McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 259

The passage below is what I believe was cut from McCarthy’s The Road:

I watched the boy, his words struck me, he had matured. I wanted to say something but I had no words. The boy wouldn’t talk to me anyway. I looked back the man was standing where I had left him, naked. Even from this far away I could tell how gaunt he was. I averted my gaze and looked at the boy who was now quietly sobbing. I wish he would stop. I continued to watch the boy as he slothed along. The man felt warm arm arise in his throat. He put his hand to his mouth trying to suppress the cough, but it only muffled it. His paced slowed.

“Stop trying to protect me and cough.” 

By the time I removed my hand my cough had slithered back down my throat, all that was left was the blood on my hand. He knew. He knew I wasn’t doing well. I could feel the boy’s eyes watching me think. The boy wouldn’t last long after I was gone. Stripping that man’s clothing made me a bad guy in the boy’s eyes. We wouldn’t have gotten this far without being eaten or shackled if I thought/acted like the boy every thought, intention, tear based solely on others.

Here is the rationale for the choices I made

I placed my creative piece on page 259 on McCarthy’s The Road, right underneath the part when the boy says: I am the one. I chose this part of the book because this scene was so powerful to me. I want to go more indepth in showing how the boy and the man are so different,  and how their means of survival differ. I wanted this scene to start off where McCarthy left off. In the beginning scene the father is contemplating his relationship with the boy after making that man strip down. On page 259 McCarthy shows the boy sobbing and looking back at the man and letting his father know that he was the one who has to worry, which I believe is the most powerful thing the boy said in the book. It lets us know that the boy is beginning to realize he is going to be on his own.

My essential question was: What does it mean to survive. This question had been something that I’d thought a lot about when reading The Road. Throughout the book we have seen the boy show compassion over and over again just as we’ve seen the man do whatever needs to be done to keep him and the boy alive. I thought it was interesting to see the boy stick up for the people his father was going to harm. I decided to elaborate on this scene further because it was in my mind a perfect example of the boy sticking up for the person his father was going to harm. I wanted to give more insight on the father's thoughts. I want to make sure that people understand the importance of this page, of this scene, and I thought that a good way to show this was by writing from the the perspective of the father.

I started my creative piece out with the father reacting to what the boy said: “I am the one.” I wanted the father react to what the boy said to the fact that he had show compassion again toward someone who had taken something from them. I wanted the boy to lash out to show that he didn't need his father to take care of him anymore, to let his father know that he could take care of himself. I noticed that McCarthy didn’t have the father express his feelings or opinions on the boy’s compassion in the book that often and that is something that I would have liked to see more of. I had the boy lash out at his father in my creative scene.