McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Pages 58 to 59

The following passage is what I have imagined would be included in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road: Collector’s Edition.

The boy resembles her vastly. But his eyes were the man’s. Dark and sullen. When he asks him questions the man is often reminded of her. He gives the same inquisitive expression that could only come from her. The night she left he fell asleep rather quickly, and to the man’s surprise he did not cry. It was the first time the man felt that the boy was starting to outgrow their relationship. He couldn’t help but think about where she went as the boy slept. He knew he would never see her again but could not help but wonder if she was trekking the same bleak road as they were. Walking and surviving. He’d taught her that much at least.

.     .     .

In his dreams he felt her. He was alone and walking toward a stark gray house with its door slung open. The beads of sweat rolled down his temples as he approached. Cautiously. As he stepped past the porch, he knew something was bizarre. Everything in the house was completely untouched. As if everything that happened hit everywhere on Earth except here. Opening the door to the basement he heard her. The wooden steps creaking with every shift as he came closer. She called to him. When he reached the bottom, he turned around anxiously, searching for her. But waiting for him was the boy.

The following is my in depth rationale explaining the reason for any literary choices I may have made for this project.

In my project, I chose to address the mother a bit more and explore some of the effects of her absence. I split my passage into two different scenes. The first being the man’s thoughts about his son after his wife left and the second being a dream he had. I chose to place this between pages 58 and 59 right after the man explains the mystery and silence of the way she left.

My overarching theme centered around personal growth. The essential question I found for this novel was “How has tragedy altered the development of the characters’ strength?” It seems as though every time something bad happens to the father and son, the son matures more and the father weakens. Though some might think the father persevered throughout the story, I think McCarthy shed light on his weakening spirit during the whole story while the son however became gradually less fearful.

On page 58, the mother has just left the father and son and the only thing the boy chose to ask was, “She’s gone isn’t she?” and nothing further. This stood out to me a lot because the boy is often very inquisitive of his father, and for something so monumental and sad in both of their lives, he only posed one question. So I chose to talk about that through the father’s perspective in my passage. I included that the boy did not cry the night she left, another sign of growth in his character. This wasn’t something he feared.

Along the passage, I used small familiar description words or phrases used along the book to best match McCarthy’s style of writing. Some of these include “Dark and sullen”, “the same bleak road”, “He’d taught her that much at least”. I also tried to avoid saying “the man” and “the boy” too often and instead used “he”; McCarthy often purposely uses “he” even though there are two male characters because he assumes readers will know who he is referring to in the story. For my McCarthy-esque vocabulary word, I chose “trekking”. He is a fan of using words that describe something long, vast, or dragging. I felt like the word “trekking” captured that because it describes going on a long arduous journey which is the basis of the entire novel.

The second part of my passage is a dream the man has about his wife the night after she left. He thinks he’s found her and when he reaches his destination there is only his son waiting. This is the reality he now faces, and he is coming to terms with it here. I also made the dream parallel to the scene later where they find the bodies calling for help because this could be something that happened to her when she left.

Identity and Belonging: Advanced Essay #3

A young dark skinned black girl logs into her daily fix of social media. Endless tweets of pictures of brown beauties smother her laptop screen; pictures of black women embracing their radiant melanin, kinky fros, broad noses and thick lips. Their eyes glow with delight as they espouse their confidence of inner and outer beauty. The young girl smiles to herself and finds her insides warm up with happiness with the sights of uplifting comments and compliments towards these women. Comments like “YASSSSSSSS!” and “Black girl magic” and in simpler terms, “Beautiful”; comments that’ll make any girl feel good about herself.

But the young dark-skinned black girl continues to scroll down her screen and the compliments slowly drown into a deep pit of hate and disgust:

“Dark-skinned bitches will never be attractive lol.”

“She’s pretty for a dark skinned girl”

“She’d be better if her skin was  one shade lighter and had a smaller nose.”

“Yeah she’s nice looking, but I’ll never marry a dark girl. She gotta be light so my kids will be pretty”

And the young black girl as well slowly drowns into a deep pit of hate and disgust, but with herself.

A young black girl who momentarily began to break free from the cage of detestation but got the chance to soar, was abruptly struck by the bullet of indignity, killing her self confidence and security.

Unnerved, the dark-skinned black girl slams her laptop screen, while sparkling tears cascade down the curves of her cheeks, dripping onto the sheets of her bed. Tears that hold sorrow, rejecting the love for herself.

That young-dark skinned black girl could be you. That young-dark skinned girl was once me…

Once a dark skinned girl who wasn’t in love with myself. A girl who couldn’t see the beauty in my features. A girl who was constantly reminded by society that she wasn’t attractive nor wanted by the world, yet her entire physique is copied by everyone. A girl who was constantly reminded by her own men that she was no longer needed for love and instead, lusted over her light and white counterparts. A girl who was constantly reminded that her complexion will never go away and that she could do nothing but accept the foundation of her being that she didn’t appreciate.

Growing up, there was always a sense of paranoia attributed with my skin. Countless days worrying if a guy will find me pretty, only to find out that he was only interested in my light skinned friends. This was something that I got used to, as I thought that this was a routine that I would have to accept for the rest of my life, however, I did not want to accept this fate. There were constant thoughts of the perceptions people would have of me because of my complexion. Would they think I’m ghetto? Ugly? Loud? Dumb? Not capable of achieving a higher level in life?

