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.

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road (Page 61)


The boy could tell that his father was nervous. They had experience road rats before, but there was something around them that seemed to be communicating with the boy. Was there someone else around? Not yet. The boy already ruled that out. What was it? The boy soon began to hear the sounds of heavy footsteps coming from the tunnel. Footsteps coming from multiple people. The boy didn’t have to read his father’s expression to know that the road rats were getting closer. But something else was catching the boy’s attention: Everything around him began changing. The leftover leaves in the trees began to dance in the wind. The wind began moaning and groaning. The leaves on the ground began to shiver with fear. Everything around him was sounding like it was dying a second time. The boy still didn’t think the trees were afraid of the road rats. He looked at his father. Somehow, the boy knew when to look. He glanced at the man’s pocket, even though he was extremely tire from the traveling. The silver gun was now visible. He wouldn’t do that, the boy thought. Why would he kill them? The army of footsteps began more distinct. The man never broke eye contact with the tunnel entrance. The boy knew that they would be getting out of the car soon, but all he could watch was the gun slowly making its way out of the ripped pocket. He wouldn’t actually kill, would he?


The piece that I have written would be inserted into page 61, when the man and the boy first encounter road rats at the entrance to the tunnel. This piece is essentially supposed to represent a couple of small things. I wanted to write from the boy’s perspective since in the book, we hear a lot from the man’s perspective. The boy is probably from eight to ten years old, so I wanted to take a closer look at how he would react to surprising elements in a broken environment like this. The boy, in my piece, is very curious about what his father is capable of doing, and if he’s actually going to try to kill the road rats. The boy has just been following the man’s path in the journey, and audiences never really get to read about the boy’s thoughts, opinions, questions, or fears. The boy is a very important character, and that’s why I think McCarthy Another element I wanted to add was sound. I have read enough of the visual aids in The Road probably by the end of the first few pages. I wanted to take the story and tell it an another, interesting way. I wanted to describe now only what the environment looks like, but also what it sounds like. The trees creaking and cracking, the leaves rustling and shivering, the wind “moaning and groaning.” A theme that I think should be considered is the idea of murder. Even though the boy is in a state where anything could die, he’s never actually seen somebody get killed. When the boy finds out that his father has a gun, he automatically guesses that he is planning on killing the road rats. I wanted to explore this topic, especially since murder would be soon witness by a small child. I also wanted to tackle the idea of knowing the difference between a good guy and a bad guy. When the man and the boy hear the road rats coming, the man is already getting ready to jump out of the car and later pull out his pistol. The boy is trying to understand that the road rats are bad guys, but that is only because of how the father is reacting to only the sound of footsteps. In a world like this, it would be automatic for someone to not trust anybody, as they are afraid of being backstabbed. However, I wanted to use my piece and describe the boy’s confusion as to how the man knows that the road rats are, in fact, bad guys.

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 277

This piece of writing is a personal interpretation of what would have been from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road had it not been edited:

Creative Piece:

The fire continues to pierce the dense night even as the boy sleeps. It's soft glow surrounds his head casting a shadow onto the man. Yet he still feels its warmth. The gun lies in the dirt between the two. One real bullet remaining. The man lays staring at the golden reflection of the fire die down through its silver barrel. He feels a pounding on the back of his eyes as they climb up to the boy’s face. A soft quiver jolts through his hands and gets more sporadic as he reaches for the gun. He holds it loosely by its bloodfelt grip. The gun tumbles its way to the boy’s forehead. He takes aim. The gun drifts from position to position across the boy’s forehead. Powerless to hold a single target. He released his grip and droped his arm. He looked into the face of his sleeping son. A lone tear drifts down the man’s cheek. He shifted himself to look at the ever present void above him. The glow of the fire sits in the corner of his eye. You’ve taken my son from me, the man croaked. Or maybe you’ve always had him. The man looks to the yellow glow. I guess we have to thank you for the bunker and the boat, he says. At least I know you’ll be safe. The man closes his eyes. He feels the soft glow of the fire from the direction of his son. It soothes him to sleep.

Below is an explanation of the different factors that make up the piece above and how it would fit into the overall story:

The Rationale:

The passage above is meant to round off the world of the book The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. I chose to add to the end of page 277. This moment is the perfect opportunity to insert more information on the father’s acceptance of his inability to kill his own child in the name of protection. On the page itself the father is dying and he notes how his son is an honor to all prophets. I feel this to be the moment that the father is most understanding of the implications of his son’s value as an important figure. The page overall sets up a great contrast between the son’s importance and the man’s fleeting life, helping to expand on the conflict. Should the man kill the boy to protect him, or allow him to live to spread his hope to the wasteland?

I began by drawing a connection between the boy and the fire, mentioning how fire keeps going even as the boy sleeps. The fire itself is a symbol of hope and positivity, and throughout the story we see how this boy spreads this through his kind actions. The man also believed the the boy has something special in him as well, but he often alludes it to be in a more spiritual manner. The fire is portrayed respectively as a light in the dark, alluding to the boy being a hope in the dreadful world. Even the lifeline of the boy is shown to be connected to the fire. As the man looks at the gun, to kill the boy, and  the fire is seen dying in its reflection.

The story then moves into developing the character of the man,  justifying his later acceptance towards the predicament. He attempts to shoot the boy. Every step the man took from picking the gun up to aiming it is dreadful for him, to reflect the father's feelings towards attempting this action. Even when he has the gun aimed, his sickness makes it hard to aim. This man comes to the conclusion that God is protecting the boy from his death, of course this is kept open to interpretation as to why he could not kill him. The man believes since his son will be protected from anything, including his own father, he no longer fears for his safety.

