Saturday, November 30, 2013

Parallels and Contrasts-135-160

"They passed a metal trashdum where someone had once tried to burn bodies. The charred meat and bones under the damp ash might have been anonymous save for the shape of skulls." (150)
"The wall beyond held a frieze of human heads, all faced alike, drive and caved with their taut grins and shrunken eyes."(90)
One important theme shown through this novel is the concept of cannibalism. Cannibalism is brought up over five times throughout the book. Not only does McCarthy mention cannibalism, but goes into the gruesome details of the killing of each victim. I think McCarthy does this because he wants readers to remember these passages in the book and be able to connect them. The fact that humans are eating each other shows how the worlds order and morals have deteriorated. People no longer care about each other; they only can think about survival. I think this shows how McCarthey could feel about human nature today going along with the theme of "good vs. evil." Cannibalism is also important to pay close attention to because it shows the past life of greeks and egyptians while also giving readers a clue of what could have caused the apocalypse.

"Maybe he understood for the first time that to the boy he himself an alien. A being from a planet that no longer existed." (153)
"With his great staring eyes he'd the look of an alien." (129)
I think this quote is very important for readers to understand about the father's personality. Throughout this entire book, the boy is compared to an alien from the new world. The father has always been from the past and has shared his perspective and view of the old world with the readers. When the father realizes that he is the alien, readers are able to realize that the father is unable to give up the past. This is seen when the father states "That he could not enkindle in the heart of the child what was ashes of his own."(154) This is very important to look to not only understand the father- son relationship, but to look at the theme of the past vs present.

1. Do you think the father would be able to kill himself in order to escape the misery of the earth? Or would he always picture his wife and feel as if he had lost the battle for life and his son?


Friday, November 29, 2013

Parallels and Contrasts- 118-135

"The boy's candlecolored skin was all but translucent. With his great staring eyes he'd the look of an alien" (129)
"He watched him while he slept. Taut face and hollow eyes. A strange beauty" (102)
I think McCarthy is trying to show the past vs. present between the father and the son. When the father explains to his son the old world before the apocalypse, the boy does not understand. He is an alien to the old world and will never be able to truly understand what it was like before. I think this is important to make the man and the boy opposites because it's show the idea and theme of history repeating itself, a theme that is questioned and brought up throughout the entire novel.

"Rich dreams now which he was loathe to wake from. Things no longer known in the world. The cold drove him forth to mend the fire. He thought each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins. As in a party game. Say the word and pass it on. So be sparing. What you alter in the remembering has yet a reality, known or not" (131)
"He said the right dreams for a man in peril were dreams of peril and all else was the call of languor and death" (18)
In this novel, the reoccurring theme of dreams is brought up several times. The man believes that he should be dreaming of dreams in peril due to the conditions and environment he is in. If the man dreams of bad and horrendous images, he will not be upset to wake up to the harsh reality of his new life. Although the man believes this, it contradicts what he actually dreams of. The man is unable to forget his past life, which he states in the quote on page 131. The man says that whenever he thinks back to his memories, he changes them in his mind so that he only views the good of his past life. For instance, many of his memories with his wife were awful, but just like in the game of telephone, he only remembers the positive and chooses to forget the negative images.

1. What makes the good guys the "good guys" and why do they carry the fire?
2. What does this show about humanity?

Parallels and Contrasts 94-118

"What is it? It's a treat for you. The boy took the can. It's bubbly, he said. It's Coca- cola" (23).
"What's the neighborhood?" (95)
Throughout this book, the theme of past vs. present is established in many ways. Many times McCarthy shows us the past vs. presents in dreams and memories. Another way he shows the past vs. present is through the two main characters, the boy, and the man. The man represents the past. In fact, whenever we recap the memories from the past, it is always seen through the dad's perspective. The boy represents the present. This is why readers do not see any dreams or memories from the boy of the past. In the two quotes, the boy does not know of coca-cola, or the word neighborhood. I think Mccarthy uses these two parallel examples to show readers how the boy does not remember anything before the apcolayspe. This theme of past vs. present is important because it questions if history repeats itselfs, such as the boy starting out as the new "present generation" since he does not remember of the past.

"Curse god and die" (115)
"Christ, he said. Oh Christ." (110)
In the novel, the theme of religion is brought up many times. Most of the times, the dad talks to god in a pleasant manner. This is seen on page 110 and throughout the book when he asks god for help or advice. However, after the man sees the cannibalism of the young men at the farm, he no longer praises god. The man's mood completely changes toward god. This can be seen on page 115 when he curses god's name. This is an important contrast. This could show how the man is starting to no longer believe in god.