If you look up the word black, more specifically darkness, you find words like, misery, disaster, evil and wicked, anger and etcetera; all words that can be attributed with pessimism, and that is what I felt like. I was a vessel that contained nothing but despair, angst, and negativity but also a void that longed for firm trust in myself and confidence. And I wasn’t the only one.

One day, I had came across a statement by rapper, Andre 3000

                               “Across cultures, darker people suffer the most. Why?”

I took it upon myself to evaluate this quote and apply it to myself. In this case, I fell victim to this declaration. I was the dark person who was suffering in this white washed culture, but why? When I was born, I certainly did not automatically hate myself. But I was conditioned to do so. Subtly, through the media, I was told that my appearance was not wanted. I was told this with the lack of representation of dark black woman in media, and if there was representation, it was minor and/or often did not shine the best light upon us. I was told this through Covergirl and Maybelline commercials, where peach flesh toned models graced the television screen but not one looked like me, hinting that darker woman could not be beautiful.

This world tries its best to make sure we, as dark skinned black people, hate ourselves. When we arrived in this country, from the minute we stepped off that slave ship, whites made sure with there own obligation, that we hated ourselves. We were stripped of our names, language, culture and religion, and forced to adapt to theirs. They told us we were ugly, savage beasts that deserved no life. They plotted dark-skinned and light-skinned slaves against each other so that there could be no unity. We had lost everything we knew about ourselves and with that, we also lost who we were as a people and thus lost our connection and pride. Why did they do this?

Because they know that when we, as a people are one, we unite! We gain too much power in our knowledge of self and beauty. So they did that, to make us weak to this world. And when I finally recognized this corroboration, I made it my duty to diminish any thoughts of hate, and replace them with admiration.

It wasn’t easy. I had to learn to love and at many times, I felt like giving up. But I remembered that one day, I was to bear dark-skinned children into this world, and that possibly, they would face the same problems that I, at the moment had with myself. That was not what I wanted; I want my future children to grow with love for their complexion, but how could I expect them to love themselves, if I couldn’t? So I pushed myself to love myself.

I went on social media and looked at beautiful black woman that resembled me; that adored themselves. Looked through hashtags like “#blackoutday” and”#melaninmondays”, with refreshing pictures of dark woman. I read articles of woman like me, who too, faced similar problems like me. I looked and examined myself in vain, until I appreciated myself in full.

And now I do.

Self love is a long journey; it does not happen overnight. It takes deep thinking to realize where the problem with yourself sprouted from and when you recognize that problem, the rest is just a matter of striving to end what you no longer want.

I love my prominent features of my face; how pronounced they are. I love how my naturals kinks and zig zags of hair defy gravity, winding up towards the sun, as if they are reaching for its light. I love how my melanin absorbs the sun’s rays, mimicking the glow of honey and brown sugar.

I am magic. I am light. I am a goddess, a queen.

I am Jaiye and I am now that dark skinned black girl who loves herself. And you can too.

Identity and Belonging Podcast- Juliana Concepcion

From the moment we were assigned this project I knew that I wanted my Podcast to tell a good story. I wanted it to be engaging, interesting, and maybe even a little humorous to make it even more enjoyable. Instead of having a very structured interview, I had planned for more of a conversation to take place, for my interviewee to tell their stories and experiences with identity and belonging. This was something that I wanted to be proud of, and be able to look back on years from now and still say it wasn’t that bad of a podcast. I was determined to work very hard to achieve these goals, and so my ideas started flowing right away.

The first step I took with the project was finding someone to interview. I wanted someone who I knew would have a lot to say about identity and belonging. It just so happened that my friend and I were talking about how her professor at the time told many interesting stories in her social work practice class, and so I realized that he would be a great person to interview for my podcast on identity and belonging! Once the idea was brought up to the table, it didn’t take long at all for her to set up an interview for me, and so I’m really lucky for that part to have gone well for me. I’m also lucky that the interview went very smoothly, and he gave me a lot of material to work with. The hardest part was editing, as I figured it would be. I had multiple hours worth of footage, though the interview didn’t actually seem that long. GarageBand gave me many problems, but in the end it all worked out and I was able to create a podcast that I can say I am proud of.

Identity and Belonging Podcast

My goal for this podcast was to to try to make something that I was proud of and something that would keep people  interested. I also trying to make something that could show my idea in well enough that even though when there would be times when you listen and seem like the topics did not relate they actually do.

I think what went well during the recording process was trying to get a story out of the person. I thought that the things that the person was telling me was really good as well it was interesting to hear and ask questions about. The stories that my interview as telling me went well with my thesis .and I think I did well connecting moments when It did not seem relevant together because it actually fits together.
Aldo Podcast

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 161

The dialogue piece below is what I came up with and I believe that if Cormac McCarthy was to have an unedited version of The Road that this would be apart of it...


They both settle in for the night.

Lay down with me Papa.

You know I’m not always going to be around.

Don’t say that.

It’s the truth.


Life isn’t always what it seems to be. Not everyone is who them seem to be.


I understand you want to see the good in everyone but you can’t.

But aren’t we good too?


So why can’t we believe others are good too.

