The man went back to sleep but the boy stayed awake, his thoughts plagued by the dream.
Papa was gone. He didnt die, he was just gone. For a while the boy looked for him. Maybe he got lost tripped and fell somewhere and was waiting for the boy to come help. The boy searched for days but the man was nowhere to be found, The boy wanted to follow the man. He stopped looking for food, he didnt follow the road. But he knew the man wouldnt like that so he continued on the road.
Slowly the boy gave up living by the man’s overly cautious ways. Being on his own in the world, never suited him. He wished for time with the man, time with anyone.
Encountering people on the road had a new protocol. Instead of hiding, waiting for them to while going past. He waits to see if they are good, if they carry the fire. He tells them to come with him. The boy became a man, his life became full, and he forgot the man. When the realization dawned on the man he broke down, crying for a man forgotten.
Then the boy woke up
I chose to have my story excerpt show what happened in the boy's dream because I wanted to explore the boy’s character more. The book was centered on the man. It narrates his thoughts, and the reader sees the world though his eyes, even though the book seems to have an omniscient narration. Since we only really get the man’s perception of the world we get his opinion of the boy. In his eyes the boy has a divinatory air.
We do not get a look at the thoughts behind his character, he is supporting character to the man’s story. Important enough to influence the main character, but not enough so that he gets his own arc. The man wakes up to find the boy crying because the man wasn’t there, in my scene I made cause the man’s absence be because of his death. This way I was able to create the boy’s personality without the man shadow.
The boy contemplates suicide because it was made very clear, by the boy’s want to keep the man by his side at all times and him questioning the man about always being there for him, that the boy did not want the man to leave him for anything. It would of made no sense for the boy to shake off the man’s death like it did not affect him. I didn’t allow the boy to stay in his rut because, although sometimes defiant, he valued the man’s opinion greatly, and the man would of wanted him to continue on the road without him. He encounters more people, and continues his journey with them not only because of his abandonment issue with the man, but also because of his prophetic demeanor. When they encountered the lighting man he remarked about how he thought the boy was angle like. So it would make sense that other people would also find his abnormality a sign from the heavens, and gravitate to him.In the book he man says that bad dreams are good, but because the boy is so young it seemed more likely that he would have a happy dream. I surrounded the good witch bad because although the boy can escape the horrors of his world as he sleeps, hardship is all he knows. So I ending his dream with a happily ever after did not fit. I also wanted to make it parallel to the book, by having the boy cry about the man’s absence.
"Panama | History - Geography." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://www.britannica.com/place/Panama>.
"Yin Carrizo - Los Algodones | Panama Music Videos." YouTube. YouTube. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F_fXJ_4E0c>.
"Raleigh Costa Rica and Nicaragua: April 2010." Raleigh Costa Rica and Nicaragua: April 2010. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://raleighcostarica.blogspot.com/2010_04_01_archive.html>.
"WAORANI PEOPLE OF ECUADOR." One Year One World. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://oneyearoneworld.com/categories/waorani-people-of-ecuador>.
"Panama Flag." Wallpaper. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://www.widewallpapershd.info/flags/panama-flag.html>.
"Ocueñas." Pinterest. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <https://www.pinterest.com/pin/319966748505430617/>.
"Fotos De Polleras Y Camisilla." Estudio Polleras Graduaciones. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://textarcolor.net/#prettyPhoto>.
"Herencia Indígena De Costa Rica." Spanish202B1 -. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <https://spanish202b1.wikispaces.com/Herencia Indígena de Costa Rica>.
"Family Life - Panama." Family Life - Panama. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <https://sites.google.com/a/rsdmo.org/countryproject2-f/geography/family-life>.
"Panamanian Food. Fish, Meat, Plantains and Rice." Around the World in Eighty Years. 2013. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://www.aroundtheworldineightyyears.com/panamanian-food/>.
"Las Tinajas." Panamainfo.com. 2007. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://panamainfo.com/en/listing/las-tinajas>.
"The Pollera." By: Darrell Pinontoan. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://elmundohispanopanama.weebly.com/the-pollera.html>.
"The Temperate Tropics: Staying Cool Is a Breeze in Panama." The Ambler Best Travel Blog Unique Travel Perspective Sustainable Development. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://amble.com/ambler/2011/12/the-temperate-tropics-staying-cool-is-a-breeze-in-panama/>.
"MOLAS." MOLAS. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://www.postpubco.com/molas.htm>.
"CocoaWell® Is Kuna-Inspired." RSS. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://www.cocoawell.com/about/kuna-people/>.
"PANAMA: BOCAS DEL TORO, EMBERA TRIBE. Native Embera Doing a Tattoo in the Village of the Indian Embera Tribe." PANAMA: BOCAS DEL TORO, EMBERA TRIBE. Native Embera Doing a Tattoo in the Village of the Indian Embera Tribe. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://www.sergireboredo.com/ing/rpv/panama/pg_g/f-079-panama-sergi-reboredo-darien-bocas-del-toro-san-blas-canal-embera-kuna.htm>.
Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuna_people>.
"Stock Photo: Music and Dancing in the Village of the Native Indian Embera Tribe, Embera Village, Panama. Panama Embera People Indian Village Indigenous Indio Indios Natives Native Americans Locals Local Parque National Chagres. Embera Drua. Embera Drua Is Located on the Upper Chagres River. A Dam Built on the River in 1924 Produced Lake Alajuela, the Main Water Supply to the Panama Canal. The Village Is Four Miles Upriver from the Lake, and Encircled by a 129. 000 Hectare National Park of Primary Tropical Ra." Music and Dancing in the Village of the Native Indian Embera Tribe, Embera Village, Panama. Panama Embera People Indian Village Indigenous Indio Indios Natives Native Americans Locals Local Parque National Chagres. Embera Drua. Embera Drua Is Located on the Upper Chagres River. A Dam Built on the River in 1924 Produced Lake Alajuela, the Main Water Supply to the Panama Canal. The Village Is Four Miles Upriver from the Lake, and Encircled by a 129. 000 Hectare National Park of Primary Tropical Ra Stock Photo 1566-12594431 : Superstock. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <https://www.superstock.com/stock-photos-images/1566-12594431>.
"EMBERA PEOPLE OF PANAMA." One Year One World. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://oneyearoneworld.com/categories/embera-people-of-panama>.
"SV Gallant Fox." 'SV Gallant Fox' Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://svgallantfox.typepad.com/sv_gallant_fox/2011/07/in-the-interim.html>.
Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emberá_people>.
"Panama." Panama. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://s1.zetaboards.com/anthroscape/topic/5930705/1/>.
"The Embera and Waounan Indigenous People of Panama and Colombia." Embera Indigenous People, Culture and Lifestyle. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://www.nativeplanet.org/indigenous/embera/>.
"Panama." Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations. 2007, "Panama." Cities of the World. 2002, Tom Lansford, Cynthia K. Pope, Rodr, "Panama." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of Physical Geography. 2003, "Panama (country, Central America)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Ed.. 2015, "Panama." World Encyclopedia. 2005, "Panama (city, Panama)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Ed.. 2015, ALEXANDER MOORE, "Panama." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cultures. 1999, TOM McARTHUR, "panama." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. 2009, T., "Panama." International Encyclopedia of Marriage;Family. 2003, and "Panama." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. 2007. "Panama."Encyclopedia.com. HighBeam Research, 2007. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Panama.aspx>.
"Gen. Noriega in Charge; Relations with U.S. Deteriorate." Infoplease. Infoplease. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <http://www.infoplease.com/country/panama.html>.
"Traditional Custom « EMBASSY OF PANAMA IN JAPAN." EMBASSY OF PANAMA IN JAPAN. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <
As he walked through the solemn woods the boy revisited his dream from the night. He lay somewhere on the road as if he were a bambino, naked. His senses at first nonexistent. As they returned, a sticky and smothering ash fell all around him. It was night time yet he saw through the suffocating darkness perfectly. An endless expanse reached in every direction. It was both inviting and deplorable. He called out papa. No reply. No Echo. Silence. The boy, a clean illuminated avatar eventually stood up; his outline etched permanently on the road. He was cold. Frightened. Alone. The ash began to milden, then finally cease. As the last particles of ash assumed the ground, he looked up to the sky to behold a new sight. What he imagined were stars, dotted the dark ocean above. The stars gazed back at him, strange and intense. They twinkled and danced, so much so that the boy thought he recognized shapes amidst them. A gust of ash forced him to shield his eyes and when he looked back up he thought he recognized the outline of a pistol. As he tried to focus more ash began to fall again. He blinked. He woke.
My passage will be placed on page 281, in the middle passage after the sentence that ends with “to the road.” I placed it here because the boy needed some way to understand how to move forward. It is never really clear why not accepting the pistol provoked the boy to trust the new man. I also, think my scene will make the boy’s rationale clearer for trusting the new man, and how the boy is now changed in a way by the passing of his father.
I chose to use the boy because there is a fork in the road (no pun intended) on how McCarthy could have progressed after the man dies. His options were to either give the boy a new caretaker or let the boy travel alone as a man. Since Mccarthy went down the path of a new caretaker, I chose to have the boy seem to be reborn. He is reborn stronger and more mature and now this new caretaker must teach the boy about things the man could not. I use a dream for this because the book never gives us any details about the boy's dreams. However it is strongly implied that the dreams he has foreshadow major events in the book.
My peice answers the question “how does one mature?” by emphasizing the pistol. When confronted by the new man the boy offers his pistol and the man rejects it. This is showing that the boy is beginning to think more maturely. The boy prior to my scene would have either cowered or begged for help. My scene will foreshadow this event and it is also what pushed the boy to accept the new man as a good guy. The boy connects the man's non acceptance of the pistol to his dream.
