Identity and Belonging Podcast - Chiara Nemati

My goal for this project was to share my fathers story about moving to America. He is an immigrant from Iran, who can here to study and escape the war. He ended up living here for more than half his life. I wanted to create a story that displayed the struggles that immigrants go through and help others see his journey to success. 

Overall, I think I created a nice piece. I was able to get the stories I wanted to share and structure them in a way that flowed. I had a little bit of difficulty with Garageband and feel that my editing skills can be improved on. My editing process was not the smoothest but writing out a script really helped me when I needed to cut information out and decide what to keep. 
baba english 3 Q2 BM - 1_29_16, 1.25 PM

Identity and Belonging Podcast - Katarina

What I wanted to accomplish was to get my stepdad to say an interesting story about how his identity was shaped. This was in response to the question: "Who is the person who influenced your identity the most?" This story was the answer to that question, and it was 10 minutes linger, but I had to cut it. 

I do good in the interview, were I got my stepdad to easily speak for the whole 45 minutes, were he told a few good and long stories. Something I could have done better, was made sure that my voice was the same loudness as his. Something I would do differently if I were to redo this project is I would ask him to conclude too.

Identity & Belonging Podcast - Jun-Jie Zou

English Podcast
    Since this was my first time turning a long interview into a short podcast, you can say that my goal was to be able to cut things down and have it still make sense. It was most definitely a lot of work, but I felt like it came out pretty satisfying considering the fact that I am not very good with editing audio. 
     I think the most difficult part is to cut down on the amazing things my interviewee said. As a matter of fact, I had to pass the limit because I was not fully able to cut down some things. But I don't feel like my audience will be bored out because he is speaking from his raw experience. I thought that I did a really good job with music selection. I felt as though the tone of my music was very mysterious and calmly suspenseful. I don't want my music to be very hard and violent, although the things my interviewee talked about has a lot of violent in it, because the topic that I chose to write about isn't something that should be intensely hyped up on. 

Identity in the System

For my podcast, I looked at how the system set up by society shapes peoples identity. For this, I interviewed many people and asked how they identified themselves. I focused on my mother, who immigrated from Liberia, and  how she grew up with strong traditional systems in her family. She goes into detail about how she was able to claim her own identity in a system that tried to give her an identity.
The process of the podcast was not that challenging. However when it came to the editing part, it was hard to know when and where to cut off. The easiest and the best part was finding and using music to be transitions or backgrounds of my podcast. I was able to choose music to fit my entire theme of my podcast and it shows in how the transition were smooth.

Darius Purnell Quarter 2 Slideshow

For my art pieces I wanted to keep everything an action/superhero theme.

For my Art Collage, I gathered as many pictures I could fit of the Avengers in different poses and looks. I then went back and drew the Avengers logo. I didn’t really have a certain way I organized the pictures, I started with just placing them in the corners, then from there I just randomize it.

The next art piece is a Fabric. I wanted to stick to my theme of superheros, so I drew a cape and shaded shadows and the curves. Then I drew a mesh shirt under it.

For my following piece, I edited a picture I took near 30th and market. To further my theme of action, I tried to edit the picture to look like a zombie movie.

My final piece is of the logo for one of my favorite shows, Video Game High School (VGHS), this show is full of action and I thought for my free draw it would be a good conclusion to quarter’s art pieces.

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 259

The passage below is what I believe was cut from McCarthy’s The Road:

I watched the boy, his words struck me, he had matured. I wanted to say something but I had no words. The boy wouldn’t talk to me anyway. I looked back the man was standing where I had left him, naked. Even from this far away I could tell how gaunt he was. I averted my gaze and looked at the boy who was now quietly sobbing. I wish he would stop. I continued to watch the boy as he slothed along. The man felt warm arm arise in his throat. He put his hand to his mouth trying to suppress the cough, but it only muffled it. His paced slowed.

“Stop trying to protect me and cough.” 