1. Is the man hallucinating when he sees the room of dying people?
2. How has the new world and upbringing impacted the boy?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Lights, Camera, Action-

"And the dreams so rich in color. How else would death call you? Waking in the cold dawn it all turned to ash instantly. Like certain ancient frescoes entombed for centuries suddenly exposed to the day" (20).

I think it would be important to capture this passage. This passage describes the fathers dreams vs reality and sets up how he feels about himself in this new world. Dreams are a super important theme in this book so they need to be heavily highlighted in this movie. This passage shows how the father feels about dreams.

To start, I would use multiple shots and different scenery's.
My first shot would be a dream land. The colors would be bright and you would capture the father and his wife on there wedding day. The shot would at first be a long distance shot, portrayed through the eyes of the father. The wife would be walking closer and closer to the father who is the point of view. After this, there would be a shot of the father putting a ring on the wife's finger. This shot would still be portrayed through the fathers eye's so you would only be able to see his hands. There would be nondiagetic music in the background of birds or a happy melody. The last shot you would see would be the ring falling to the ground. At first it would be a high angle shot looking down, but would slowly zoom it. This signifies the fathers loss of the wife. When the ring fell, there would be a loud thunder clap, and one teardrop falling to the floor. This would be your transition from the past to the present. At first it would be zoomed in, but would gradually expand showing viewers the world after the apocalypse. This world would be dark, gloomy, and raining. The next frame would be of the father screaming and crying, showing viewers how is not able to grasp his new life on this new world.

The Literal World of The Road

In this novel, McCarthy uses many choices in his writing for how he wants to portray the new world after the apocalypse. Reading this book, I found McCarthy use of new and elaborate words, spacing of paragraphs, and purposeful fragments in the text. At first, I did not know why McCarthy chose to write in this style. It did not make sense to me why there was short, choppy, incomplete sentences that confused the reader, and words that were hard to understand and did not offer anything to the text. I was also confused why the characters did not have any names. It all did not make sense to me until I read through the first quarter of the book and realized the themes that connected to McCarthy's writing style. While describing the Literal world, McCarthy states, "Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before. Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world. His hands rose and fell with each precious breath" (4). From the very start of the novel, we are able to see through McCarthy's writing the world after the apocalypse. Readers are able to see McCarthy's use of vocab when he uses the word "glaucoma." Glaucoma is a eye condition that leads to blindness. Most writers would describe the world with terms that easy for readers to understand. They would state how streets were barren, and the city lights were black. Instead of doing this, McCarthy makes us wonder by confusing us with his vocabulary and odd sentence placement. He confuses us purposefully to make us feel like the characters are feeling in this new world-- lonely, confused, and isolated. This is why McCarthy uses so many fragments and weird word choices in his novel. He wants to confuse us and make us feel abnormal- He wants us to have the same feeling his characters endure. In the passage above, it is a short paragraph but tells the readers so much about this literal world. From the start, McCarthy says, "Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more grey each one than what had gone before." From this readers can visualize a dark, depressing world that the characters live in. He next uses the vocab world glaucoma in his next sentence to confuse readers. He states this to show how the vision of the world that we see as "normal" is fading. The last sentence shows how the characters are in survival. McCarthy shows the importance of survival by stating "his hands rose and feel each precious breath." This shows readers how the characters are living in fear of death. These three sentence, I think, show the entire literal world that is mentioned throughout the book. These three sentences are important and show McCarthy's style of writing in the fragments, sentence placement, and choice of vocabulary. 

Dream On

After the first quarter into the book, The Road, I started to notice many symbols and examples relating back to the theme of dreams. Dreams are very important in this novel and are the only way the characters are able to escape from the harsh reality of the world after the apocalypse. The characters are faced with many challenges as they have to survive in severe conditions with little to no food.  In order to survive, the characters have to travel miles every day through cold rainy conditions in tattered clothing offering no protection. In this novel, we see how the dreams of the father and son are extremely different. The father dreams become more vivid and colorful as readers go deeper into the novel. His dreams express his pleasant memories of his wife and his life before the apocalypse. Readers are able to see his prior life and how it shaped him as a character. This is seen when he describes his wife. He states, "In dreams his pale bride came to him out of a green and leafy canopy. Her nipples pipeclayed and her rib bones painted white.... "(17). This dream continues as he remembers his wife on their wedding day. Although the father dreams of sweet memories, he believes that these dreams "so rich in color" are a "calling from the dead." The father thinks that living in peril, his dreams should be bad to represent how he feels about his life. The father thinks that if he has bad dreams he will be able to preserve because he will not be disappointed to realize the brutality of his life when he wakes up. The father does not want to escape from the world he has entered, he wants to embrace it and forget the past life he had. This is seen when the father leaves his identity in the road as seen on page 51. Although the father tries to forget his past, he is unable to. This is seen when he states, "The things you want to remember you forget, but the thing you try to forget you remember" (8). The father is unable to give up the past life and memories he has had. He will always have dreams of his wife, which he believes is a sign from the heavens that he will soon die and be out of the misery of the new world. 