I used an unfamiliar word, bambino, to try and mimic McCarthy’s writing style. A bambino is a newborn baby, I am using it to emphasize that the boy is being reborn. Not only does this describe the boy figuratively but it also does literally. In my scene I am trying to give the reader the feeling that the boy is actually laying like a newborn. Another word that I use is deplorable. It literally contradicts the warm feeling of being invited. Something deplorable is something that causes a person grief. This endlessness of the new landscape represents the endless possibilities the boy's life can take. It is beckoning the boy to come, yet the boy knows what the road has to offer, and must not accept its invitation joyously.
The passage below is the scene in the middle of the night at the beach that never made it through the final edits of The Road.
Standing back up on his feet was difficult. He walked a bit farther away from the boy, toward the beach. He bent over with his hands on his knees. He knew he wouldn’t last much longer, his lungs ached and he head spun. He prayed the boy didnt remember any of this when the sun comes up tomorrow. The waves were rolling slowly, crashing and pulling closer. Still coughing and spitting up blood the man quickly started.
He ran to the boy. He was still asleep and the man felt his forehead. It subsided and was back to normal. The boy was whimpering quietly and tears were leaving dirty streaks on his cheeks. Please, leave my papa hes got the fire… me instead. The man sat next to the boy. Tears now streamed down his face too. He brushed the boys hair slowly, wiping the sweat and tears away. Soon the boy’s crying quieted. The man coaxed the fire back with what was left in the ashes but it didnt warm the chill creeping into his bones
Im supposed to save you, you dont save me. What are we doing here? I cant be here without you.
The infinite darkness made the man’s hearing sharper, but there was nothing left to hear. The world was already dead.
My creative addition to the novel is inspired by key motifs, themes, essential questions, and literary techniques. My rationale is explained below.
My goal in writing this passage is to give the reader a unique look into the strong paternal love and affection. This novel tells an amazing story of a man and his son, but their relationship is unlike any other. The boy and the man depend on each other to survive and at times it seems like the boy is truly the older and wiser of the two. In this passage the man faces this reality and breaks down. The boy is restless and sick on the beach when the man hears him talking in his sleep. The boy is worried about the man and, once again, wants to protect the man from danger.
This book explores themes of selfishness vs selflessness when they meet Ely, when they stay in the bunker, and when the man and the boy share a can of soda. Each time, we see that the boy is astonishingly selfless and giving. In this scene I was hoping to convey another side of that theme. The man loves the boy for his compassion and generosity, but is equally concerned that one of his best features will bring the end to him.
In a dead, post-apocalyptic world the man and the boy travel south. Perhaps the south will bring warmer weather. Whatever the reason, neither the man nor the boy are able to answer why they are still living in the world at all. In this scene, the man breaks down and tries to convince the nothingness around him that he is watching out for the boy, not the other way around. He resigns that he is nothing in this world without the boy. This speaks to a theme of meaning and purpose that is really relevant to all readers. Is our life only worth fighting for if we have someone to love? Or maybe it’s the other way around- only if there is someone in the world to love us?
Cormac McCarthy crafted The Road with a singular and memorable writing style. In my addition to the text I tried to write as close to his literary style as possible. Some notable features of his writing are short and simple sentences that reveal meaning and depth through simple actions and movements. McCarthy rarely, if ever, reveals complex emotions of ideas through long passages. Another notable feature of his writing is the grammar and syntax. Passages may have a sentence or two toward the end of speech that is never explained again. I mimicked this by including a vocal response from the man on the beach. Additionally, McCarthy never uses apostrophes in contractions with words with “not”.
This section of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is what I envisioned was not included in the final version of the novel:
Why has mom been acting strangely lately?
I dont know.
Is she okay?
Are you sure?
Go talk to her yourself and find out. Ive tried talking to her too much already.
The boy descended down the creaking steps, using the candle from upstairs to navigate through the ominous darkness of the world they live in, which night after night, engulfed their residence. The boy always made sure to treat the candle with care. Dropping it would mean that the house would become completely dark, or destroyed by flames. Either situation was inevitably disastrous. Carrying the fire wasnt a choice to the boy, it was an obligation, one he took to heart. Downstairs, at the table, across from the blazing lamp, sat his mother. Sitting calmly. Seemingly thinking, possibly reminiscing, The boy approached her quietly. The woman continued to look outside at the snow.
Are you okay?
Why does dad seem upset?
We dont want the same things.
What do you want?
The woman continued looking outside, not once looking at the boy, playing with her fingers, tapping her toes, her eyes filling with the slyest tears, completely blind to her son.
I want you to come with me, I dont want you to be killed.
Mom, we are survivors for a reason. We have to keep hope alive for others, and ourselves.
I cant stay here anymore. Please, leave me be son.
I love you mom, I hope you dont leave.