The scene shows the hopelessness of the situation and how the man must accept his son’s responsibility to carry the fire. This rounds out the character more and explains his latter actions to accept his son’s survival even after his son wants to die with him. In the end he sleeps sure his son will be safe.

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 281

In the final version of The Road, much of the boy’s dialogue has been cut out, that is until now. This is his story.

There’s fog covering the road, blocking the view. A figure catches his eye, standing behind the tree staring at him. Coldly. A rush of wind behind him, there’s another figure. The last thing he feels is the cold metal of the barrel against his head and the sweet release of worries. Papa, I’m coming, he says. Silent. If there is anything that can describe this moment it would be...barren. This world is devoid of life, of love, of purpose. This world is barren. Beside the resting boy is his papa. The man died yesterday, but the boy couldn’t bring himself to leave his side. Papa I can’t go on like this, said the boy. He sat up and stared at the fire crackling in the dark. The dreams have taken over, clouding his vision of any hope. His hand slides over to check inventory. Pistol, water, gas, he says softly. He picks up the gun and looks into the chamber staring at the round. Cold, smooth, instant. A frigid wind blew through the site, but the boy sat unbothered.

You’re stronger than this.

Papa, I want to be with you and mama.

Mama and I are on a journey.

Can I come?

Who’s going to stop the bad guys?

I don’t know.

You. You carry the fire, the way into the light. I believe in you.

The voice was gone. He placed the gun down and stared out to the road. I carry the fire, Papa, for you.

Here’s the behind-the-scenes to my unabridged version of The Road

For my creative, I chose to tell the story of what the boy was doing during those 3 days he stayed in the cave with his father after he died. My impression of the boy switched as we watched the movie, so by the end of the book, I saw him older than when I began reading, which we estimated was 4-5. I didn’t agree with the idea that he should be older at first, but the behavior towards the end of the book started to draw me closer to it. I specifically chose to write into this part of the story due to the fact that it’s the most flexible, allowing dialogue for the boy to be inserted without disrupting the flow too much. Towards the end, the boy’s attitude towards his father has changed. He’s more upset with some of the things his father does and says, but that’s the result of facing so many harsh realities. There’s been multiple times where the pair had the chance to help others, but the father always turned them down, which went against everything that the boy thought they stood for. The new environments and people he interacted with changed his perspective of the world as well. There’s possibly no future to look forward to or any chance of anything getting better. This ultimately lead me to idea of him thinking of suicide. In the book he wants to be with his mom, but we know she left him long ago and that she’s dead. The wound of his father’s death is fresh. Offing himself would bring them back as one family. The idea forms around the essential questions of who/what do we live for and what is our motivation in a world that’s so damaged? It seems that in this world, one’s action can’t simply be written off ad good or bad because the end goal for everyone is to survive. When that’s not possible, you start to think realistically. The sequence in the beginning of my piece doesn’t come off as something terrible, but peaceful. Though there is a a good amount of violence that takes place in the book, there’s always a counter of peace resting in the grey overcast. Writing in McCarthy’s style was not at all easy, especially the vocabulary. I chose the words barren and devoid, similar in meaning, yet both powerful enough to stand alone. There’s no true description to how this world actually is. Yes, there’s ash everywhere and bodies are strewn across the ground, but it’s also a barren wasteland of lost attempts. Attempts at making it out alive, of holding on to that hope that keeps the fire burning so bright.

Q2 Artwork

This quarter, my biggest inspiration was the first assignment (a collage), and I wanted to really explore that medium in my other projects. I began with a collage inspired by one of my favorite musicians (David Bowie), that I was just fooling around with as a laptop decoration. That blossomed, and is now something I am very proud of. The body is made of a sticker I received at an art exhibit at Haverford College, and the head and tail are made from a cut-up iconic image of David Bowie. The wings were a later addition, made up of the open mouths of baby birds. 

The Donald Trump collage, made after watching a GOP debate, was the most fun. I wanted to capture both the absurdity and danger that the Republican front-runner poses to our country. I picture him riding atop a giant feminine leg beast to demonstrate both his blatant disrespect for women's bodies and the millions he has made off of the Ms. Universe competition. In this post-Trumpocalyptic scenario, heads roll (specifically Hilary Clinton's head) and nuclear and terrorist threats abound. Of all my pieces, this is the one of which I am most proud. 

The fabric pieces were incredibly difficult for me, especially since I struggled to re-create them after losing my originals. I chose fabric draped over a basket because I liked the way the fabric shadows complemented the detailing on the basket.

The photo editing was the easiest for me, as I am also in the Photography elective. I chose this photo because I liked the depth of field and thought I brought out the colors best out of all my photos. 

I was at a loss for what to illustrate, but I thought back to a poem (Alone by Edgar Allen Poe) I used in a play I wrote last year, and was inspired by the lines: 

"From childhood's hour I have not been as others were- I have not seen as others saw"
I've always felt a connection to the shape of the human eye, so I attempted to re-create that line using imagery based on literally seeing what others see. 

Macbeth Creative Project (Matthew Milligan and Sofia Powers) The Scottish Puppetry

Sofia and I created a dramatic and humorous take on Macbeth, as an amateur puppet. Our puppet show simplifies and adds a comical aspect to the play Macbeth. We modernized and combined all of the extensively-worded Shakespearean text to make it understandable material for any age group. This project was designed to create a unique understanding and perspective of the play Macbeth. We used our ¨vaulting ambition¨ to create an interpretive puppet show like no other project.

In interpreting the whole material for our script, we deliberately left out some scenes to minimize distractions from the meaning and basic plot. We deleted scenes like the comic relief from porter character to really bring out the lies of the Macbeths. Our version instead goes straight from them plotting to be sad to them pretending to be sad right away. We also cut the murder of Macduff’s family because it is dramatically discussed later, and start late in scene 4.3 because Malcolm and Macduff’s droning on distracts from Macduff’s reaction to the murder of his family.

