whereby he lived long enough (Snyder). As the new inhabitant just like the dying world slackening showed fading up from memory. Thus, this relates to the point where the man tells the boy to leave him to die and continue with the journey as he had accepted to embrace his encroaching new word, the underworld. Likewise to the current world when ends do not meet the person succumbs to the situation as it comes. In conclusion, the man’s and boy’ dreams have played a major role in the novel throughout their journey as it prepared them for what they were going to face.

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  1. Snyder, M. (2011). Quicklet On The Road By Cormac McCarthy. Hyperink.
  2. Kuper, A. (2015). A Structural Approach to Dreams. Man, [online] 14(4), p.645. Available at: 
  3. Sakine, U. (2016). ‘The Man’ and ‘The Boy’ on the Road: A postmodern reading of  The Road by Cormac Mccarty. Ankara Ãœniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, [online] 7(1), pp.164-176. Available at:
  4. The road, by Cormac McCarthy. (2010). [Sunnyvale, Calif.]: Shmoop University.
  5. YOUNG, G. (2012). From boy to man: recommendations for the transition process in haemophilia. Haemophilia, [online] 18, pp.27-32. Available at: .
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