Here is the rationale portion of the project that will elaborate upon the choices made in the creative portion of the project:
The placement of where this scene should be could have only been before the section of pages 55-58. For there were only a couple of flashbacks regarding the boy’s mom and it would only make sense to put the additional scene before the confrontation between the mom and the dad in which led to the mom killing herself to escape someone else eventually killing her. Due to this being a flashback, it is a reflection of a significant event that occurred in the past, that has passed. To be specific, this event is so vital to the development of the boy because it shows directly how the boy is viewing the family’s current predicament. He isn’t giving into a natural reaction to hopelessness, he sees light in darkness, which is why he carries the fire, because he has the attitude and hope humanity needs to become strong again. Seeing his mother leaving only further influenced the boy to have compassion towards those suffering, intentionally or unintentionally. Carrying the fire of humanity and having the willingness to survive at such a young age, by the boy, is what this book is all about, and this additional scene provides an introduction to the boy’s willingness to do all of this throughout the novel. The term “carrying the fire” isn’t complex, it simply refers to carrying humanity, having humanity still in you despite the current circumstances, you are the light in a world of darkness, this reference being made as the boy walks down the steps with the candle to go talk to his mother.
This reference to the boy’s past and how he reacted to his mother leaving is significant. For in the novel, it is shown that the boy evidently cares greatly for his mom, wishing to be dead with her and not living at one point. This fact however shows even more how much more human this boy is. Being human does not mean simply being positive all the time, it means acting accordingly to a situation, sometimes. He is a seven or eight year old boy, of course he is going to want to be with his mother after knowing she wanted to die, it shows the boy has emotion and cares for others, at such a young age, this boy is specially gifted. The world is devastated, the current situation of the boy and father isn’t bright, but it is the fact that they continue to survive, and do whatever they can to survive, within the borderlines of humane acts, that makes them special. What would you do if the world was ending? The boy has made it clear, carry the fire, and have hope, plentiful hope.
...wished them godspeed till they were gone. He never heard them again.
The Man often thought about that day. It was the last day he remembered hope. He never told the Boy about the birds for the fear he might be even more disappointed with the everygrey world. Where did the birds go? Where they even there in the first place or did he just imagine them. He thought the birds must be with the Woman. Somewhere warm and peaceful. Or was he wrong? He didn’t know what to think. He wished the birds were a message from God. Something to tell them they were all right, that everything would one day be good. If the birds could survive that far so could they. Yet they hadn’t seen a bird since. He thought their raspy calls could be the Woman calling out to them. But he never heard that sound anymore so was it just goodbye? If God was really there why would he taunt them like this, thought the man. He liked to sit and think about it but he couldn’t think too hard as to alarm the boy. The birds were just the fingertips of God dragging all the color out of the sky as he waved so long for the last time.
In this scene you get to see a hidden, deeper side of the Man. You can see emotions and deep thought from him and his curiosity with religion. I chose to place this piece in this section of the book because symbolism in this book was huge and when I read about the birds flying over and the man never seeing them again it made me think about how birds were literally the highest beings as they could fly, they were closest to God. That made me think that the birds represented God’s presence, or anti-presence in the book. I chose the theme of God and religion because I wanted to hint at the question that I asked myself the most while reading this book. “Why are they still going?” I wanted to see inside of the Man’s head and see how he felt about this hard journey and if there was still positivity in his head. I think that religion was a quiet but pushing force in why the Man tried so hard to keep himself and the Boy alive. I had the Man reflect on this experience because I wanted to leave the readers with something to think about for the rest of the book because McCarthy never really addresses this subject again and I think it is more helpful to understand some of the Man’s future decisions in the book. Another question to me was “Is there a God?” referring to the Man. So I wanted to answer that so that the reader could get a good look into the Man and his past personality. In my creative piece I used the word “evergrey” as a touch to their surroundings. They are in the woods, surrounded by trees that used to be green but are no longer. Now everything is dull and grey so instead of “evergreen” like an evergreen tree I changed it to evergrey as a sense that the world around them and likely never changing, as evergreen trees are always green. The reason I chose this passage to be about the man is because The man is the one who speculates the most about God in the book so I think it is appropriate that these be his thoughts.
The Passage that I have created below is a passage that I have written and feel that could have partook a role in the plot of this book. It examines the man and the boy talking briefly about the mother, but it dives more into the symbolism of her leaving them, and
The man was beginning to drift off to rest.
What was she like?
The man was silent.
Why do you ask?
I heard you mutter her name when you were resting.
Go to sleep.
The man woke up before the boy. He salvaged what was left of the fire to prepare their breakfast. The boys eyes creaked open only to find the somber beach he drifted off on.
You never answered my question.
The man handed the boy the boy his meal. Here eat this.
The boy stood up frustrated. He slapped the food out of his hand. Why won’t you tell me?!
Damnit. The man shouted. You really want to know about her!?
Yes. Shouted the boy.
She was a quitter! She left us for dead. There are two kinds of people in this ashen world we live in. There are the people that have hope and don’t.