Our production consists of many sound effects and background noises. We utilize these to create a setting because the background image cannot be changed. In 1.6, there are birds chirping softly to add to Duncan’s announced comfort and also portray that they are outside. Later, crickets can be heard to symbolize nighttime. In addition to setting, dramatic music can also be heard beneath many of the soliloquies to amplify the mood. We feel drama should be ever-present in our show as it is in the play, so suspenseful sound effects are also used.

When working with puppets, one cannot change their facial expression easily. To fix that issue, we often change the tone and style of our voices. In one scene at the end of Act 3, we describe our scene when practicing as “thane gossip”, so we changed the usual dull voices of our thanes to those of gossiping teenage girls, because gossiping is what is occurring in that scene. We also make the character Macduff very sassy sounding, because in the play he clearly “throws shade” at Macbeth and disses him on multiple occasions. Lady Macbeth was portrayed as a loud and over the top drama queen, because that's exactly what she was. Shakespeare wrote in very dramatic speeches for her such as “unsex me here” as well as her dramatic actions, like fainting at the sight of Duncan (on purpose).

Overall, we thought this project choice would be great for group work and equal collaboration. We worked outside of class making puppets and filming for many days, even weeks. For us, making a hand/finger puppet show was a very smart choice. Our minimal artistic skills were used to make funny puppets that acted out our strength, our well written modern script. We painstakingly translated almost every line of the play, and are extremely proud with the outcome. While our show may be long, the drama and comical aspects draw the audience back in.

​Progress Pictures
Screenshot 2016-01-27 at 10.11.43 PM
Screenshot 2016-01-27 at 10.11.43 PM
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Screenshot 2016-01-27 at 10.11.58 PM

Life as Immigrants

 This radio piece summarizes the struggles many immigrants face when coming to a foreign land. This topic holds close to our hearts because we are also first and second generation immigrants.  We conducted a series of interviews, in an attempt to uncover the mindset behind those who seek to accomplish the "American Dream." Our goal was to show what America is like from the viewpoint of immigrants who try to coexist when they come to America and their struggles.

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 125

​Heres a dream of the boys that could of been cut from the original version. 

To be inserted on page 125 after “... stopped shaking and after a while he slept.” breaking the current paragraph into 2 and making a new one in the middle.

The boy and the man had just arrived. They were scouring the house looking for anything to scavenge. Just as they were about to exit they noticed a trap door on the floor. Before the boy could speak the man opened the door and jumped down. Cemented in place, the boy just stood watching. The man ran back up the stairs and slammed the door shut. He started screaming but the boy couldn’t make out his words. The man screamed and grabbed for the boy when the door slammed opened. Before the boy could blink the man was dead. Shot in temple right in front of him. The world around the boy began to ring and blur. The boy fell to his knees he began to scream but the ringing drowned out all sounds. The woman who shot the man grabbed the boy and covered his mouth. The boy struggled to break free but could not succeed. The man accompanying the woman walked over to the trap door and opened it. They threw the boy down the steps and into the pit of half eaten people. The boy tried to run but was instantly pinned down. The half eaten carnivores began to tear at the boy, limb by limb. Scratching and biting until their nails bled. The boy could hold on no longer, everything went dark.

This is a little piece to help you understand what I wrote and why it would fit into the book. 

Giving the boy this nightmare about what previously happened is one of the best ways to show his development. Nightmares are our worst fears presented to us in the worst way possible. The boy having this nightmare but being virtually unfazed by it really shows how he is developing into more of a man. Not being scared and facing your fears is a huge personal development. 
This scene plot and placement have a lot to do with each other. There is a lot of reflection going on with the boy because it's the first time these people come back up in his mind. The encounter they had doesn’t come back up until after the boy sleeps and wakes up for the second time. By placing this dream here it also shows foreshadowing as to why the boy brought up the conversation of good guys and bad guys directly after my scene. It is important to know that because that’s how my scene is connected to the theme, essential question, and motif. This scene addresses the theme of survival. Survival is the whole point of their journey and these carnivore people are the only ones who can stop the man and the boy from surviving. The man and the boy try their hardest to stay away from people like this, making them a sort of unknown variable. In this case unknowns lead to death and death means no survival. 
My essential question and motif are pretty similar to each other. I wanted to tackle the question why be the “good guys?” and the motif of actual good guys and actual bad guys. When the man and the boy are in a situation where they have no food, they still refuse to eat people but it can be a little unclear why when the ultimate goal is to survive. There’s no one around to tell them they did something wrong so why bother worrying. This scene shows exactly why they choose to be good. They don’t want their worst nightmare to come true.
The motif really comes through when you consider what makes the carnivore people bad. Even though there isn’t someone to tell them right or wrong humans still have morality. Killing someone is completely against all morals and so is eating them. The true difference here between good and bad are the people who can stay true to their morals and that's what the man and boy do. 
Lastly I feel like I wrote this as similar to McCarthy as possible. I used a sort of monotone while writing and used words like dark, scavenged, and carnivorous to mimic but not mirror his writing. 

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 1

McCarthy Unabridged

By: Ameer Forte

Being Human - Giknis


  • PLACEMENT: My excerpt will be inserted into McCarthy’s “The Road” on the very first page. Right before the very first paragraph.

  • The passage below is what I have imagined was cut from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road before the final edition was released-

Creative Piece:

The unforgiving blows to the surface landed like that of an astrobleme sinking itself into the atmosphere. He would pray to God most nights. He would ask him to protect his family to keep them alive. And if that wasnt possible to at least let the child inside the womans womb live. The woman resented that the man did this. She believed that God was only a barmecide part of life humans made up to make the bad in the world easier to cope with. She said to him:

Why do you bother? There is no God.