Because it doesn’t work that way.

Why not?

That’s just life. Things don’t always work the way you want it to.

Are we still good?

Yes, do you not think so?



I don’t know.

Okay, I just want you to understand that not everyone is like us.

I know.

You don’t.

I do, but I don’t think people like us should suffer.

Someone’s intentions are not something you can see. You can’t know if someone is good or bad by looks. Say you see someone in danger... do you help them or keep walking?

Help them.



Do you know them?


Okay so how do you know if this person has good intentions.

You just know.

It doesn’t work like that.

Why doesn’t it.

Because that’s not how life works. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

So you would just keep walking?


That’s terrible.

That’s life.

Neither of them say another word to each other. They slowly begin to fall asleep.


Here is my rationale on what I wanted to express through my creative writing piece was that the boy was still clueless and innocent as to what was good and bad in the book. I decided that I was going to add a dialogue piece that would come before the father and son’s encounter with the old man. The old man in this book is someone the father and son had a dispute about. The son’s innocence was shown through this section because of his intentions on wanting to keep someone. He wanted to take someone in without even knowing who they were or what they were capable.

The section of the book I worked on comes right before that scene with the boy offering the old man a can of food. It was also right after the father announces that “it’s getting dark.” This part of the book was perfect because it was night and at night sometimes people have short talks about what’s going on and life. The moment suited well with this conversation I had the father and son undertake. Their conversation basically was the father trying to get the boy to understand that not everyone can be trusted. That he won’t always be around to help him differentiate good from bad.

Something that really sparked my attention while I was reading the book “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy was how the boy struggles to understand that not everyone can be trusted. That things are not always what they appear, especially people. The boy’s true character in the section of the book I chose to focus on perceives him as someone who still has their innocence. The boy believes that there is good in everyone without even second guessing whether or not this person could be a threat.

So in my section for my creative piece I chose to write a creative piece and I feel as though the dialogue discusses the dilemma of the boy not being to identify and differentiate good from bad. The conversation also brings to the boys attention that the father won’t always be around and that he will have to face risks alone one day. All in all I believe that the content flows with the rest of the part of the book.It addresses and brings to the reader's attention the character’s true growth overtime without pushing it too much or over exaggerating it.

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 86

This passage is the father breaking down what happens when they run out of love.

I’m sorry but there is no way we can take the boy with us you have to believe me.

What makes him any different than me?


You were able to take me

You’re different



You love me

I need you

They walk in silence pacing their steps.

Are you out of love?

No why?

That boy is alone.

We can’t take him. He could kill us.

And I’ll be alone

The man talks to the boy about the possibilities of what will happen if the other little boy goes with them. He quickly explains to the boy what a setup is and how the other boy could be the reason they die.

What if he’s like me?

What if he isn’t?

We don’t know.

Why am I not enough for you?

What’s the other possibility?

We don’t die.

He comes with us.

Then he dies.

Then we die.

The man walks away ashamed of his next thought. Knowing it will cripplekill the boy.

I die

No no I didn’t say that. I wouldn’t let you die.

And you keep going?


I’m not enough for you.

They share a silence and mumble their words as they finally understand each other.

I’m all you’ve got.

This is my rationale explaining what exactly is happening in my creative piece.

For my creative piece I added a forgotten/cut-out text to page 86 right after the boy finishes talking to the man about bring the other boy with them. The man in the book turns down this idea very quickly without explanation. In my creative piece I decided to finally have the man explain his decision to the boy in depth.

My essential question for this was; Is there a certain amount of love each character can give out at once? In my passage I display both of the main character's position on this by inserting things like “Are you out of love?”, to indicate that there is only but so much love you can have. Other things like the man asking the boy “Why am I not enough for you?”. Implying that the boy has so much love for everything it drives the man crazy. I do this so readers can get a better understanding of how much love the man lost when his wife left him, leaving him with only enough love for the boy.

A symbol I chose to use for this passage was, love affects our choices. The man and the boy’s choices differ when it comes to helping people out. The man believes that they should only focus on themselves because he doesn’t have time to love anyone else. The boy never experienced a tragic lost like the man did with his wife so when he sees someone in need he wants to help them. In my creative piece I proved this by writing things like when the man says, “there is no way we can take the boy with us”. I changed the way the boy responds though by having him question the man’s decision while simply asking him “What makes him any different than me?”. The boy realizes that him and the other boy are both alone in a sense. The other boy was physically alone and the boy is emotionally alone. He travels with the man who keeps him company but does not fulfill his emotional needs.

To end my creative piece I talk about the man explaining to the boy what could happen if they bring the other boy with them. If they take him and the man spits up his love for them, he will not stop if the boy dies. He will keep going because he has to take care of the other boy. The boy takes on the man's feelings about being unwanted. Now the boy and the man both have grasped the fact that they only have each other.

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 287

The passage below is what I think could be added to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road before the final edition.

So where are we going?

You’ll see.

What is there?

Let’s just say we’re going to the good guys.

The good guys?

Yes, the good guys.

And are they carrying the fire?

Yes, they’re carrying the fire.

They walked through the sand and calculated the sky. The days seemed longer, it was getting warmer and the grey clouds slowly disappeared. They have been walking for a couple of days already, approaching their destination.