There are people that aren’t afraid to fight for what you have. Those people are the ones that make it. All you are is a hopeless wanderer trapped in the obscurity of the never ending grey shadow of the bezaleel. Do you understand what I am saying?
What I am trying to say is never give up. You’re the last of all our hope. Always carry the fire. You’re the last of the good guys.
What about you Papa?
Are you a good guy?
I don't know.
So, what I decided to address the theme in this book of “Good Guys, and Bad Guys” and the idea of “not giving up. I chose to address the idea of good guys and bad guys specifically because I felt like I would be able to achieve that from the scene where the man remembers when he was dreaming about his wife. This scene stuck out to me because I wanted to write more about the man’s wife just because I felt like she wasn’t mentioned enough in the book, but I chose this one specifically because it was closer to the end, and there had been more controversy that had occurred in the book, and the father had built up a relationship more with his son that the reader would be able to see and understand some of the references that I made in the passage. The scene from the book that I wrote about was right after the scene of the boy and the man on the beach and the boy had gone swimming. He comes out and they are sitting by the fire. This scene was supposed to be a “don’t poke the bear” scene. For the majority of the book, the father had managed to keep his cool with the boy, but in this one I wanted it to show another side to the man. The boy asked his father a couple of questions about his mom, and the man sent him signals not to ask, but the boy still asked.
I chose several motifs to represent this book, in my passage because the book itself is filled with them and there are so many juicy ones that you could choose from and honestly I couldn’t decide between them. Since this scene is happening between the father and the son, I wanted to use the motif “Okay” because that is a common word that is used a ton between the two of them when there is simply nothing else to say in conversation. They have become numb. “Okay” is symbolic of how they communicate. Another motif that I choose to write about was the one that was addressing the greyness that surrounds them. Mccarthy throughout the whole book is always addressing how neutral and gloomy the world is, and so I thought it couldn’t be a real scene from the book, if there was no “grey” reference. And in all of this grey, there was the fire which is supposed to be symbolic of hope. This is what the boy is supposed to be carrying inside his heart, and he should never let it sizzle out (words from his father)There was one word that I specifically chose to use which was “bezaleel”. This word means chief architect of the tabernacle. I worded this sentence as another motif/theme to make reader question if there truly was a God not in our world, but their world. Since the reader is following the mand and the boy through the book, we tend to take their side. The man has lost his fire or hope in all religion whatsoever and he is not going to let the boy lose his fire in hope for survival.
He let the boy go as this was the last time he would see or touch him. He watched them walk away until the light no longer lit their way. Darkness absorbed them. The man sat and wept until he he had nothing left. He drifted in and out of sleep until morning, when he knew he had to get up and get moving.
He packed everything, put it all in his bag, and started on his way. The man slowly sauntered down the cold and bare dark road. There was a noise coming from up the road. It sounded like a little boy. His little boy. The man didn’t have much energy but he used all that was in him to run towards the sound. There was laughing, and the sound of joyfulness, he could hear it in the distance.
Papa, come here!
The sound of his son's voice made him happy, he ran closer to the sound, but couldn’t find it, it sounded like it was getting further and further away. The happiness in his son’s voice turned into sadness, then to the faint sound of a cry. He finally came upon something, something that was not the boy. It was something he almost recognized. In the man's fugue state he saw the boy’s mother as a chimera, more charybdis than woman.
The man woke with tears streaming down his face, his heart beating fast, and his son calling him to get up.
The character I wanted to mainly focus on in my creative piece was the man and how it would be for him to be without his son. I think the only reason the man tries everyday is so that he can be there for the little boy and help him so that he can survive. When I was deciding what I would make happen to the boy I remembered that his mother did mention taking him at one point in the story in a memory that the man has. I felt that if I had the boys mom take the boy it would make it more interesting than him dying. When thinking of a place to put this I decided I wanted to put it in the part of the book where the little boy is sick. I did this because I knew that the would be worrying about his son, and he would always be thinking about it, even subconsciously. The McCarthy-esque word that I decided to use was Chimera. This word means something that can be hoped for or not, but it happens many times in dreams because it is often times a fantasy that we have. I thought this was very fitting for the situation since this was a dream and he really wanted to see his son again.When picking a theme for my creative piece, I chose family and loneliness. I wanted to pick them because the boy is his son, and without him he doesn’t really have anything to live for anymore. The man’s son was such a huge part of everything that went on in the book, I feel like family is really important. For the motifs of my added scene of the book, I chose to use fear and dreams. I chose to do a dream because we know this clearly couldn’t have really happened or the story would have been totally different, and also because I wanted to show the fear he would have without having his son and then get to wake up and realize it was just a dream. I chose fear and survival because I wanted to show the fear he has without his son. Lastly, my essential question was very obvious for me after I finished everything else. I did “who/what do we live for? What if it is gone?” the boy was taken from the man and it clearly really hurt him. I wanted to use this question because I feel like it is really interesting and really important as well. It is important in this book and it also really applies to real life which made it even more interesting to me. I think that a lot of the things that I did for my story seemed to fall into place perfectly to create something I am proud of.
