McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 83 by Sergei Mass


The piece below is what I would've imagined Cormac McCarthy having in the final copy of The Road, but it was not placed in the story. I felt that the story was missing the essential component of why exactly is the man continuing his trek down the road even though he knows that there is not much to live for. I felt that the explanation for this would best fit in a part where only the man is awake and the boy is asleep, but earlier in the story which gives support for the use of page 83. It was quintessential for the boy to be asleep so the father could drift off into his thoughts without an interruption from his son. I imagined this scene to be a flashback with the man and his wife were discussing what would be happening after stuff went down with the nuclear winter. The man and his wife were meant to have a back and forth so it showed a sense of tension in a situation like this. I felt that the man in the whole book was walking the road to give the boy a life and show him the world while being by his side. I felt that, that message was not flat out stated and was not revealed much and it was needed to be brought out in this piece.

Life is the main theme of this piece; the rest of the novel is very dark and gray, but with this I wanted to bring some light into the book. Although it does not scream “flowers and unicorns everywhere” and “ding dong the witch is dead”, I wanted to show the value of life and others lives in the piece.

The style aspect of this was hard due to the lack of quotation marks and the straight to the point language, and when I read a book, I usually come across a lot of beating around the bush and wordy sentences. It was tricky to be less wordy with my piece and to be straight to the point. I wanted to be blunt, but not too blunt that it was very boring to read.

Creative Portion:

Insert at page 83 after “Yes because we are carrying the fire.”

The man sat and thought to himself in the wee hours of the morning as the boy rested beside him.

Are we really carrying the fire? I feel that I am failing the boy. I want to show him the proper life, but god, look what is around me.

He looked through the forest as if he was looking for the answer all around him; he could not seem to find it.

He imagined the conversation he had with his wife just before she left. She was pacing back and forth, wondering what was going to happen to her, the man, and the boy. Her palms were growing clammy like the dew in the morning which the man and the boy would wake up to.

What are you going to do when the shit hits the fan? How are you two gonna survive.

We will… we will have to make due with what’s left.

What do you mean what is left? There will be nothing left.

The boy has quite a life to live, even though this shit happened. Look you have to realize that. You need to stop being so negative. I want the boy to live a somewhat normal life.

How do you expect to do that?

I don’t know… I guess it will just come when the time comes. I’ll teach him about life, i’ll show him the world; shit I’ll do the best I can. I need to do this for him. The boy means the world to me. I know my condition is worsening, but i’ll have to keep on going for the boy.

*End of piece*

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