The man stepped passed the bank and towards the woods. There in the middle of the woods was an open confined community, surrounded squarely by a 20 foot concrete wall. The boy still wrapped up in the blanket, followed the man to the gate.

Here we are. Welcome to Margin.

What is this place?

This is the home of the survivors.

So no one here eats people?

Nope, we don’t eat people. I told you, we’re the good guys. Everyone here is just like you and me.

Come on follow me, let’s get you settled in.

Infamiliar faces observed the boy as he tailed the man. The pistol was still with him, just like Papa said. He didn’t let anyone take his Pistol. It was the only physical part of Papa, that the boy had. The man brought the boy into a tent.

There’s someone I want you to meet.

There stood a woman with blonde hair. As she made eye contact with the boy she started to cry.



Jonathan ran towards her in tears hugging her in disbelief.

For my creative piece I have decided to add my part to the ending of the book which is on page 287. The boy and the man 2.0 start to build somewhat of a relationship. The man 2.0 is leading and replacing Papa as he continues the journey that the boy Papa started down south. As you see in the dialogue between the boy and the man 2.0. The boy is still very curious and he is continues to asks questions about the “good guys” and “carrying the fire”. The boy wants to have this trust in the man 2.0.

The man 2.0 is taking the boy to a confined community where it is safe. The man 2.0 and the women are sent from this community to find any survivors, also known as the “good guys”. In which they bring them back to this place, so that they can start a new civilization that is against cannibalism.

One major theme in this book is survival, trust and love. The whole point of this book is survival. The man 2.0 and this woman are helping these children. The boy trusted the man as a good guy, he didn’t know what was going to happen to him or what was in store for him. However, he did have hope and he continues to follow the man 2.0 and goes south like Papa had said.

In the book the pistol is mentioned a lot.The boy and Papa run into the “bad guys”. The pistol is the last thing that Papa gave to the boy before he died. Also, that Papa said to never give it to anyone so he will always have it on him. I think that since Papa can no longer protect him, the pistol will.

The boy reunites with his mother in the end. In the book it never mentions what exactly happens to the mom. Most of us assume that she died. I chose to have her alive in this confined community because before she disappeared she did tell Papa to keep going south because that’s where it’s warmer. This is where she ended up being as well. At the end the mother also, calls the boy Jonathan. She reveals that the boy’s name is Jonathan. The Christian meaning behind the name Jonathan means given of god. The boy represents numerous amounts of god like features and traits. When the mother realizes that the boy is her son, she cries because she feels guilty for leaving him and Papa. She is also in shock because she didn’t think she’d see either of them.

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, page 60


The scene below is what was deleted before the book was published

He traveled through the skies. He had moved forth the dark leaves that scattered on the ground. There was a dog. It came gallop trotting towards with its nostrils fully He had on a mask that covered his identity. The man was in sight, but could not hear his screams. He went through a cave where it was dark and filled with groans from those that were not strong enough to see what God had planned for them.

The boy heard gunshots that skimmed past his ear. He had ended up in a yard, that had crumbled excreta on the grounds. The boy called for his papa and only to see his ashen, thick breathe passed through the air.  

The boy woke up in a daze. The man was laying next to him with the quits pulled around his head. The sky had moved along the with only the pink shades showing.


He didn't answer at first.

The man looked up at the boy`s waxen face.

What is it? What` s wrong.

I dreamt something bad about us.

What did you dream. It is not real

The boy faced the road. You were using your pistol, I heard the gun go off. I was scared, the boy said.

It was just a dream, we will be okay, okay?


He cupped the boy`s forehead in his hand. There was a light silence that echoed off the stiffened trees in the cold. The man looked intensely for any sign of danger on the road, no one was there but the awaken dust that relocated every second.


This is an analysis of why I made the decisions for my project

I chose to analyze the motif on dreams, because this was a way to introduce or get the reader prepared for the upcoming scenes. McCarthy shows the reader how dreams could be the gateway to what is going to happen. It takes place where the reader is in the man`s or boy`s dream and has a front seat of what they are about to see or what they already saw.

I wanted to draw attention to this scene because I feel that the dream was a good way to build up to the scene.. I also think that dreams shows how the boy captures lots of  the images and in returns them has dreams that show that. Dreams is a non-direct way to send the reader pointers about what will happen next in the book. You can see inside the character's head, which also build character development. It gives you in this case, how the boy takes what is happening around him and dreams about it.

The scene where the man from the truck comes and finds them, I think needed to be more developed. It wasn't foreshadowed at all. There was no indication that the boy would have been in that type of danger. When adding the scene prior to that happening, I feel the reader is now inclined because they want to read more because of the dream. The dream was basically a startup to what was going to happen in “reality”.

There was a lot of questions to be asked, should as Why are dreams so important? This is what I wanted to make clear and analyze on. Dreams were constantly brought up in the book because it showed how the man and the boy differed in accepting what was happening. When the man dreamt, it usually was involved with people in his past or people that he once loved. This was because the man knew a world before this. When it came to the boy, his dreams were based upon fears that he had or foreshadows that would happen later in the book.

The word that I used that was McCarthy-like was “water-logged” which just meant moist or wet surroundings. This was not used in the book and I think adds a feel to where the character was and basically the whole mood of the dream.