The man put the boy down as they got closer to the road. The boy started walking quietly in front leaving the man to pull the cart. He came upon the river again. He heard the man calling to him and turned around. The man was falling far behind. He kneeled next to the river while he waited and stared into the darkening water. Tears started to run down his face and he sat down by the bank. The boy pulled the mask from his face. He cupped it in his hands and splashed himself with water. It was cold and tasted of ash. The boys tears flowed harder at the feeling of it. He closed his eyes.
Humming came from the cleanroom when he woke up. The boy stood and let it guide him through the darkness. She kneeled over the onceadayer washing her face and turned to look at him.
What are you singing?
Thats not nothing.
Its a song I use to sing to you when you were a baby.
To make you happy.
The boy sat next to her.
You dont sing.
She wet her face once more.
Whyd you do it again?
Im just tired. Needed to tell myself to wake up.
Because you need to do that sometimes when you feel bad.
Does papa do it?
I dont know.
Go back to sleep. She hugged him to her heart and kissed his head. He went back to bed as she turned and wet her face once more.
In this scene the boy’s point of view is put into perspective, something that only occurs once the man is gone. After the boy and the man see the nearly eaten infant, the boy has a moment to himself (McCarthy 198). The boy starts to lead, almost leaving the man completely behind causing foreshadowing of later events. He stops at the river and waits for the man to catch up. Water’s role in The Road has represented cleanliness and purification. With this the boy washes his face with it, only to find it tainted with the world around him. Face washing is commonly associated with times of hardship to wash off the toxins and impurities. As he does, a memory of his mother comes into view.
The boy has a rare scene with his mother. She and the boy have never had any type of interaction throughout the book, setting this as a good moment for her to unknowingly teach him something. She is in the “cleanroom” (the bathroom), but there is no reason to go in there other than to use the “onceadayer”, the bathtub filled with clean water. This was decided due to the fact that water is precious and should be preserved for when it is needed. She is humming a song that she sung to him as a baby. She explains that she sung for the happiness of the boy, posing the question of the worth of survival without happiness and the ability to cleanse your mind of doubt. Referring back to infant scene, it is apparent that people in the new world do not care for their children, deeming them a burden and deciding to use them for food. This memory allows him to see a glimpse of the world he never knew through his mother's mild affection. Not only does he learn of his mother's affection and the old world, but he learns of her unhappiness. She tells him that she washes her face to wake up as though the clean water will cure her weariness. The water also brings her joy, represented by her singing. The boy says, “You dont sing.” showing that this is not something she finds the strength and happiness to do often, confirmed by her mentioning that she sung only when he was younger. The saying, “Wash away your sorrows,” comes into play often when rereading this scene. The boy learns of a way to cope with the world around him from his mother, though he leaves her behind to completely wash away her sorrows knowing to give her space to regain her happiness in this fleeting world.
The newscaster spoke in a voice of deep concern and sincerity as if he were your a part of my family and at that moment it seemed like everyone was. It was a lie though. Not intentional, but subconscious. Everyone would turn at a moment’s notice on others, but no one realized it in the moment other than the man. The man was always suspicious of others, but his paranoia peaked with the arrival of the apocalypse.
Because of the current falling ash, the young and elderly are advised to stay inside. It is estimated that millions will die from the effects of the ash. Some people have decided not to take the advice and are out on the road traveling towards the coast. Since gas prices have soared all are expected to do so by foot.
While the man is watching the wife comes in the room.
We have to have a plan.
When everyone turns on each other.
That won’t happen we just need to stay inside.
It will. In a few months or so when they realize the road isn’t safe.
The unwantedlyrecent ash built higher and higher as the weeks turned to months. The situation only worsened. The news now reported an estimated thirty percent of the country dead and no stop in sight. To the man, it was evident from the beginning he would have to adapt to the new lifestyle and his paranoia was key to the family’s safety.
I chose to place this section to when the man was talking to Eli because the man was trying to get some answers just like the reader was to all of the ambiguities surrounding how they were in this current situation. I put it in specifically where the man asked what happened to the world, “The man said, ‘Tell us where the world went.’ Eli replied, ‘What?’” (166) A flashback was the most appropriate way to give a sense of exactly how the situation developed into what it is up to when the man asks Eli. One of the big ideas that I wanted to get across by writing this section is giving an answers as to what exactly happened before to cause all of this. I found it important to say what happened to the people, exactly what they tried to do, and where they tried to go. I actually ended up avoiding answering one of my main essential questions which was, “What exactly caused the apocalypse?” I found it difficult to choose between a volcanic eruption and nuclear explosion, but I saw that the reason that McCarthy does not say what happened is probably because it does not matter. The point of keeping the apocalypse ambiguous was to instill a kind of fear in the reader that makes them think it could be anything that caused the apocalypse and that frankly it does not matter how the apocalypse started, but only the result.
