Monday, December 9, 2013

Parallel and Contrasts- 161 to End

"Perhaps in the world's destruction it would be possible at last to see how it was made. Ocean, mountains. The ponderous counterspectacle of things ceasing to be." (274)
"He'd not have thought the value of the smallest things predicated on a world  to come. It surprised him. That the space which these things occupied was itself an expectation." (187)
These two quotes shows how the father realizes all the small things in the world that he looked over. The father remembers his old life and the old things he loved to do like read and enjoy the beauty of the world. After the apocalypse, when the world turned gray in ash, the father is able to realize how much he missed these things. This shows readers to appreciate our lives and the little things that make us happy.

"But we did kill him" (260)
"We would never eat anybody, would we?
"No. No matter what.
Because we're the good guys?" (129)
This quote contradicts the father saying how they are the "good guys." Throughout the novel, the father preaches to his son how they are the good guy and carry the fire. Although the father says this to the boy, he does not believe it. This is proven when the boy states, "But in the stories we're always helping people and we don't help people"(268). This brings up the theme of good vs evil and examines what makes a person good. The boy believes that they should help all people, both good and evil. In contrast, the father believes that they should only help the good people. This is seen when the father leaves the thief starving without any clothes due to his actions of stealing the cart.

1. When the women hugs the boy at the very end of the of the novel and says "Oh, she said, I am so glad to see you," how did the women know the boy? Was this family always going to come after the boy when the father died?
2. Did the father know he was going to die? or did he give up?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Parallels and Contrasts- 230 to 259

"The slow surf crawled and seethed in the dark and he though about his life but there was no life to think about and after a while he walked back" (237)
"He thought of his life." (187)
Again, this shows the father slowly begin to give up on his life in the new world. The father no longer feels as if he is alive physically. This is seen when he says "he thought of his life." Readers should take note of how McCarthy purposely use the verb thought instead of think. This shows readers how he thought of his life in the past tense. Readers can infer that this means that the father does not have a life in the new world, which is also supported when he says "there was no life to think about." When the father realizes that he no longer is living mentally, he slowly gives up on his survival.

"Every day is a lie, he said. But you are dying. That is not a lie" (238)
"Okay. I might. But we're not dying" (101)
Again, this quote shows the father slowly giving up on his life. This is the first instance where he tells the boy that death is a possibility for both of there futures. In the beginning of the novel, the father always tells the boy that they both will not die. He encourages the boy to keep pushing for survival in hope that everything will get better. By the end of the novel when the father dies mentally, he starts to teach the boy how to survive by himself. He gives him more responsibilities and brings up death more often.

1. Did the thief deserve to be stripped of his clothes?
2. Why does the boy feel sympathy for the thief if he knew he was bad? Does this action make him feel of his father as a "bad guy?"

Parallels and Contrasts- 211-230

"Like a man walking in a grave. Like those disinterred dead from his childhood that had been relocated to accommodate a highway" (213)
"His dreams brightened. The vanished world returned. Kin long and dead washed up and cast fey side wise looks upon him. None spoke. He thought of his life." (187)
This passage shows how the father is unable to give up his past life. When the father views himself in the world, he thinks of a "man walking in a grave." The father may be alive physically, but mentally he is dead. The father is only able to think of the past and cannot cope with the new world. Because of this mentality, the father begins to give up on his life.

"What's on the other side?
Nothing." (216)
"Someone had passed in the dark going south." (103)
From the very start of this novel, The father made it clear to readers that the south was safety, a place he thought the world might not be affected by the apocalypse. The boy and father walked thousands of miles to the south in hope of finding "good guys" and a better chance of survival. When the boy and the father arrive at the beach and look out across the horizon, they see that the war has affected the entire world. When the father sees this, all hopes of survival immediately diminish. This can be seen when he says that "nothing" is on the other side. To readers, it almost seems as if the father has given up now that he has realized that the world will no longer return to the past. I think the father wanted to go to the South in hope for a chance of survival and to question if the world and human nature could remain the same. When he realizes that the south is similar to the north, the father is unable to move on. He is discouraged and gives up. I think this is also why the father begins to slowly get sicker and weaker within the next few chapters.

1. Do you think the father will give up now that the south was different from what he expected?
2. Did Cormac pick the sea to be the end point of there journey since the sea represents life and death?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Parallels and Contrasts- 185-210

"What you put in your head is there forever?" (190)
"Yes. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget." (12)
This parallel has come up multiple times in this novel. I think this parallel is very interesting because it shows how the father is unable to get over the past, while also stating a important idea for all humans. When we experience something tragic, such as war or an apocalypse, it will always be with us forever. There is no way we are able to get these memories from our mind. This is seen all over the world in common cases of Post Traumatic Stress disorder with soldiers to rapes and deaths of families. It's interesting that Cormac McCarthy says this in his novel because we are able to relate to these emotions that the boy and father have been through. Because McCarthy mentions this line multiple times, it shows how tragic this new post apocalyptic world is.

"I was crying but you didn't wake up."
"Im sorry. I was just so tired."
"I meant in the dream." (183)
"He woke whimpering in the night and the man held hhim. Shh, he said. Shh. It's Okay." (36)
When the boy has a bad dream, the father almost always wakes up to comfort him as seen on page 36. This time, when the boy has a bad dream about the father, the dad does not wake up. I find this interesting because in the dream, the father dies. I think this is important to look at since Dreams play a huge relevant part in the book. Its interesting how after the boy has this dream, the father becomes deathly sick. I believe that McCarthy makes this  huge contrast for readers to notice the possible death of the father. This idea parallels the father's good dreams, which he believes are a sign from heaven of nearby death.

1. How has the dead baby affected the boy? Do you think he views the world different because of him witnessing numerous murders or do you think he is used to it and does not know any better?


Monday, December 2, 2013

Parallels and Contrasts- 165-180

"What's your name? Ely." (167)
"The clock stopped at 1:17." (53)
During this novel, McCarthy makes sure to not include any physical description of any of the characters. When we meet the stranger, we find out his name to be Ely. This is very significant because it could resemble the prophet Elijah, the savior who brings people out of their suffering. This shows theme of religion and faith that is mentioned in the book several times. The symbolism of the character Ely is parallel to when readers learn of the first moment when the apocalypse started as seen through the father's dream. It's interesting that McCarthy adds the detail of the clock stopping at 1:17 because the book of Elijah is introduced in the Bible in 1 King 17.1. I find it interesting how both these rare specific details are related. I think this shows how McCarthy wants us to realize that Ely has a bigger significant importance than being just a stranger, but possibly a biblical reference.

"Where men can't live gods fare no better. You'll see. It's better to be alone. So I hope that's not true what you said because to be on the road with the last god would be a terrible thing so I hope it's not true. Things will be better when everybody's gone." (172)
"Better for who? Everybody" (172)
I think it's interesting how Ely believes that the world will be better for everybody, when everybody ceases to exists. When talking to Ely, it always seems that he is contradicting himself. He states how he wishes that he had died, but does not want to die. I think these contrasts show how Ely has given up on himself and his identity. It seems that he doesn't care about the new world and no longer cares about religion or himself. I think this is why the father immediately feels that Ely will die. Ely is unable to trust anyone and because of this, he feels that the world will be better with everyone dead. This shows readers the state of human nature and morals in the apocalyptic world.

1. Why does the boy feel the need to help everyone on the road? Is he the only one on the road who still has human morales?
2. Why does Ely say he is a prophet but does not believe in religion?