By the time I removed my hand my cough had slithered back down my throat, all that was left was the blood on my hand. He knew. He knew I wasn’t doing well. I could feel the boy’s eyes watching me think. The boy wouldn’t last long after I was gone. Stripping that man’s clothing made me a bad guy in the boy’s eyes. We wouldn’t have gotten this far without being eaten or shackled if I thought/acted like the boy every thought, intention, tear based solely on others.

Here is the rationale for the choices I made

I placed my creative piece on page 259 on McCarthy’s The Road, right underneath the part when the boy says: I am the one. I chose this part of the book because this scene was so powerful to me. I want to go more indepth in showing how the boy and the man are so different,  and how their means of survival differ. I wanted this scene to start off where McCarthy left off. In the beginning scene the father is contemplating his relationship with the boy after making that man strip down. On page 259 McCarthy shows the boy sobbing and looking back at the man and letting his father know that he was the one who has to worry, which I believe is the most powerful thing the boy said in the book. It lets us know that the boy is beginning to realize he is going to be on his own.

My essential question was: What does it mean to survive. This question had been something that I’d thought a lot about when reading The Road. Throughout the book we have seen the boy show compassion over and over again just as we’ve seen the man do whatever needs to be done to keep him and the boy alive. I thought it was interesting to see the boy stick up for the people his father was going to harm. I decided to elaborate on this scene further because it was in my mind a perfect example of the boy sticking up for the person his father was going to harm. I wanted to give more insight on the father's thoughts. I want to make sure that people understand the importance of this page, of this scene, and I thought that a good way to show this was by writing from the the perspective of the father.

I started my creative piece out with the father reacting to what the boy said: “I am the one.” I wanted the father react to what the boy said to the fact that he had show compassion again toward someone who had taken something from them. I wanted the boy to lash out to show that he didn't need his father to take care of him anymore, to let his father know that he could take care of himself. I noticed that McCarthy didn’t have the father express his feelings or opinions on the boy’s compassion in the book that often and that is something that I would have liked to see more of. I had the boy lash out at his father in my creative scene.

Senior Art Q2

This quarter in senior art, I really learned a lot about my artistic ability. I was happy to see that there were tequniques to sketching, and I remembered parts of art that I forgot about. 
In quarter two, we did a lot of art history work, but most of the quarter we did art work. We drew drawing of ferns, mine being in charcoal. We also did Golden ratio pieces. It was interesting to learn all about the golden ratio, I did not know you incorporated math into art. We then focused on block printing. We sketched our block prints, did the negative sketches, then molded them, getting them ready for printing. It was extremely fun, and cool!
My favorite art piece was my fern drawing. I like how I used the charcoal to shade in the fern, and it looked really realistic. I worked hard on, and dedicated time on it. 
My second favorite piece was my golden ratio drawing. I put a lot of work into it, and I was really proud with my detail. I shaded the colors of the snow, and it was very soft looking, rather than hard, and blotchy. 

Women and the Hijab

This radio piece summarizes the struggles and misconceptions of Muslin women wearing the hijab. This topic is special and important because of the many muslims who are passionate about covering, thrones who sacrifice their lives to cover and the people who just don’t understand.  We conducted a series of interviews, in an attempt to uncover the mindset behind those who seek clarity. 
Women and the Hijab

Q2 Art Portfolio

I’m in 11th grade and in the class of advance art. I love working on art pieces even though I’m not good at drawing. This is quarter 2 I did about 4 major projects. I think I improve on my art skill and drawing from the first quarter because of all the new things I have learned. The first major project was the collage. My collage was the different type of shoes and boots. My second major project was fabric. I used my mom bed and fabric to follow along. Then, my third major project was my photo editing. I took a picture of me on facebook and editing it by smuggling the background of the photo. Lastly, my last project was my Illustration. In my Illustration was my drawing of my friends and I were a front of my chinese store playing football. Football is my life and very meaningful to me and always will be. I trying to keep on improving on all my art skills and hopefully they will more in the 3 quarter..