I wanted their to be some sort of characterization in the man that tied in with the theme of paranoia and explains where it came from since there is not much about his behavior before the apocalypse. I made him paranoid because it fit in to say that his paranoia during the course of the novel was heightened by the advent of the apocalypse. Similar to giving some kind of backstory as to why he is how he now, I also wanted to address how ash is seen as a symbol of desolation and death. I include the ash in a way that makes its appearance and abundance correlate to the severity of the situation and the death toll.My McCarthy-esque word is “unwantedlyrecent”. The word fits in with one of the themes which is that all of the things the man tries to forget are the ones he remembers the most. The fact that all of the events are actually recent and currently taking place to when he is reflecting on them during the flashback serves to emphasize why he is so paranoid and the word makes it clear that he struggles to put these memories in the back of his mind.
After another quarter of work, I learned more by studying other people’s work in multiple mediums to gain inspiration for my own. My interests are rooted deeply in artists my age and I pulled much of my inspiration from those that I follow on Instagram and Twitter. I enjoyed going to an abstract place with a few of my pieces and not worrying so much about producing something that looked the way I originally intended, but about producing something that I enjoyed creating. Earlier in the quarter, I realized that my meticulousness was holding me back and towards the end, my more abstract pieces bring back feelings of accomplishment. This quarter in art, we worked on a variety of mediums and got to dabble in our own personal style even more. The first project in my slide, drawing fabric, was one of my favorite. I got experiment with lines and shape and shadowing, which is one of my biggest difficulties. I made sure I used different types of pictures for these as fabric has a very specific shape depending on how it's held or laid and is really fun to experiment with.
My second piece, the photo editing, was also fun as one of my first loves is photography. I used a picture that I took using 35mm film a couple summers ago and did some color correction; I'm not a huge fan of filters because i think, unless it's a filter you created, they can add too much drama to something really nice. My third piece is the illustration. For this, I designed a cover for one of my favorite albums by one of my favorite bands, The Internet. Their ego death album speaks on relationship troubles, societal issues, and pop culture. I listened to it over and over to give myself ample inspiration. I wish that I had colored pencils in my house because I'd add a yellow background to make the other colors pop. In all, I enjoyed creating this quarter and I'm excited for next quarter's assignments.
This chapter really made me think more into detail about cyberbullying because I’ve definitely heard that it was and still is a thing that those who use social media go through every now and then. But actually mentally hearing a real story about someone’s experience really increases my interest in this topic. In the beginning of this chapter it told a story in an interviewer’s eye and him interviewing this girl named Abigail and she was talking about her family and her sister, Ashley. And how even if Ashley was Abigail’s sister, it didn’t stop her from wanting to say bad stuff about her with her friends through social media. It would already been bad that she was talking about someone else through the internet, but the fact that it was her own sister. That she has grown up with, live with, and basically do everything with is just messed up. I think that she just feels the need to get attention. When I hear about people online making a big conflict through social media, it’s mostly for attention. And that person probably knows that saying things online makes it easier for word to get around and for more people to hear. Rather than saying something bad about someone in real life when not a lot of people would hear or care. Attention to me, is what most teenage girls want especially when they’re coming into high school. Probably because it’s a different environment and they feel the need to act a certain way to be “cool.”
I think that if I were Abigail, I would feel really hurt and confused to why my own sister is saying bad things about me when I did absolutely nothing to trigger it. And the fact that she could just pretend that she didn’t do anything and see her every single day. Along with the idea of my sister saying bad things about me, the whole school would be saying bad things about me. People would assume and believe anything these days that they see. They feel the need to be pressured to know what other people know, and believe what other people believe. It’s all apart of pure pressure through other people and social media as well. Like if you’re trying to follow the latest trend, or you saw someone wear plaid and you do the same. Or you want to be like that popular girl who wears lip gloss with all the popular kids. Especially kids in their early teenage years, they start to go through puberty and they start to mentally change their mindset on things.And in the story, the fact that Ashley did these things, and Abigail saying that she might be doing these things because the way her mom treats her. Like bringing family problems, and sometimes the family is what encouraging kids to start things on the internet because they feel the need to get it all out. But honestly don’t think that it is a good idea because even if you’re hurting doesn’t mean you should hurt other people. I can connect with the feeling of feeling really upset or angry at something and I automatically want someone to feel and think what I’m doing because I don’t wanna be the only one. But I think kids like that should think before posting stuff. I know that Abigail says that Ashley doesn’t actually know when she’s hurting someone, that’s an issue within itself. To not consider other people’s feelings when it comes to insulting them.
Everyone will be satisfied when everything comes to an end. Trust me, no one would rather be in this hell of a world. I mean, unless it’s someone like you.