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 130

​I believe the passage below was cut because the passage would take away the reader's ability to create their own ideas about the book.  

Passage (Put in the middle of Page 130)

The boy woke up beside his dad, dazed and confused.  

Papa wake up!


The boy crawled on the ominous ground.  He slowly got on to his feet.  Walking felt unnatural.  The boy continued in his attempt to walk.  The ground was bumpy.  The higher he got the more control he gained.  The boy looked back at his Papa laying in the ground motionless.  He soon realized that he and his papa did not fall asleep there.  His location was unknown and he started to cry.  As he pressed his face into his hands, he saw the flicker of a light.  Behind him was a stick holding fire.  The boy was fascinated and felt at ease.  The floating fire started to drift away.  

Papa look!

The boy turned around to his papa sleeping or dead.  The fire had gained more distance.  The boy started chasing after it.  He chased after the fire for about a mile before he realized that he had no way to get back.  The fire stopped moving.  There was nothing for miles.  The boy walked very slowly.  When he felt the time was right, he lunged for it hoping to hold the fire.  As his hand got a hold of the stick, his foot got caught by a piece of metal.  The boy ends up passing out, holding the fire.  

Son lets get ready to go.  The dad says to his the boy while he was dreaming.  

Papa look I am holding the fire.

Rationale - 

This passage should be put in the middle of page 130.  On page 130 the boy was asleep and the dad is trying to fall asleep.  Then it would jump into the dream.  The dream slowly builds up into a dream.  The boy lacks control in the dream.  The dream is so vivid it seems real.  My intention for putting this quote on page 130 is actually connected with finding the bunker.  I found it so unrealistic to stop, like they do constantly, because of the boys gut feeling.  So I went back to the most recent time the boy was asleep and created a dream that made it seem as if he was something of a higher power.  My essential questions were “Is the boy Jesus?” and “How did the boy know that was the right place to stop?.  In the dream once he gained control of his emotions he was distracted by a stick with fire.  The boy wants to believe he is holding the fire and therefore I gave him the opportunity to do so.  He followed the fire till he came across the bunker.  The bunker reference is very subtle because when they get there the boy does not know what is actually there.  His mind will remember falling in this very lonely place which will cause him to remember bits and pieces of the dream.  The dream being very vivid and making him follow the fire are all references that he has someone helping him.  I wanted to leave the impression that he was special.  I ended it with the boy tripping and waking up.  Before anyone really wakes up from a dream they still believe they are in it.  In conclusion he ended the dream holding the fire and having a place to go to in order to survive for longer.  As I said in the opening sentence, I believe if this passage was put in the book, there would be no question he was of a higher power and that he knew where the bunker was.  Given those two very big points, they had to remove the passage in order to make this story worth all the rewards it has received.  

Indee Phillpotts-English Podcast

My goals for this project was to interview someone who's ideas and experiences I wanted to hear about, along the lines of identity and belonging. I also wanted to see if I could incorporate music that actually went with the piece in some way, instead of just putting some random music on in the background. In general I wanted everything to tie together well, in a somewhat story like fashion or at least chronologically. Finally, I just wanted to make a project that I was proud of and that I thought sent a good message. Hopefully I achieved that but I am proud of my interview and what I put together, even though I know there are places that need improvements. I wanted to make sure I didn’t procrastinate on this project either because creating a decent podcast is a lot of work.

I found that the easiest part of this project was doing the interview. I thought that it was fun and interesting. The interview felt like an easy conversation so it flowed very well. It was really hard to edit down the 40 minutes to only 8-10. I felt like who I interviewed said a lot of good things and to choose between them was very difficult. I also found it hard to make it sound more like a story rather than an interview. I wanted to make it flow very well too, so that the different topics weren’t choppy, they each connected. I could've done better with time management while doing this project and I know that if I had given more time to it, it could be improved. I’m still proud of my work however, and enjoyed doing the interview for my podcast.

Coco Podcast

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 183

The passage below is what I think could be added to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road before the final edition on page 183 right after a dialogue.

In a murky weather, the man went looking for something to start a fire. All the branches soaked through. Nothing to use. Everything was futile. The man walked through dismaldingy ground that used to be a grassland. He kept searching for a while, but could not find anything. They did not have a lot of time until the sunrise. The man figured they will be fine by the morning. He came back to the shed where the boy was shivering and waiting for him.

Papa. What if you dont wake up?

Just like in your dream?


I wont. I will always be here with you.

But what if you dont?

It is my responsibility to take care of you.

Will I find the good guys if you dont wake up someday?

Yes but you will need to be careful.

Why? Because there are bad guys?


Who can I trust then?

You will know the good guys when you see them.

Okay. What are we doing here if we dont know if we will survive?



Yes. God will show us the way of the South.

Im scared.


I want to go with you wherever you go.

You need to believe me we will be okay.



I’m still cold. Can we go to sleep Papa?

Yes. Of course.



Here is the rationale to explain my decisions for the creative scene.

I decided that creative writing of this project will be added right after the dialogue between the boy and the father on page 183. Their dialogue ended when the boy was talking about his dream, where his father did not wake up. I wanted to continue their dialogue where the boy asks him what is the point of going down the road and what will happen to him if the man dies.