Identity and Belonging Podcast-Aaron Watson-Sharer

I conducted a podcast with an immigrant from Burma who was a refugee in Thailand. My goal was to share his story and for many others to show what many immigrants go through in their life and adjusting to our society. I focused my question on his life in a linear fashion which he gave some bold responses to. Making the podcast I wanted to provide a real summary on his life and the difficulties attached with it.

Making videos and podcasts were nothing new, so what went well was producing a podcast. I believe the interview went well, it was a wonderful conversation with many stories that were unique. Some struggles I went through are with the audio, which was sometimes hard to use because we made this podcast in a Panera. I really learned about the life in refugee camps and life as a U.S immigrant in Philadelphia.

Identity and Belonging Podcast

My goal was to interview my mother who has an extensive background connecting to my theme of the assignment. “...being an African-American female in today’s society is challenging. There are so many expectations you are meant to uphold, foremost as you carry yourself can be a large factor in how you thrive in society. Today there are so many ways an African-American woman can be portrayed through so many different lens’.” There were so many ways that I could’ve made my piece flow, such as with one whole story or with multiple pieces. I chose to have multiple pieces strategically put together to describe a point that african-american women are more than just a stereotype. In my footage that I polished and finalize, I could connect to all requirements of the podcast (dramatic arc, story and background music).

As I worked on this project, I choose to take a different step during the process. I wrote my log and took away footage to shorten it and “make things easier for myself.” I think that it worked fairly effectively. There were some technical difficulties when I put some parts together. In addition to my final piece, there was a large spike in the sound during my first narration. I struggled with fixing it. Also limiting background noise in my house was a bit difficult because a part of our house was being constructed during the time I recorded. However, overall I think that my final piece is polished and great, despite the tech difficulties.

Gentrification Radio Piece

Our goal was to make a radio story about one specific example of how the mechanism of gentrification works. We wanted to represent the perspectives of people who have had to move in less than ideal circumstances, and the perspectives of the new families who are moving into houses in gentrified areas as well as anyone else involved in or knowledgeable about the process of gentrification.

Gent. Piece Take One

Gentrification Radio Piece

By Josh Berg, Aaron Block, Stephanie Dyson, Veronica Nocella, Anna Sugrue

Our goal was to make a radio story about one specific example of how the mechanism of gentrification works. We wanted to represent the perspectives of people who have had to move in less than ideal circumstances, and the perspectives of the new families who are moving into houses in gentrified areas as well as anyone else involved in or knowledgeable about the process of gentrification.

Gent. Piece Take One

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 283

The creative scene below was crafted in order to relay what in what my mind had imagined to have been cut from McCarthy's finished version of The Road

I am carrying the fire. But my fire is not the fire you carry. 
Your fire is different?
Yes. Everyone carries a different fire. Even your papa carried a different fire. 
Papa and I carry the same fire. We are both good guys. 
No you were your papa’s fire. He was carrying you. You need to figure out what your fire is. 
But we all have to carry the same one. That’s why we are god guys.
There are no good guys. 
My papa was a good guy. I’m a good guy. We don’t eat people. 
Eating people makes you a bad guy? 
How about killing people?
Did your papa ever kill anyone? 
Yes. But only because he had to. A bad guy tried to hurt me. 
Well doesn’t that make him a bad guy too?
I don’t know. 
It doesn’t. 
It doesn’t? 
No. There are no good or bad guys. Just guys trying to survive. Trying to protect their fires.
And my papa was protecting me? 
Yes. You were his fire. 
So it doesn’t matter that he killed someone? 
No because he had to. You were his fire, his reason to live and he couldn’t let his fire go out. 
So sometimes good guys do bad things. 
So you really can’t tell the difference. 
No because there is none. 
No good guys or bad guys?
Just guys trying to live. 
Just protecting their fires. 
Yes. Everyone is just protecting their own, sundry fires. 

