McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 265


They left you here, didn’t they?

I left myself here.

He turned and went limping down the stairs and opened the front door and went out into the street backward watching the house. When he got to the cart he pulled it upright and piled their things back in. Stay close, he whispered. Stay close.

Are you sure you are really ok poppa

Yes, I'm fine


The two stood there for a brief moment. Standing in the cold of the harsh winter. For just a moment, he wished that he could die. This was not an option though, he was no longer living for himself. These thoughts running through his head seemed to leave a remnant of bitterness in his heart. But he knew it was not the fault of the boy so he tried not to take his anger out on him. The man could see that the boy did not understand life yet. He thought the only way he would feel better is if the boy understood his actions.

Did you notice how I never asked for his name?


The robber

Yes poppa

That's just in case I had to use the pistol

But poppa we’re the good guys, and the good guys don’t hurt people

The man knew he had done nothing wrong, but wished the boy could see that too. They began to walk, slowly down the road not knowing what the future had in store. The boy was not settled, he seemed to be preparing for the worse.

They put up in a store building at the end of the town. He wheeled the cart through and into a room at the rear and shut the door and pushed the cart against it sideways. He dug out the burner and the tank of gas and lit the burner and set it in the floor and then he unbuckled his belt and took off his bloodstained trousers.


In the Road by Cormac Mccarthy, the writer seems to paint a picture of a place with no life. When reading his writing, you can almost feel the setting of the book. Characters don’t seem to show joyous emotions often which leads to a gloomy feel. You can see this in his style of writing. For my creative piece I tried to mimic the style as best as I could.

The story uses a lot of short conversations followed by a paragraph or two of new information. These conversations are very short and to the point. I feel like this is an important factor to the story. I found it strange that the questions asked didn't always seemed to be directly answered. It feels like the dialogue was just right. Nothing more was said than what was needed to be said.

He even makes it a point to use some words that not many other writers use, or use word combinations to make the writing better. I tried to take this into consideration as I described situations and events in my piece.

The story has a lot of themes and ideas that are left untouched in the writing. This is not because they are not important but instead because Mccarthy tends to be a mysterious writer. You can interpret his work in a few different ways, and it is up to the reader to decide how they want to do  this.

I also felt like scenes in the book were very similar. It was like the writing followed some type of formula. The characters would walk down the road until they see something interesting and then go search it. Sometimes they got lucky and found things to help their journey, and other times they weren't so lucky.  

In the beginning of the story it seemed like nothing would happen that the characters couldn't overcome, but by the end of the story you could begin to see that this was not the case and eventually someone had to die. The boy had a generous heart but the man understood that in times like these generosity would get you nowhere. The generous people would be the ones that died and those who looked out for themselves would survive.

Comments (2)

Zack Hersh (Student 2016)
Zack Hersh

I liked how your piece is influenced by McCarthy's style. Your dialog has a very natural feel, I could easily imagine them having this conversation. I'm curious to know where specifically you imagined this section being inserted into the book.

Clio Fleece (Student 2016)
Clio Fleece

I think you did a really good job mimicking McCarthy's writing style, which definitely adds to the quality of the work! You did a great job capturing the ways that the boy and the man talk to each other.