I wanted to focus on the boy and how he always asks questions when he is not sure and is scared. He asks a lot of questions about what will happen to him when his father does not wake up and if the good guys will take care of him. Since the scene happens at night, cold weather lets me use the motifs of what the boy says throughout the book for example, “I’m cold” “I’m scared”.  

The themes I picked were: faith, who can you trust?, God and safety vs. risk. Faith and God are important parts of the book that the man values. The man talked to God, which is why I thought it would be good to include God, when he tells the boy that God will show them the way. The theme about ‘who can you trust?’ and ‘safety vs. risk’ had to do with good and bad guys. This is why I had the boy ask his father if he will deal with the bad guys just in case the father will not wake up. Good and bad guys come up in the book all the time and they are also the people who they meet on the road.

The main motifs I included in the dialogue were “I’m scared” and “Okay”. These two motifs are repeated in the book most of the time when the boy and the father talk. “Okay” is usually what the boy says to his father’s answers. One of the essential questions was “What is the point of going down the road?”. The reason why I picked this question was to show what can happen at the end of the book. When the father answered that God will show them the way, the boy knows that place will be a better place comparing to where they were on page 183. I came up with ‘dismaldingy’ vocabulary word to describe where the man was walking to find something to start the fire. I used adjectives that both mean dark and gloomy, just like the road in the book.

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 292

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 boy and his brand new friend went into the yard to play. There was so much dust. Not a typical playground. They got so caught up in having fun that they didn’t even notice how dirty their faces were getting. The boy’s friend hit him and ran away. The boy started to chase him and followed him into the woods. He started to be surrounded by the rancid smell of death but didn’t let that bother him. All he could think about was finding his friend. For a brief moment he even forgot all about the man.

Hello? Where are you?

The boy kept wandering about through the woods. While running he stumbled upon something and ultimately fell on it. He felt the thing. It was a person.

I found you!

The boy didn’t hear an answer. When he took a closer look he realized that the body was a dead body of a stranger. He quickly pushed himself off the body. He started running away from the woods and back towards the house, but he remembered something. His friend was still alone in the woods. He wondered. Is he okay? I can’t just leave him. I have to help him. He could be in trouble. The boy stopped. He thought for a little while. He then turned around and walked back through the woods. He wanted to find his friend.

Written Rationale :

Throughout the book, the boy’s character has been praised very often. Every time a decision had to be made, the boy always seemed to help the man make the right choice or at least present the man with the right choice. They boy seemed to be the smarter, more loving, and most importantly more integre person in the book. He never wanted to hurt anyone nor allow anyone to suffer before his eyes. He would always ask the man to either bring someone with them or feed someone. He would also often ask his dad if they’re the good people. He had to make sure he was doing the right thing at all times. He was like the representation of God on earth, the man’s only reason for living. My creative piece is an addition to the book. It is what I think would happen if the author didn’t end the book the way that he did. It would be inserted on page 292. The boy has always wanted to have a friend his age. When he saw the other little boy, he was so excited that he was willing to run after him. He just wanted to talk to him and have fun like a regular boy. It was pretty clear that he never had an experience like that before and he was dying for that to happen.

 My piece would not be inserted right after the book ended because the boy would need time to become close to his friend and the rest of the group in order for my scene to happen. The adults would need to trust the boy for them to be able to play in the yards unattended in a dangerous world like that. That particular day, the other boy decided wrongly to run into the woods. The boy, as smart as he is, also made the wrong decision and followed his into the woods. He knows better but he wasn’t thinking straight as he is after all just a boy and when boys are playing games they aren’t thinking straight. The boy did not want to leave his friend even after he fell on a dead body. There are several reason one being because he wasn’t as spooked about dead bodies anymore and two being that he was very integre and he wanted the good of everyone around him.

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 78

In a world where I wrote The Road instead of Cormac McCarthy, the following scene would have been included:

The boy played in the creek as the man got the fire started. The red ash joined the grey, making the ashfall denser. This was safe ash, warmth. The boy stumbled out of the water, shivering. The man dried him off with a blanket and put it besides the fire as the boy crawled over.


What is it?

It’s time for me to sleep?

Yes, it’s time for you to sleep.

Can you tell me a story first?

I’ll tell you a story first.

Thank you Papa.

What kind of story do you want to hear.

One with colors.

The man sat for a minute and thought. Color wasn’t a concern, not something to think about. The light from the flames dusted a can of peas.

Have I ever told you the story of the green giant?


Alright. The green giant lived in a bright field of yellow corn. The sun glowed orange from the clear, blue sky. One day, as the giant was sleeping, he heard a cry from a tree. Up in the tree, sat a pink cat. “Are you alright?” the giant asked. “No, I’m stuck. Will you help me down?” The giant lifted the cat out of the tree. “There you are friend.” The cat flashed the giant a white smile. The two lived their days out together.



If we saw someone stuck, would we help them?

I told you a story. Now sleep.

Would we?

No, the man thought.


Below you will find the thoughts and rationale behind the decisions and concepts that went into the scene.

While reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy, I was struck by the discussion the man and boy have about stories. The man makes a comment about how he has run out of happy stories. I decided to have my piece depict a scene where the man tells the boy a story. A story, and a happy one at that, is a way for the man to show that he is more than his steely exterior. The boy allows him to show this inner warmth. I focused on showing this in the man’s characterization. This falls in line with a recurrent theme throughout the book, a focus on the bond between this man and his son, how warmth is created in a world of complete emotional coldness. I structured this scene around McCarthy’s use of cold, clear dialogue. This motif of his creates an almost unnerving contrast between the story and the scene itself. I also featured dialogue to show that this is where the boy gets his information, where he learns about the world.

However warm and caring these elements of the scene are, this is still The Road. And the road is a very dark place, where survival is the only true necessity. I used this scene to foreshadow the many moments when the man would be put into a situation that involved fleeing from people in need. The man is, in some ways, a hypocrite. He instills these survival methods and mindsets into the boy through this concept of good vs evil. The story I have the man tell represents the good that he wants the boy to see in the world, but I make sure to show that the man is not actually planning to focus on that. This is supported by my placement of the scene. It occurs shortly before the boy encounters the other little boy in the city, and, even more importantly, the bunker of human meat. These are two events that defy the values that the man is trying to instill in the boy. The Road has us ponder what truly makes someone good.

The scene works on three levels. The innermost level is that of the boy and the story, where the boy is both warmed by the fire and the affection that his father gives him. The middle level has to do with the man’s questionable morality. And the outermost level is that of the McCarthy-en atmosphere. It is dark, a fire is the only source of light, and the pair are surrounded by a constant “ashfall”, an oppressive, warped version of the rain we take for granted. These levels are what, when combined, form The Road.

Identity and Belonging Podcast

English Podcast - 1_29_16, 12.42 AM
My goal for this podcast was to make an engaging and interesting podcast.  I also wanted to make something I would be proud to show off to the world.  Since I had about 35 minutes of raw audio it took a while to edit.  I think all together it took about 2 to 2 and a half hours but it was over a 3 days.  

What went well during this process was the recording part.  The hard part was the editing and trying to figure out which parts needed to stay and what could get cut. I think overall this was a good project.   I learned a lot about the person I interviewed and learned a lot about editing a podcast.

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 183

​For this benchmark I had to create a scene and insert it into The Road by Cormac McCarthy, below is that scene and the rational for my creative decisions. 


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.

Adela Kalim y Natalia Green: Cultura de Panama


"Panama | History - Geography." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"Yin Carrizo - Los Algodones | Panama Music Videos." YouTube. YouTube. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"Raleigh Costa Rica and Nicaragua: April 2010." Raleigh Costa Rica and Nicaragua: April 2010. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"WAORANI PEOPLE OF ECUADOR." One Year One World. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"Panama Flag." Wallpaper. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"Ocueñas." Pinterest. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"Fotos De Polleras Y Camisilla." Estudio Polleras Graduaciones. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"Herencia Indígena De Costa Rica." Spanish202B1 -. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. < Indígena de Costa Rica>.

"Family Life - Panama." Family Life - Panama. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"Panamanian Food. Fish, Meat, Plantains and Rice." Around the World in Eighty Years. 2013. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"Las Tinajas." 2007. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"The Pollera." By: Darrell Pinontoan. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"The Temperate Tropics: Staying Cool Is a Breeze in Panama." The Ambler Best Travel Blog Unique Travel Perspective Sustainable Development. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"MOLAS." MOLAS. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"CocoaWell® Is Kuna-Inspired." RSS. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"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. <>.

Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"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. <>.

"EMBERA PEOPLE OF PANAMA." One Year One World. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"SV Gallant Fox." 'SV Gallant Fox' Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <á_people>.

"Panama." Panama. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"The Embera and Waounan Indigenous People of Panama and Colombia." Embera Indigenous People, Culture and Lifestyle. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"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." HighBeam Research, 2007. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"Gen. Noriega in Charge; Relations with U.S. Deteriorate." Infoplease. Infoplease. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

"Traditional Custom « EMBASSY OF PANAMA IN JAPAN." EMBASSY OF PANAMA IN JAPAN. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 281

The passage below was edited out of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road final edition

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.

This is my rationale to explain why I did what I did

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.

Creative Writing // Short Stories

​Bed of Broken Glass; 7k+ words - (read here)
He’s come to terms with the fact that his date stood him up, but he’s surprisingly quite alright with it, especially if it means he’ll get to spend the rest of the night in Lucas’ company. Maybe this night won’t turn out as crappy as he originally thought it would. As long as he can keep Lucas laughing and smiling, he’ll be fine. Even though he’s only known this stranger for a few hours, he finds comfort and safety in the light of his eyes. 

Youth // Part 1; 3K+ words - (read here)
“I picked it up first ‘cause it was pretty looking but then I start thinking a lil more and I kinda feel bad for soda cans,” he mumbles shrugging his shoulders again. “They’re so important; they let us drink from them and they hold our soda for us, but then we just throw them out afterwards.” Dane gives Marc a small, shy, hopeful smile.

Marc tilts his head to the side and squints at Dane’s face. “You’re weird.” Dane’s smile instantly drops and he looks down at his hands in his lap, his cheeks turning pink from embarrassment. 

Just Me, Her, and the Skyscrapers; 1k+ words - (read here)
Writing was my drug, my release, but when you don’t want to write anymore you start to go crazy. I didn’t want to write anymore. I wanted to live.

Some of the best love stories out there are born among the concrete and skyscrapers of New York City. I kept telling myself this.