Included below is a rationale explaining every choice made for the scene crafted above. 

The scene crafted tackles the theme of morality that lingers in such a deranged world. At this point in the book, the boy has met a man willing to take him in, but the boy is determining whether or not he can be trusted. The scene is placed on page 283, in which the book is almost through, in order to show how much older the boy has gotten by the end. It uses this boy’s development of maturity and understanding throughout the book to ease into one of the longest dialogues seen yet. This directly shows the growth of the boy’s character, but does as well entail a lot about the father’s, despite his absence. The man in this scene begins to explain more to the boy in one conversation about the world in which they live than his father had throughout the entirety of the book. This portrays the innocence his father wanted him to keep despite the world they’re living in. It shows the protectiveness his father had of not only his physical being, but of his uncorrupted mind. The addition of the new scene graffles with the question of whether or not there is a difference between good and bad guys in such a world by determining how this fire that everyone seems to be carrying affects their morals. This scene uses the recurring concept of “carrying the fire” to help prove that there is in fact no good or bad guys, just people trying to survive, and in order to survive they need to keep this fire alive. In the scene, the boy is forced to reflect back to a time in which his own father killed someone, causing for him to argue his own definition of what a good guy is. He knows his father was forced to kill the man in order to protect him, and so the man helps to explain that it’s because he was his father’s fire and so it was his job to keep him alive. By keeping the boy alive, he was keeping himself alive because everyone’s fire is their reason for fighting, reason for living. The man goes on to explain that everyone’s fire is different. Everyone is carrying their own fire in which they prioritize over anything else in order to keep themselves going, meaning that sometimes they will be forced to do things considered wrong. The man uses the word sundry to describe the fires. Sundry, meaning several, is most commonly used to describe ingredients, such a herbs, crafting the concept that everyone’s fire is like their own special ingredient. And so, without these fires, no one would be the same. 

Cormac McCarthy "The Road" Page 220

What am I going to say to him?

Don’t worry about that.

We just turn around and you leave that easily?

This is hard for me too. I didn’t want to bring him into this craziness.

You said everything would be okay but look outside. What do you see? I see an absence of color. No life. Just us. How can we survive this for any longer. You will be better off without the stress of me on your back.


The boy peeks his head out of his room, disrupting the man and woman.  

Come. Your mother has to talk to you.

The woman looks at the man.

Do you think this is not hard for me?

Look at me baby this is a little hard for me.

What is it mommy?

This isnt mommy saying she doesnt love you. I have to go away for a while, don’t come looking for me. I am okay. You are going to spend most of your days with your father.

Why do you have to go?

You will find out later on in life.

I love you. Okay.

Okay. I love you too.

The man rolls over and looks at the boy.

Good morning papa.

Good morning.

Did you dream about Momma?


I miss her.


Do you miss her?


Do you think she loves me?



Okay. Go back to sleep now.


The man rolls over and pulls the cover and blue tarp over the boy.

Identity and Belonging Podcast

My goal for this project was to make an interesting podcast that shows how religion can be incorporated into a person’s identity. Though my podcast is different from my essay, it still shows the different things that add onto a person’s identity. SInce I had 45 minutes worth of raw footage, it took awhile to cut and edit everything down into an eight minute podcast.

While working on the podcast, there were plenty of pauses in the audio that took most of the editing time. Also cutting the story in places that made sense that still kept the flow was a bit hard. During the interview process, preparing enough questions to get 45 minutes was also hard to do so most of my questions came based off of what my interviewee said.

Q2 Art Portfolio

My overall goal for each piece of artwork was to challenge my ideas by not using the first the thought that comes to mind. Instead of my normal black, grey, and white color scheme, I wanted to use much more color and vibrancy in my pieces. I also wanted to include a feminist and peaceful mood for my pieces.