Yes there is.

How do you know?

I just do.

What God would let this happen to us? I’ll curse his name and die before I ask him for anything.

Dont say that.

What has he done for us?

Hes given us faith. Hope.

In what?

He gave me that child. That child is a gift from God. That is how I know. That child is my hope. My faith.

When the man was sure the bombs had stopped falling he opened the cellar door to find that the remains of his house were just rubble. When he opened the door he was climbing outside for the first time in so long he had forgotten what the sunlight looked like only to find color had been vacuumed from the sky. When the woman made her way out of the bunker the man saw the darkness in the world corrupting her. Dimming her fire. But when he looked at her stomach he saw the light. He almost thought he saw God himself.

  • Below is a rationale explaining the choices I made and why regarding this excerpt-

The Rationale:

My scene is meant to be placed on the very first page, right before the opening paragraph. It is set in the past as an opening prologue to the current timeline of the story. I chose this placement because I think that a small backstory on how The Road came to be should be in the beginning of the novel. I also chose to leave out apostrophes and commas at areas they would typically belong because I think Coric McCarthy would have written it this way, in his unique style.

I chose to create this scene in The Road because it includes two very important themes that also stay consistent throughout the novel. God. Is there one? Does it matter? And the light vs. the darkness. Throughout my excerpt the man and the woman grapple with their views of God. God is an important motif in the novel which is another reason I incorporated this theme in my excerpt. I chose to make the man a believer of God, although throughout the novel I don’t think that that is so clear. But I chose to do this because I do think that the man views the boy as holy and I interpret that as him viewing the boy as a gift from God. All through the novel he believes that God entrusted him to protect the boy. “He knew that the child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God God never spoke.” (Pg. 5) Here is just one example of that.

This holy view of the boy the man has is also the reason I included the latter part of my scene, where the man looks at the woman's stomach (which is bearing the boy) and sees the light. As opposed to him looking at the woman and seeing the darkness. I believe the purpose of the light in this novel is to show hope within someone. When that hope is lost they become corrupted by darkness. The scene in the novel where the woman left the man and the boy to, we speculate, kill herself, is a scene where I feel the woman lost her hope. I chose to show a little of that beginning in my scene with the man seeing darkness.

The essential questions I addressed are, what is the role of God? What happened before this world? And what made it occur? The first question I answered when I brought out in my scene that the role God to the important characters in my scene (those being the man, the woman, and the boy) is the light and the provider of hope in a world otherwise dark and hopeless. The second and third questions I answered in my first sentence, which was describing a nuclear war going on. That’s what was happening before the current timeline and what caused The Road to come about.

Q2 Art Work - Ilker Erkut

In Quarter 2 I was pushed more to my artistic limits.  This quarter was very successful because I put more time into everything that I completed.  They are all very unique.  I plan to continue drawing and see the amazing things I can produce with more time and effort.  

In the Collage I used a picture of myself from years ago and made a college out of it.  I used materials from trash that I was currently using and I thought it was a master piece because of how unique it was.  The fabric was an interesting task.  It pushed my limits of a drawer significantly because I chose not to trace.  I wanted to challenge myself.  I think considering I did not trace it is very good but I have to work on my shading.  The photo editing was by far my favorite because I find that I am most creative when editing photos.  That was a photo I took in New York City.  Originally it was quite boring with a nice view.  But with a new filter, a lot of saturation and more I was able to make it almost look like it was stitched or colored in.  The illustration was very difficult because my drawing abilities are not good enough to really draw anything other than very specific objects.  I also am not very good at drawing people.  But the message behind the drawing that connected with the quote is very nice.  I enjoyed this quarter and cannot wait to do it next quarter as well.  

Slide 3

For this slide i removed the guitar because it was bleeding out too much, and at an awkward upside down angle that distracts the viewer. I moved biggie's head image so that his head was not bleeding off the page and that his body was not blending with my name, the center attraction of the page. 
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McCarthy Unabridged 'The Road,' Page 151

This is my interpretation of what might've been cut from Cormac McCarthy's The Road before the final edition of the novel was printed. 

He reached over to make sure the boy was still breathing, as he could only find reassurance in the gentle rise and fall of his chest. He counted each, as if it were the last thing he could do. His own were far too staggered, too protean, as the last phrase he uttered rang out in his mind.

What else could he possibly manage to lose? What else was worth losing in this world?

He had a purpose. To protect the only thing that held purpose to him. His own flesh and blood. But in the end, would it matter?

In that moment it happened, thoughts colliding too quickly, much like the rise and fall of his own breathing. He couldn’t keep doing this on his own. He was only one man. And he’d lost everything. She was gone. He was drifting away from the boy. His mind was losing him. And he couldn't take it anymore.

He couldn’t always keep looking over his shoulder. He couldn’t keep him safe, because he himself, wasn’t safe. There were dangers around every corner, but the biggest threat was his mind.  Maybe he should’ve taken his life right then and there. Let his son carry the fire. Things were too much and he was tired. He couldn’t always be the one looking out for everyone.

Looking down at the boy sleeping beside him, he felt himself tense.

I'm sorry I cant do more.  I know I'm not the best but I'm trying.


Below is the rationale to explain the choices I made for this project.

The Man is a very complex character. We don’t get to see how he’s thinking and feeling, considering the fact that he’s always focused on survival, and the safety of his son. There’s no time for him to think, because, in reality, there’s only one driving force in this world, being survival, and moving on, even if it seems impossible.