A little bit about my writing: My main mentor text was How They Met, and Other Stories by David Levithan. This collection of short stories about romance inspired me to write about young love, and in various forms. When I write I like traveling to new places and creating new people. Levithan's book inspired me to write about same sex couples because they are an underrepresented population in popular literature. When students go to write stories for their english or creative writing classes, they (most likely) will conjure up the image of a straight couple. One day I hope that writers can break out of straight couple "norm" that plagues today's most popular novels.

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 252

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”.

Macbeth Movie Credit - Amelia

​I watched Macbeth the movie (2015) over the extended break, and I have to say I love absolutely everything! It was amazing. There were so many different things the producer decided to change or include, such as the boy that died that was constantly showing up (like when Macbeth "hallucinated" the daggers) which somewhat confused me especially after the funeral scene with his son, also when the woods came to Dunsinane (they caught on fire, which was very unexpected). 

The most shocking part was at the end when MacDuff was battling Macbeth. MACBETH NEVER DIED! That was so unexpected and different. 

By the way, Lady Macbeth's acting by Marion Cotillard, was breathtaking. She knew exactly how to capture the eye! I just wish some parts, like the funeral scene and the important boy, had an explanation to why they were included because it was very confusing. Till this day I'm still trying to figure it out. Overall, the movie was great! I enjoyed every little bit of it. 

McCarthy Unabrigded: The Road Pages 55-58

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?


What’s wrong?


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.  

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 130


He came across her while stumbling through the woods one night, looking for nothing. He hadn’t wanted to wake the child with his coughing, and out in the darkness he’d nearly stepped on her head. Somehow she hadn’t woken. In the thick darkness, she had become one more insensate log or fungiform growth on the forest floor. She seemed to have built herself a home in the glade. A rickety lean-to huddled against the nearest oak. A firepit smoldered nearby, and he wondered how they hadn’t spotted the column from their camp. He thought he could smell something else though, something that brought saliva flooding into his parched mouth. Next to the embers sat an old ammo canister, baring a belly full of salted meat. This time, he woke the boy. Reaching out to find him, the man let his ragged nails rasp against his sallow cheek. Thin enough to break your heart. Wake up, he whispered. I found something. When the boy smelled the meat, he cried. The man mistook it for gratitude, and swelled with pride, but the boy’s tears were bitter. Where did you get this? he demanded. 
I found it. A campsite nearby. 
What did you do to them? 
Nothing. I found it. 
You killed them! 
No. No, I just took the meat. 
I know. You killed them. 
We’re starving. 
Take it back. 
We could die. The fire could go out. 
It’d go out either way. Take it back. 


A significant part of the moral philosophy that the protagonists of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road use to distinguish themselves from “bad guys” is concerned with property. Several times throughout the book, the man and boy imply that, because the do not steal, they are moral. On page 162, the man indignantly tells Ely that they are not robbers, and on 145, they choose to thank the original owners of the miraculous bunker. This stance is rarely tested though. In the whole book, they never come across a character in possession of something valuable, who could be taken advantage of. I chose to put them in such a situation, because their differing reactions would illustrate a major theme/essential question of the book; in a post-societal world, what good is morality? I placed my excerpt in the period of the duo’s most severe starvation, before they find the bunker. This would give the man a reason to act somewhat amorally to protect the boy, which is consistent with character traits revealed later in the book. In this way, the passage foreshadows the moral decline he experiences shortly before his death. This placement, soon after their encounter with the mansion cannibals on pages 107-115, would also leave the boy seriously concerned with the morality of his actions. I also chose to make the boy the voice of morality, and the man the voice of pragmatism, since these are the roles McCarthy establishes for them elsewhere in the book. In the bunker scene, the man’s first thought is to fill their bellies, while the boy pauses to give thanks. The boy advocates for both Ely, on page 162, and the thief, on page 256, despite the dangers they pose. He is almost like the man’s externalized conscience. Finally, I decided to let the boy win their argument. This was respectful of the conclusions McCarthy seems to find in this philosophical treatise disguised as a novel. Just by letting the boy survive this grisly tale, McCarthy shows us that he believes in the perpetuation of ethics. He seems convinced that morality is the defining characteristic of humanity, and that rejecting earthly desires in favor of higher ideals is, for lack of a better phrase, being human .

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 53

I added a personal touch of the Man's thoughts to the book to help readers understand some of his rational and decision making further along in the book, and also to get a little more connected to the character. 

Creative Piece:

...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.

Mccarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 220

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

Creative Piece

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.

Identity and Belonging Podcast

My goal for the project mainly was just to get it done. However, due to my own opinion of the project, my work process slowed down. My goal then turned into me trying to get the best quality out of the work. I wanted my project to continue my essay and get another mouth on the subject. Interviewing my mentor who has similar viewpoints as me, gave me this chance to for fill my goals.
What if eel that went well is the interview and getting the project done on time. My main struggles was planning for such a long interview of 45 minutes. I had to go back two more times to get the full time minimum. Another thing I struggled with was the script, I felt as though I could do a better podcast if I winged it all. What ended up doing is reading straight off script because it was there and I felt it kind of ruined it a bit. The last thing I struggled with was not going past 10 minutes because I had so much information.
Identity and Belonging Podcast