My first piece was my collage that is made with colored pencils, sharpies, and magazine clippings of flowers. I chose to draw a woman with flowers for hair, because I wanted to represent a woman's thoughts that bloom from her mind to create something beautiful and full of life.

For my fabric drawing, I chose to sketch a dress with a shaw in pencil. I wanted to include many folds and focus on shading to make the drawing have a three dimensional and realistic look. I used a dress to include a feminine element instead of just drawing a random piece of fabric.

As for my edited photo, I took a picture of my favorite ornament on my Christmas tree. I thought that it would make a nice photo, because of the glass, the shape of the ornament, the designs on the ornament, and the lights under the ornament. I wanted to use a black and white filter to try to accentuate the light, highlight the birds and flower, and make the picture look peaceful and elegant.

Lastly, for my illustration, I drew a picture inspired by the Divergent book series which I currently cannot stop reading. The circles with symbols represent the society's factions of society in the book. I chose to write Divergent next to the faction to make it clear what piece of literature the drawing is about. I also tried to blend the colors of the factions into the letter to have the word flow with the faction symbols.

What is the Benefit of Standardized Testing?

     Seniors at Science Leadership Academy, Hannah Nicoletti and Zoe Schwingel-Sauer are pressing the issue of standardized testing. They are stressing the frustrations of students that take standardized tests every year and don’t end up with results that accurately reflect their work ethic. As students currently going through the testing and application process Zoe and Hannah feel they are the perfect people to represent the rest of the class of 2016 as well as future generations.


The Hipster In The World-A Radio Story.

This radio work was done with having one goal in mind. That goal was to get people to think differently about hipsters and what they bring to the table. It's focused on how people define the term "Hipster" And offered a different perspective on the topic. I talked to various people in the SLA community, and gave an interesting idea on the whole idea. In the end, I'm proud to debut my piece.

McCarthy Unabridged


The scene below is what I imagined could have gone into page 174 of The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

The boy looked back at the old man. Slouched down on the ground. Like theyd found him. He was not looking at the boy.

Why did he call himself Eli if thats not his name?

His real name is all he has left. Its why no one else weve met has told us their


I like the way it sounds.

The way what sounds.





Does it mean anything?

The name?

Yes. Eli. Or is it just a nice sound?

A long time ago there was someone named Eli. He was pure and good in every

way, but in the end he got in trouble.

He was a good guy?

Yes. He was a good guy.

Then why did he get in trouble?

He didnt discipline his sons enough.

What does that mean?

He didnt punish them enough when they did the wrong thing.

Do you think youre like Eli?

What? How.

Because when I get into trouble or do the wrong thing you dont punish me.

No. I dont think Im like Eli. Im not as pure and good as he was.

But what about me?

What about you.

You dont. . .discipline. . .me.

The boy tested the word, worried to use it incorrectly.

No. I guess not. But the guy who got mad at Eli isnt around anymore.

Who was it?

It doesn’t matter.

The boy couldnt see the old man anymore. The man remembered a time when he might have been stricter with the boy. In his past life. Maybe he should be a stronger parent. The boys curiosity and compassion would kill him when the man was gone. But he couldnt bear it. The boy was the only good in the world and disciplining him would taint that. The boy was the last remainder of the one who got mad at Eli.

Google Doc

McCarthy's Unbridged: Page 27

The passage below is a continuation of what happens on and after page 27 of Cormac McCarthy’s, The Road.

(The Road 27) “We should go, Papa. Can we go?

Yes. We can go.

I’m scared.

I know. I’m sorry.

I’m really scared.

It’s all right. We shouldn’t have come.”

One night later, they trudged along the dark Eastern Mountain, hoping to find somewhere to sleep that covered themselves from the wet cacophony that had suddenly come.

How about here, Papa?

Okay. We will stay here. You hungry?