The connection to the plot comes in the form of foreshadowing. The man knows that without his help, he and his son will eventually die. The growing problem for him is being unable to predict what might happen next, because of how impossible it is to come to the next point. He’s scared, and he has no way of showing that, because he has to be the adult. The cycle continues, and the Man’s caught up between keeping himself and his son safe, while at the same time, trying to keep his sanity.

This follows through with the theme of survival. What sets apart the line between living and surviving? Should one’s mentality be a correct guideline? The easy answer depends on the person, but in this case, the Man’s physical survival literally meant the difference between life and death, which is why, in moments such as the one written, are hidden from the Boy. He can’t know that the world is finally breaking his father down. His father has to be strong and power, just as he sees it, regardless of the price it has.

Interestingly enough, the Man’s thoughts are constantly contained, and even the smaller bits we hear from his perspective, are very one-dimensional. His experiences have shown a very darker past than what meets the eye, and as he internalizes it, it makes the reader question what his actual motives are in this world, aside from the overall goal of making it out alive. The Man’s life is already challenging, we see this throughout the novel and through the choices he has to make, however, does he ever stop and try reflecting on what he’s done to bring him to certain points in his life? The Man is very complex, even at his highest points. That, however, doesn’t make him completely indestructible.

A Jeweler Sees Internet's Many Facets

​What is happening to small traditional businesses because of online shopping? Is there any way in which these businesses benefit from the internet? My radio piece is meant to portray how online shopping and the internet as a whole impacts small businesses. I wanted to display how the convenience of something as common as online shopping can effect our community in ways we may not think of. I attempt to show this through an interview with a local jeweler. My original goal was to emphasize the significance of being an aware and informed consumer, but I ended up focusing on an individual's narrative. Even though the topic of my radio piece is not as broad as I intended it to be in the beginning of the project, it is equally relevant to our everyday lives.

Click here to listen!

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road Page 189

Below you will find a passage that I imagine was cut from McCarthy's original manuscript. But first please enjoy some photography inspired by the book.

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The man woke up to a still sky. The world around him was silent except for the movement of the boy’s breath next to him. The night around him was lighter than usual, there must be a full moon in under the thick grey clouds. The mans dream had been of a day that was hidden to him behind veils of time. He stared up at the silhouettes of barren trees, unglued by the knowledge his own mind had buried from himself. Once, long ago, he had been taught where the evil in the world was. The serpents that could crawl under one's skin, the devils that sat atop shoulders waiting to steer the right hand wrong,  and the demonic monsters that stood by in darkness to climb into the chest of even the purist sleeper, had been pointed out to him by soft wrinkled hands so that he would recognize them and know to avoid their will to harm him. Now, under the black veins that climbed towards the glowing grey sky, he could see that the bad in this world had no vessel. It never had. Evil was in the air around them, and could not be separated and done away with. The only use it had was when it manifested in his dreams, to remind him he must wake up.

The explanation for the choices I made in writing this passage are located below.

My choice of location for my passage was what most influenced what I did. I put my passage in the middle of page 189, because it comes directly after a passage that was the most meaningful to me from the whole book. The idea from that passage that impacted me was that we as people act as if things are evil, when they in no way are, because we want a way to fight against the bad in our world. I wanted to explore the man having this realization after having that memory as a dream. I also wanted to connect my passage to the passage that comes after it, which is about how bad dreams are good for the man and boy, because they allow them to keep fighting. As a result, the man realizes the evil in his world is the environment, it is what him and the boy are fighting to survive. But in a small way, it helps them to keep fighting, because they have bad dreams. The motif for this passage is dreams, because it is both a reflection on a dream, and a foreshadow to the next passage which also talks about dreams. This passage is also meant to further the plot by foreshadowing the passage that comes next where the man and boy talk about dreams, and how having bad ones are important to survive. It is also supposed to reveal more about the man's past, who he was, and how he has changed. My theme and essential question for this piece are closely linked and both deal with evil. The line between good and evil (my theme) is clear cut in some ways for the man and boy. They do not steal or eat other people, so they are good. But if evil has no real place, if it is constantly around them, then how do the man and boy stay good, when they can see nothing but bad? This leads into my essential question, where does evil come from? We see in his memory that the man once thought evil came from creatures that tried to overpower him and make do bad things. But he realizes this is not true. So then where is the origin of evil, and how did it take over the world that the man and boy struggle through? I don’t have the answer to these questions, but I wanted to focus on them for my passage because McCarthy had made me wonder about them, and I am using what I have written to further my own exploration.

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 260

The passage below is something I believe should have been written in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road before the final edition was released.

•          •          •

The creature was watching their every move. A fearsome creature, from the certainty of there being that which was unknown. The cave was was dark. They could feel the very cold death creeping upon them. The black moonlight shined inward through a thick blanket of snow, slowly covering the entrance of the cave to the brim. The boy pulled the blankets over him. The man lie there, being the creature, and he was carrying the fire. The fire was the breath of the creature and it was a monochromatic grey, dying breath. A blanket of ice covered the cave. The breath was the only heat source for the creature and the boy and without it the boy would freeze. As the breath slowly withered away the creature’s heart beat slower and slower. A pitch black silence began to fill the room. The creature was dead. The boy held the creature in his arms and sat there crying for a long time. It was cold and dark. It was bright. A light shined from roof of the cave. Some misshapen creature, slimy, slick, uncertain fell through. It resembled the previous creature. It’s breath was fire and the fire lit the room.

The man woke up coughing. He didn’t check for the boy. He knew he was fine. He wiped the blood off of his mouth. The boy lie awake.

I had a dream

About what?

The boy didnt say anything.

I had a dream too it’s ok


Below is my rationale to explain the choices I made for my project .