Different from the father, the boy has grown up during the apocalypse. He does not remember or have a past life. Because of this, the boy has learned the gruesome truth of human nature and how to survive. Most boys his age in "normal" time would be playing with cars and playing in parks, instead, the boy has to learn how to shoot a gun and watches the massacre of thousands as he goes down his journey on the road. This effects the boy tremendously by making him more silent and withdrawn from the world. The boy states, "The last instance of a thing takes the class with it. Turns out the light and is gone. Look around you. Ever is a long time. But they boy knew what he knew. That ever is no time at all" (28). The boy has accepted and realized the truth about his fate in the new world. He understand human nature and how morals and civilizations no longer exists, which the father has a hard time to grasp. Because of the boy understanding his terms and fate in this new world, he has bad dreams. This is seen numerous times in the first quarter of the book when the boy wakes up and says "I had a bad dream." In fact, almost all of the boys dreams are bad. One of these examples is on page 37 when the boy states,  "I had this penguin that you wound up and it would waddle and flap its flippers. And we were in that house that we used to lived in and it came around the corner but nobody had wound it up and it was really scary... The boy didn't answer. Then he said: The Winder wasn't turning" (37). This dream refers back to human nature and the characteristics of the boy. Since the boy is having bad dreams, the father believes that he will be able to survive and preserve through the new world. This is one reason, why the father refers multiple times to his son as "godly." The dream, I believe, represents human nature. Because the penguin winder wasn't turning, I think this shows how human nature and morals are coming to extinction and are no longer in control. The boy is able to accept this and knows his fate in the new world. 

Dreams are important in this novel and show readers the differences between the father and the son, and the fate and reality that is played in this novel. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Parallels and Contrasts: 53-72


“All of this like some ancient anointing. So be it. Evoke the forms. Where you've nothing else construct ceremonies out of the air and breathe upon them." 

"A single gray flake sifiting down. He caught it in his hand and watched it expire there like the last host of christendom" (15).

This is the second example where McCarthy compares the son to God, or Jesus. In the first section, The boy catches the snowflake which symbolizes the "last host of christendom." This is similar to page 62 when the father cleans the blood from The Boy's hair and says " All of this like some ancient anointing." The father continues to describe the boy as something holy, something greater than himself, which is symbolized when the father refers to the son as the "golden chalice." This is important to recognize because the Boy is what keeps the father alive. Just like God and Jesus who the led the way for thousands during times of chaos and brutality, the son is the push and drive for the fathers survival. This is why the boy is compared through similes and metaphors to religious symbols and beliefs. 

"I'll bet that boy is hungry. Why don't you all just come on to the truck? Get something to eat. Aint no need to be such a hard-ass" (65)
"The boy's knapsack was gone. Coming back he found the bones and the skin piled together with rocks over them. A pool of guts. He pushed at the bones with the toe of his shoe. They looked to have been boiled. No pieces of clothing" (71)
This was the first interaction the two main characters had with other people living after the apocalypse. At first, the stranger seems very friendly. He offers the boy and the father food and a place to stay. However, the father sees through the stranger and acts very defensive. As a reader, I wondered why the father did not trust anyone; I did not understand why he had to shoot the stranger who only wanted help in exchange for food and comfort. When the father and the boy came back, they noticed the stranger had been boiled and eaten alive. Everything that was in good use had been stripped and taken away from the stranger by his "friends." This shows how the stranger was using food as an excuse to be able to kill the father and the son. This also shows readers why it is important to be suspicious and not trust anyone who you meet. This contrast show the deterioration of the human race. After the apocalypse, humans are willing to sacrifice their morals and beliefs in order to survive. They are willing to kill each other if it means they will be able to live. This is important to examine because it shows humans true colors and relates back to the theme of war, which could have started the apocalypse. 

1. Do you believe in this aspect that humans are evil as portrayed through the experience with the stranger?

2. Why didn't The father decide to kill himself with his wife? What pushed him to survive?

Parallels and Contrasts- 31-53

"They piled a mat of dead hemlock boughs over the snow...." (31).
"The raw dead limbs of the rhododendron twisted and knotted and black" (40)
During this segment on the novel, The Road, I noticed McCarthy's particular choice in wording. In The Road, McCarthy repeats several words to show a importance and meaning to his readers. A theme that is repeated is the use of poison and death. One way McCarthy does this is through the use of plants. After the apocalypse, the only plants that seemed to survive were poisonous ones such as hemlock and rhododendron. In fact, McCarthy describes the world after the apocalypse as a "grey heap of ash." The only living plants and landscape that survived seemed to be weeds and poisonous plants. I find this to be meaningful because both rhododendron and hemlock are poisonous plants that many times symbolise death and poison in literature. I think that this could show how the life before or after the apocalypse was poisoned by the acts of human nature. This is a important question to keep in mind because readers do not know what caused the apocalypse. This symbol of poison and death could be a theory of what happened before the world was destroyed portrayed through the use of plants.