After the boy had shown no interest in eating, the man devoured half of what they had to eat. As the man ate, the boy made himself a place to lay and began to drift off.

Good night Papa, stay close.


Yes. StayClose.

Okay, good night.

The boy had fallen into a heavy sleep, though his sleep seemed to be a restless one. The man wondered if the boy was still on edge about visiting his old home.

Trying to sleep, the boy thought of his home, living with both parents. He remembered them bickering and never being content. Every time they would fight, the mother threatened to leave them. The man would beg her to not, but in the end, she did.

Mom don't leave, said the boy in his sleep.


Just then, after hearing his son say the word "Mom", he knew why the boy was acting the way he was. The boy didn't want to lose anyone else. He didn't want the man to leave him like his mother did. The boy told him to stay close before he went into his slumber, he was terrified of the house, and wanted to leave. The boy is always paranoid. The man now understood.


Throughout the whole novel The Road by Cormac McCarthy, they boy seemed to be very scared, on edge, and paranoid wherever he and his father went. In the very beginning of the novel, one specific scene stood out to me. This was on page 27, when the boy and the man took a visit to the man’s childhood home. I wanted to make the plot a continuation of the boy’s and the man’s conversation and an explanation of the boy’s feelings.  

For this, I wanted to develop the boy’s character, and why he was always so scared, and attached to the man. I decided on making up the reason the boy feel so terrified at the man’s old house, because of his past experiences at his home when he lived with both his mother and his father. So I added that the boy just didn’t want to loose any one else, and obviously until the end of the novel, the man is all the boy had.

I added another short conversation, and more dialogue to page 27’s writing. I placed my writing here because the man and the boy were just having a conversation about leaving, and they did. So this was the perfect place to expand on the boy’s feelings at the house, and just throughout the novel. Creating a motif was very hard for me. I decided on “I’m scared”, which is what the boy would always say, everywhere they went.

I focused on two themes for my “made up” part of the book, and  I chose the short and to the point conversations the boy and the man always had, and the boy’s paranoid feelings. With these themes, i answered the questions of “Why is the boy always so anxious and very...aware?”, and “Why were all the conversations between the boy and the man so short?”. Basically, I wanted to have the answers to both be, again, the boy is always like this because of the way he was previously living with both the man and his mother before she left. The boy doesn’t want to lose his father like he lost his he is very cautious and on edge about everything. The conversations between him and his father are keep so short because they both don’t want to “mess things up” I guess you could say. What i’m trying to say here is they just don’t want to say the wrong thing that makes each other mad, or have bad feelings towards each other because they never knew the next time they would see each other. That’s why they were so close.

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road; page 172

This piece is something that I envisioned would have been incorporated within McCarthy’s The Road, if it were not excised before the Final edition’s release.

Creative Piece:

The boy approached the old man. The old man looked in rather excited confusion.

Eh? What is it kid?

Nothing, I just realized how poor off you are.

Whatcha mean?

You can’t see, it must stink, it must really stink.

Well, I see what god wants me to see, and hear what I wanna hear.

That’s the wanion mister because you miss seeing all the beautiful things of this world.

Not anymore.

I wish I could help you, but I can only do what the lord’s given me.

And what’s that?

The ability to sympathize, wist care and love.

My god. You are an angel, better yet, I don’t see your wings, so you’re a prophet! Sent from god, divine appointment, to save our desolate world.

The boy felt empowered.  You’re right about the angel part, cause if I were an angel, I’d already heal your blindness.  

I didn’t really believe you’re father when he said you were a god, but in my head, I knew you were some god-like concoction here to save us all.

I believe so, I wanna help as many people as possible. I don’t think it’s fair for people to be hurt. God loves them and so do I.

Kid, you’re the kindest I ever seen, never had anyone feed me or care for my blindness.

The boy rushed his palm on the man’s eye, with feeble-fingered delicacy. Can you see now?