My story includes the dad, the boy, and the man that comes after the dad dies. The boy in the dream is portrayed as the boy (naturally) and the two men are portrayed as the creature(s). I chose to portray these characters this way because throughout the book there are many “creatures”. The creatures are the things that bring uncertainty, which brings danger. These men are mortal, so they are nothing but unpredictable creatures placed upon this world. The boy however is not a creature, rather something closer to an angel. He is filled with motives that show nothing but compassion.

This section goes on page 260 of the book between where the boy said “but we did kill him” and where the book said “In the morning”. I feel like this is a great place to add a dream because it is evident that the man is dying more and more; further in the book we see the man slowly giving up until he reaches his death, and in the book dreams portray things that happen in the future. I wanted to make this the man’s dream (since the book is mainly through the perspective of the man), and a happy one because in the book happy dreams mean you are starting to give up (which the man is). The dream stylistically follows the general decrepit themes of the book, however for the man this is a very happy dream. This is because naturally the man is worried about what will become of the boy when he dies. This dream is reassuring him that everything is going to be alright (as far as the boy goes), and that his god will come through as he has many times throughout the book.  Presumably it is the god that will bring this miraculous coincidence of someone coming to carry the fire and protect the boy after the man dies. This explains some of the man’s actions later on in the book, and explains why he doesn’t check on the boy in this scene nor the scene after.

The conversation is also very important. It adds yet another scene where the boy is distancing himself from the man. It also hints that the boy knows the man will die soon (through this distance). The man is tried relating to the boy when he said that he had a dream too. Stylistically I’ve found the book to use single quotes, but mostly just not in the contractions, so I’ve tried to match that with the word “didnt” (as well as match a few other stylistic choices).

Identity to Ideology

Identity to Ideology
Toby Mast
Thirty some teenagers dressed in basketball attire where sitting in a crooked semicircle of chairs around a short, overweight, and graying man. The man introduced himself by explaining that because gym space was so limited we would have these additional character lessons. The teacher meandered into the point of the lesson, declaring “I came here today to ask you about your identity? What makes you, you? How do you define yourself” then gesturing to the whole group “We will go from left to right, each saying what makes your identity, or what makes you you., If you do not want to talk right away we will come back to you when we are finished, alright?”. We took turns declaring our  identities. 
The first student mumbled “Uh, I’m a basketball player, and uuhh and black and uuhh a dude” This statement became the format for the majority of the group. This format included race, gender, one or two thing you enjoyed, and sometimes character traits. The big exception to this format became the few, even in a program titled “Ball for Christ” where this could be expected  and accepted,  who declared their purpose “to live for Jesus’ or “to be a good christian”. I having no desire to be their displayed the great maturity so often found in bored rebellion, and tauntingly stated “I am Toby”. While I believed it was simply antagonism at the time, that declaration marked a subconscious change in an identity that had remained static since childhood. 
The core of my ideology and identity was found in the fact that Jesus is my Savior and that I will live life for him and his father through the holy spirit that they generously bequeathed me through the crucifixion and resurrection. The majority of my life I would in a ministry such as “Ball for Christ” joined those in declaring my purpose for god, however animosity building towards the idea of my life being the satisfaction and glorification of one being prevented me. I proceeded to confront this with prayer for a more dedicated spirit and continuing to serve against my inward desire. 
The realization that identity is the sum of one's desires has allowed me in reflection to understand this change. The apparent contradiction is that I is that I at that time like so many others do, was acting against  my desire of self ownership and instead conforming to my past. This contradiction was simply a representation of a greater desire for security and stability. This change is desire therefore was a change in identity. 
This definition encompasses all, because at our core humanity always pursues satisfaction. The means vary, whether religion, morality, fame, power, or euphoria, the end remains pursuit of satisfaction. This pursuit defines everything we have done, are doing, and will do.
The change in identity brought its first major change in action one late Wednesday night. The youth pastor was describing how he overcame his doubts by choosing to stop having them, reading off the verse:

“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
Romans 9:20 Kings James Bible

The dam of security I had held for months cracked from an emotional maelstrom brought from a changing identity. I still desiring conformity thought to myself “ How is a God so perfect and great that he cannot explain himself to his creation”. Then my doubts on predestination, scientific fact, and the impossibility free will shattered the damn . This great change in ideology has been directly linked to a simple change in identity. Ideology is created through Identity, and identity is the sum of your desires.The applicable truths are that this pursuit of satisfaction will always matter most to us because it defines us. The pursuit of mathematical and scientific fact is no exception, because truth becomes the object of satisfaction.  
This basis allows us to successfully evaluate our actions and beliefs. Then only once we understand our desires can we move forward to addressing them.

Q2 Artist's Statement

For my collage I wanted to keep it all in the same color scheme of greens and blues. So I flipped through a few magazines 
and arranged some picture I cut out by their color.For our fabric drawing assignment, I chose to draw a big sweater because I knew that there would be a lot of folds and overlapping pieces in it that would create shadows. I drew it on a hanger because I felt like there would be more folds and shadows since it is just hanging there and it doesn't have to conform to the shape of anyone's body. For the photo editing assignment, I used one of my favorite pictures that I took for my photography class. I used Photoshop to edit it instead of the website that was provided for us, I hope that's okay. I liked the picture before, but I like the edited version even more because I really like how there is a lot more color in it. Before doing the illustration assignment, I looked up some children's poetry and found one that I liked. The poem I illustrated was called Teddy Bear and it was about a stuffed bear that was self-conscious about his weight. I chose to draw that image as a representation of the poem because it said that when he fell off the ottoman, he could never get back up again. 

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 143

The following passage​ is what I have imagined was cut from Cormac McCarthy's The Road before the final edition was released. It takes place on page 143, in between, "There was no gun and there wasn't going to be one," and, "When he woke the gaslamp overhead was hissing softly."