"If they got wet there'd be no fire to dry by. If they got wet they would probably die" (14).
"The waterfall fell into the pool almost at its center.... Is it cold? Yes. It's freezing. Do you want to go in? I don't know. Sure you do, come on" (38).
In the beginning of the novel, The Man makes it clear to readers and the boy how important it is to survive. In fact, The Man carries a gun and uses extra precaution when traveling the road for there safety. However, when The Man and The Boy reach the waterfall, the man insists and encourages the boy to jump in. This is contrasting what The Man said in the first segment. Readers would think that The Man would not want The Boy to jump in the water in fear of death and hypothermia. The Man knows that if they get wet, it will be hard to survive. I think the man encourages the boy to jump in the water because he wants the boy to live a normal life. The Man wants the boy to be able to experience memories and have every opportunity to live his life before he dies. This is why the Man gives The Boy the last coco-cola because he knows The Boy's days of living are limited. I think this shows the characteristics of the father. The father is overall a down to earth man who puts himself before his son. The man will risk everything for his son and his' happiness. This is why the man apologizes to the boy so much. The Man wants the boy to be happy and take every opportunity to his life before he dies.


1. Do you think the man will regret leaving back his identity on the Road? What does this show and symbolize about his life?

2. How is the boy important in this novel? Why is he always compared to this novel and why does the father respect his opinion so much.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Parallels and Contrast: 1-31

 “Yes. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget” (11).
“He mistrusted all of that. He said the right dreams for a man in peril were dreams of peril and all else was the call of languor and of death…. He thought if he lived long enough the world at last would all be lost. Like the dying world the newly blind inhabit, all of it slowly fading from memory” (17).

In this passage, we are able to visualize the mindset of the two characters, through their dreams, during the apocalypse. The Man believes that since he is suffering, his dreams should be bad to reflect how he is feeling on earth, alone and lonely. This way, when The Man wakes up, he will not be disappointed to realize his dreams were not true. He feels that if he continues to only have bad dreams, he will no longer remember and remorse of his past life, and his old world will “slowly fade from his memory.” Although The Man believes this, readers find this untrue when we see his dreams about his wife. For instance, “In dreams, his pale bride came to him out of a green and leafy canopy…” (17). This dream shows a positive memory in the Man’s life. Although the Man wants to forget these memories, he is unable to forget his previous life. This parallels the quote, “You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.” A saying that is true in this book, as well as our lives today. Although the man wants to forget his previous life, he will always remember his memories that are apart of him. The man wishes to create an entire new world so he can accept the life he has and stop thinking of the joy he had in his past. I believe this is why Cormac decides to write this novel with fragments and neological words—to represent a new world. I also think Cormac refers to the characters as “The Boy” and “The Man” to show how they are trying to forget their old lives and move ahead.

“Clamped to the handle of the cart was a chrome motorcycle mirror that he used to watch the road behind them” (4).
“The road was empty” (4).

An ironic contrast in this novel is The Man’s paranoia. Ever since the apocalypse, The Man feels unsafe. He is always checking for other people living on the world. He does not light fires in fear of people being able to see the smoke. Whenever he looks for food at local gas stations, he always has his gun ready in case he sees someone. However, as Cormac describes in the book, “the road is empty.” Throughout these thirty pages, Cormac has made it clear that everyone has perished on Earth. I think that Cormac does this to show the confusion and trauma that The Man has witnessed during the apocalypse. The Man is no longer able to feel safe because he has lost everyone. The only thing he has left is his son. The Man is cautious for the safety of his son because he knows that if he dies, “He would want to die too.”

1. Why is there no punctuation or grammar in this book? What effect does this have on its readers?

2. On page 29, The Man says, “But he knew that if he were a good father still it might well be as She has said.” Who is She? Why do all the characters not have names?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Last I Saw of Her

The Last I Saw of Her
Smokey room,
Bloodshot eyes.
A raise in pulse,
a large sharp cry
Broken books and
Shards of glass
To the floor--
The hurricane has arised

Fear within,
Comes out tonight
She holds onto
She holds onto
And kneels down slowly
To her last defeat

Mascara tears
Run down her eyes
While Whiskey breath
Lingers behind

A metal fist
Anaconda arms
Gasping for air
She says the biblical words
Of her last breath.

Red tainted club
Splattered walls
A scene of a crime
The death of a girl
The last I saw of her