Me? I don’t like-
I know. But you chose to be in it because of him. I don’t blame you.
You would do the same, wouldn’t you?
The old man stays in silence as he stares at the fire.
You don’t know anything.
The old man picked up the little twig from the ground and threw it in the fire.
You had one?
Billy. My happiness only lasted 7 years. Never saw him since then.
The man took a stare at his sleeping son, and turned back to look at the fire as it intensified.
There was barely enough bread for us three. I suffered an accident, and was unable to work. I preferred that he ate.
The old man stood in silence while he threw another twig at the fire.
She didn’t want our angel to live the same fateism. Selfishly, she took my heart with him to the adoption center. She never told me where but rather why.
I’m pretty sure he’s an angel. Angels keep going forever.
You’re right. Just remember. Your hope is just like this fire. You have to feed it twigs. If it’s small, it will not warmth you. If it’s big, you’ll have enough to warmth others.
And how’s your fire?
Right now I have ashes. But I rather have my ashes than none at all.
One of the characters that made me curious ever since I finished The Road was definitely the old man. We knew him as Ely. One of my favorite parts of the book was when he felt vulnerable when he saw the boy. It made realize that he still had a paternal instinct. Which made me conclude that he might’ve been a father at a time. Even though he didn’t quite share his story with the man, I knew that his story was time worthy, which is why I wanted to explore that part of the book.
I guided myself from Ely’s paternal instinct. That made me decide how and why Ely’s attitude was a huge part for his character. When the papa and the boy encountered Ely, he automatically thought that they were robbers. He didn’t even try to run or fight it. Which made me realize that maybe he’s already accustomed to other people taking away what is his. That gave me the idea of the plot.
The plot consisted of the Ely, his little boy, and his wife. After suffering a tragic accident that enabled Ely to work, he could no longer support his family. It came to a part when they became extremely poor and they couldn’t support their 7 year old boy anymore. His wife then took the decision to take their son to an adoption center. The wife thought her son would be better with another family that could give him what he deserved. The wife took Ely’s son away, and he ended up regretting it forever.
During the organization of the plot, themes and motifs came naturally. One of the themes that automatically stood out to me was hope. When something you love so dearly, and it’s taken away from you, you tend to lose motivation, hope, and purpose in life. Specially if you lost it all, like in a world where there’s literally nothing left. You’ve got to work what you’ve got. Sometimes having hope is the only key for survival. But in the contrary, if you actually have something to fight for, your desire for survival should be greater than any other person. Which is why I made Ely share his story with the man. To serve as a reminder to keep going. Even if the odds seemed to be against him. The motif I chose to do was fire. They dealt with fire pretty much everyday, which is why it was a great idea to metaphorically show the importance of hope, and the way it’s maintained so it doesn’t die. Just like fire.
The segment below is what I think was cut from the beginning of, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road in editing.
Why? he asked
You’ll be safe there
You don’t know that.
I grew up there. Some of my family might still be there
The man looked out the window he saw the sun faint in the distance like something that is about to go away forever. There was no clear answer to where they might go. The south is warm but the west is empty. No threat there or at least that is what he could make out. There was no direct source of news just half a paper article floating down to the darkening ground.
The boy wont last long enough to get all the way south
The boy will do as you ask, he will respond to how you treat him. So treat him harsh but explain yourself.
A sound came from outside. You say it like you wont be there. The ground shakes, the house shakes, the table shakes. Everything is still.
It is not safe here anymore. Pack your stuff we are leaving.
The two of them, man and wife, pack as much as they can into a small cart. They are quite so to not disturb the boy sleeping. Only the most important things would make the journey. Canned foods. Blankets. A tarp. A pistol.
This is my rationale for why I chose this segment for this project.
In the story The Road a man and his son walk down a long road, seemingly to nowhere, until tail end. At the end it is revealed that their plan was always to head south, but there is no explanation for why. I thought it would be helpful to the reader to have insight as to why they choose to go south. For this segment I brought in a character that was not often referenced in the book, the boy’s mother. By having the mother tell them to go south it gives a logical reason as to why they are continuing south, through this connection wouldn’t be made until later when the reader learns that the mother is dead. I chose to include the mother giving the man parenting advice to build the character of the father. It gives more personality to the parenting decisions he makes further along in the story. It was important that there still be an obvious divide between the woman, and the man and the boy. I wanted to foreshadow their relationship and hint at the boy and man being alone on the road from the very beginning.
In the story there is the lingering question of why are they on this road? My segment, placed at the beginning gives a rational end destination. It makes it logical that they would choose to go to the south even though they have no idea what is waiting for them at that destination. They travel down this long road with out question in their mind that this is the way they are supposed to be going. I thought even though the mother did not have a prominent role in the story, she would be the perfect explanation for the decision. In McCarthy’s writing there is a lack of women’s roles. Inkeeping with that I wanted to foreshadow the woman’s absence as well as have her be vague as to not contradict any other part of the story.