As he sat on his bunk, he listened to the high winds that surely signaled the start of another storm. Minutes later the rain began. It created an odd noise. It sounded nothing like the familiar sound of rain on the roof of a house. It sounded more like footsteps on the soil above. Thousands of footsteps hitting the ground over their heads. The sound of thunder was muffled, a thunderhum. It was unsettling but also kind of calming. He liked it, so he sat and listened.

After a while it was difficult to keep his eyes open. He had just begun to drift off, but the repetitive nature of the thunderhum and the rainfeet was interrupted and it caught his attention. Actual footsteps? He walked over the the steps and put his head up to the ceiling. Footsteps. Against his better judgement, he swung open the door.

Is anyone there?

There was movement in the dark. He saw a shadow and a pale face. Their eyes met his. Her eyes met his. Her eyes met his. It was her.

He was drenched to the bone already and re-entered the bunker to grab a tarp and the battery lantern. He decided to wake the boy. He was shaking him.

Your mother.

Now the boy was shaking him.

Papa, wake up.

He jolted upright.

She’s out there. I need to see her.

Papa, there’s no one to see!

Realization struck. The man, embarrassed, said, Go back to bed.

The boy did.

(250 words) (McCarthy-esque words: thunderhum, rainfeet)

This is my rationale, explaining why I made these choices for this project.

In my passage, I wanted to focus on the boy's growth over time and how the man acts in contrast to him. I was really interested in the motif of dreams that McCarthy used and decided to give another peek into the man's dreams. The man is constantly dreaming about his wife so I definitely had to include her in it. This reminded me of the incident with the little boy, on page 85, where the man tried to convince the boy that he was imagining things. I thought it would be interesting to have the tables turned this time and make it so that the man is the one who is convinced there is someone there when he is only dreaming. The man is sleep-talking and his voice startles the boy out of his sleep, so he immediately wakes the man. Once the man realizes that the whole previous ordeal with his wife was a dream, he is embarrassed and tells the boy to go back to bed.

When the boy saw the other little boy the man said, “There’s no one to see,” so I made sure to have the boy say the same exact thing to the man. The man remembers that outburst and is not happy that now he is on the other side of the argument. What makes the man even more embarrassed is that in this case, he was most definitely having a dream whereas the boy very well may have actually seen someone else.

The boy springing right into action and knowing how to handle this situation shows his growth and maturity. This passage also highlights the man’s deteriorating mental state. He said that good dreams are bad news and he has been having so many dreams about his wife that it’s clear he isn’t doing so well. The man’s poor health and state of mind is dangerous to the boy since the man’s judgement is not very reliable.

I placed this passage in this location of the book because I wanted there to be no mention of it when they both wake up again. The man completely brushes that off his shoulder and hopes that the boy has forgotten it too. he doesn’t want the boy to be worried about him or realize how unsettled he was by the dream.  

(388 words)

State Farm Grants SLA a New Maker Space!

The State Farm Youth Advisory Board has granted Science Leadership Academy - Center City $99,007 to build a new MakerSpace in support of the inquiry-driven, project-based curriculum of the school. The MakerSpace will support both the Engineering program at SLA and the overall academic program, enabling students to create artifacts of their learning in new and powerful ways! 


McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 287

This is how I imagine the ending should have happened. I begin with an excerpt from the final pages that serves as the end of a chapter. The chapter after, indicated by the 3 dots, is my new ending for the book.

Nicholas LePera

27 January 2016

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 287

The woman when she saw him put her arms around him and held him. Oh, she said, I am glad to see you. She would talk to him sometimes about God. He tried to talk to God but the best thing was to talk to his father and he did talk to him and he didn’t forget. The woman said that was all right. She said that the breath of God was his breath yet though it pass from man to man through all of time.

. . .

It had been several weeks on the road traveling with his new family. The boy had still not fully accepted the passing of his father and he often woke in the night looking to see if he were there next to him. Each time he quickly brushed off the sadness knowing that this is where papa would want him to be.

The days lived out had hardly changed and he and the others ran the same procedures as before when scouring the wastes. Each creaking door, rustling leaf, and supposed footstep was analyzed and each item surveyed for use. While food continued to be scarce the group still found ways to make miracles out of each closely portioned meal. From time to time they encountered small bands of bandits, but only once were forced to take action.

As each day passed they settled the night in another town, village, or brush of foliage. The days slowly began to get warmer, signifying they were getting closer to what may be salvation. While hopes arose, they also had to prepare for the worst. For if there were to be salvation, there would certainly be villains ready to fight for it.

The boy sat for supper on the side of the road, as was customary. With nothing to clear his mind the boy looked to the sky once again and spoke to his father for the last time.


While Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” is deemed a masterpiece by many, I feel as if the closure of the novel is not in an optimal state. The new family adopted by the boy is mysterious. The kindness shown by them goes to show trust, but can also be used for deception. As a reader I felt as if it was left unclear as to whether or not the boy was with a truly moral group. The state of their resources and whether they would make it or not was a topic that would often pilfer the satisfaction given by the book.

By rewriting and continuing the ending I was able to better tell the possible scenarios that they would encounter and their chances of surviving said encounters. This is something I know many may disagree with, but it is an acceptable uncanonical ending that still maintains the grim themes, and tone created by the vocabulary of McCarthy. The continuation of the basic survival procedures the man taught the boy go to reinforce one of a few motifs touched on in my piece. The tactics and caution of searching the environment for resources is one that buffers the proof that this world is almost certainly devoid of moral.

This continuation of procedures not only adds to the motif but also serves as evidence that the man succeeded in training and preparing this boy to live on without his father. While the boy is apart of a new family, he is not helpless and tasks himself with continuing life as his father taught him. This new group “carries the fire” despite not understanding the meaning of it. As a reader, fire is the hope, and ability to move on against all odds which is what they had done. The fire they held in their hearts allowed them to trek endless miles and scour in the hopes of finally catching up to what may be the last of the sane people left in this world.

