McCarthy's Unbridged: Page 27

The passage below is a continuation of what happens on and after page 27 of Cormac McCarthy’s, The Road.

(The Road 27) “We should go, Papa. Can we go?

Yes. We can go.

I’m scared.

I know. I’m sorry.

I’m really scared.

It’s all right. We shouldn’t have come.”

One night later, they trudged along the dark Eastern Mountain, hoping to find somewhere to sleep that covered themselves from the wet cacophony that had suddenly come.

How about here, Papa?

Okay. We will stay here. You hungry?


After the boy had shown no interest in eating, the man devoured half of what they had to eat. As the man ate, the boy made himself a place to lay and began to drift off.

Good night Papa, stay close.


Yes. StayClose.

Okay, good night.

The boy had fallen into a heavy sleep, though his sleep seemed to be a restless one. The man wondered if the boy was still on edge about visiting his old home.

Trying to sleep, the boy thought of his home, living with both parents. He remembered them bickering and never being content. Every time they would fight, the mother threatened to leave them. The man would beg her to not, but in the end, she did.

Mom don't leave, said the boy in his sleep.


Just then, after hearing his son say the word "Mom", he knew why the boy was acting the way he was. The boy didn't want to lose anyone else. He didn't want the man to leave him like his mother did. The boy told him to stay close before he went into his slumber, he was terrified of the house, and wanted to leave. The boy is always paranoid. The man now understood.


Throughout the whole novel The Road by Cormac McCarthy, they boy seemed to be very scared, on edge, and paranoid wherever he and his father went. In the very beginning of the novel, one specific scene stood out to me. This was on page 27, when the boy and the man took a visit to the man’s childhood home. I wanted to make the plot a continuation of the boy’s and the man’s conversation and an explanation of the boy’s feelings.  

For this, I wanted to develop the boy’s character, and why he was always so scared, and attached to the man. I decided on making up the reason the boy feel so terrified at the man’s old house, because of his past experiences at his home when he lived with both his mother and his father. So I added that the boy just didn’t want to loose any one else, and obviously until the end of the novel, the man is all the boy had.

I added another short conversation, and more dialogue to page 27’s writing. I placed my writing here because the man and the boy were just having a conversation about leaving, and they did. So this was the perfect place to expand on the boy’s feelings at the house, and just throughout the novel. Creating a motif was very hard for me. I decided on “I’m scared”, which is what the boy would always say, everywhere they went.

I focused on two themes for my “made up” part of the book, and  I chose the short and to the point conversations the boy and the man always had, and the boy’s paranoid feelings. With these themes, i answered the questions of “Why is the boy always so anxious and very...aware?”, and “Why were all the conversations between the boy and the man so short?”. Basically, I wanted to have the answers to both be, again, the boy is always like this because of the way he was previously living with both the man and his mother before she left. The boy doesn’t want to lose his father like he lost his he is very cautious and on edge about everything. The conversations between him and his father are keep so short because they both don’t want to “mess things up” I guess you could say. What i’m trying to say here is they just don’t want to say the wrong thing that makes each other mad, or have bad feelings towards each other because they never knew the next time they would see each other. That’s why they were so close.

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