When bringing the story to a close I use the boys speaking to his father’s spirit as a means of furthering the idea that the boy has rapidly matured and can survive on his own. Something that is mentioned often in the story is that thinking of the good ol’ times, or the past, is simply a means to your downfall. The boy had this pressed on him many times, and while he still loves his father, he finds it necessary to move on by removing these sentiments.

Gender Identity

The topic of our radio piece is gender. We wanted to show how its definition is largely up to interpretation, and people have different views on it. We interviewed teens because we felt that they had a lot of interesting ideas into this topic. Our hope is that the views presented by teens in this piece give the listener a new understanding of gender.

I worked with Alex Wroblewski and Des O'Donovan.

U2-#8-Slate Post

The TV show we watched in class was called Digital Nation. To me the most memorable thing about the show was when the boy would go on social media and talk to this boy who made a website on different ways to kill your self. So the boy would get bully like everyday in school, so he planed to study this different ways so when the time comes he can kill him self. His father saw it coming so he kept a sharp eye on his son. And a couple day later he was reported that his son was hung in the boys bathroom from the school. Then the dad tried to cummunicate with the boy who gave he the way but he never text the dad back. I think it's important to watch shows like this because it show kids and adult what be going on in a child's head when stuff like this is happening to them, and sometimes they don't show it on the outside around friends and family. The way I would keep my future family safe online is first not to expose them to the wrong type of information online such as certain social media's. It's important to talk to family about internet safety because they may put the wrong type of information on the social media and that's unsafe for them. Such as email, address, school address, or where you work sometime because there can be a creep coming after you. What I would say to family's that don't know how to keep there children safe online is to check there phones and get there passwords to the social media's and only use it when something is important or something really dangerous happened. 

Discussion Controversy in a Classroom

Wilson Biggs, Brandon Yam, William Derry, and I decided to research the question "How are controversial topics discussed proactively in a classroom?" We conducted this research by creating a radio piece of a mix of different people's opinion on the topic. We interviewed a professor, a teacher, and a student. Controversial topics range from the shooting in Ferguson to creationism vs evolutionism. We discovered that not only is it possible to discuss controversial topics like these in a classroom but also necessary in order for students to grow within their community and be aware of the world they are a part of. We find this topic to be really important because we feel that proactive discussions about controversial topics should be practiced in all high schools. 

Click here to listen to our piece!

Q2 Art Slideshow

   This quarter in Art saw a shift to more experimental forms, and because of that, it challenged my more simplistic, feel-of-the-moment style to move to places that need to incorporate more abstract ideas. To that extreme, I think this quarter that I was reasonably successful.

    With projects this quarter such as the collage and illustration, I was able to take the vague inspirations that usually are the driving force behind my art and make them come to life, in ways that I usually were satisfied with.

From the first piece of art shown in this slideshow to the last, various amounts of reworks, both inspirational and technical are going on behind the scenes. I don’t ask for the audience to understand all of my work, in fact, most of it is beyond the understanding of anybody but me. What I ask for is interpretation, whether for myself or my artwork, so that the work I’ve put in won’t go to complete waste.  

Racism/Stereo Types on Black

100.0.0.Racism and stereotypes towards African American human beings.

Now I could sit here all day and talk about the “facts” that this world has created on African Americans on stereotypes. The reason in the last sentence that I put facts in quotes is because they aren’t facts they’re just people who are still following the stereotype, and it’s sad to say because even after years of African Americans doing well and spreading great music,acting,producing,directing,painting etc. A good amount of African Americans have made historic songs and one I’ll name right now is the man who created many pieces that brought the world together or on the same page and he was named Michael Jackson. The man was a phenom and now he’s a legend, but some people don’t even know that he’s actually black but think he’s white and it’s sad that he bleached his skin because he gave the wrong impression to others of why he did it. Many white people were then given opportunities to throw shade on African Americans because they would say harsh things like “You should change like michael” and that hurts to a black man because he could’ve had a skin disease just like michael did, but people don’t think about others and feelings and that was used for when white people treated African Americans like trash because they had the “Upper hand”. They actually didn’t have the upper hand but they kind of did because of the color of there skin. If the world was focused on the importance of people like it is now then I don’t think White people would’ve started or created any type of revolution because African Americans would’ve took the spot of control and would’ve been grateful for the opportunity that they were given. The reasons of why White people didn’t think African Americans were smart was because to be quite honest it wasn’t that they weren’t smart it was that the white people were giving them old books from the 1700’s or hand me downs from when the White people were done using their books in school, but it just wasn’t school even the water the African Americans used wasn’t fresh or even as close to being as fresh as the White people water. If a African American were to even think about getting White people water or use their fountain they’d get beat up terribly and that’s just sad to even think about because it’s kind of silly if you think about it now because they were about to get beat up because of the color their skin and being thirsty… Again it’s very sad to think about something so silly that was taken so serious like wow that’s messed up. If White people were treated like that it would be the whole Army on the African American Guy but even if it was a woman they would’ve been used as a maid for eternity that’s why everyone should celebrate Martin Luther KIng day like it’s their last day to live because he changed all of this and it sheds a tear to this eye to see that he’s gone and couldn’t see his accomplishment because 1 of his accomplishments ended up multiplying and spreading toward billions of people and the message of peace for everyone is still being shown today. The picks of these sections weren’t from sources they were knowledge a thing that some people still don’t think we have today and it’s very sad to say and think that. Other stereotypes are whenever and African American walks in a store it doesn’t mean we’re going to steal anything.