Suppose I can kid, suppose I can. Thank you for your care.


My creative piece will be placed on page 172 of McCarthy’s The Road, and I am choosing this specific part of the book because this is where there is a heavy amount of discussion on the existence of a god, or something of a god. The boy has a habitual tendency to help other individuals, which is a large part of his persona. This is an explicit trait that the boy holds, especially when he is trying to give the man the ability to see in the scene. The boy is desperate and says his reason for wanting to help people is because he loves them and God loves them. As we see in page 163, after the boy and man encounter the Old man, the boy wants nothing but to aid this helpless and needy man. He is a consummate stranger to him, but the boy disregards this, despite warnings from his father to leave him alone. It is as if it's his divine duty to help the man. His bountiful generosity, so much to extend the man’s trust and advocate for him against his father says he has a divine-like love for his fellow man. His father completely dissents against interacting with the man at first, which is a normal human reaction, but the boy doesn’t really have a reaction to the old man that’s normal. It’s much more compassionate, and less hostile, more on the level of being preternatural.

This relates to the theme of faith, which is a primary allusion when discussing the possibility of the boy being a prophet. I chose this specific theme because on page 172, the man believes the boy to be a god, and the old man believes the boy to be an angel. If they didn’t have faith, if they didn’t believe that because the boy is a child in the midst of all this disparity, there would not be any real faith that the boy may be a prophet sent by god to help others. It brings up the essential question of how is a child living, and thriving so adequately in the world of The Road? The answer to that is simply the boy being there is no normal occurrence, he was sent there to help others, as he does with the Old man.

I decided to use two archaic words such as “wist”, and “wanion”. Wist means to know, and wanion means misfortune. I used wist to talk about how the boy has the given ability to sympathize, and know care and love. Wanion was used to say that the old man was missing out on not being able to see.

McCarthy Unabridged

This is a segment McCarthy may have written for his novel The Road, before final editing. This is a segment to be inserted after the alteraction between the man and the boy on page 211.

Creative Piece

Playing baseball or maybe fishing. The man would wheel him to friend’s houses and school events. The man would help the boy with his school work. In the time before the man knew math but now he only knows how to add and subtract cans from the ever lightening load of the cart.

The boy wouldn’t ever have to eat his food out of a can again. The man would cook fresh meals every night and he and the boy would discuss their day over their dinner.

Maybe the boy wouldn’t want to talk. He trusted the man fully now but maybe the boy would be resentful as some children often were. The world lacked normalcy yet the boy was showing signs of the mindset common in children who’ve begun to grow weary of their guardians. The boy would have grown up eventually, the man knew, but growing up isn’t something people did anymore. People were just grown.

The man was tired but if he became too tired, the boy would realize and his independence would grow. The man could not decide if this was a good thing or a bad thing.

Regardless of what awaited upstairs, the man had to go up and take a look. Regardless of the what the boy said, he expected it. And the man needed it.


A scene like this, a scene where the man reflects on what could have been, never occurs in McCarthy’s The Road. The man seems very in the moment, almost like he’s done all of his thinking in the years before this story takes place. This post apocalyptic world, as we know by the assumed age of the boy, has been around for a good amount of years. It’s very possible the man considered these types of things earlier on. However, I believe that if McCarthy had written a scene like this one, a whole different dimension could have been added onto the man’s character. The man would become an even more complex character, who was struggling with the guilt of the life he was forced to provide for his son opposed to the one he was planning on providing. The man’s character would struggle with his feelings on the boy’s inevitable independence and whether it made him feel worried that the boy no longer needed him or free to succumb to death and the ultimate freedom inherent with it.

The interaction preceding this inserted scene is simple enough, something common in today’s parent and child interactions. The man tells the boy they are doing something and the boy disagrees, protesting that the father never listens to him. To a modern parent, this is normal and probably unnoteworthy. To the man, this interaction meant the boy was passing into a realm the man was unfamiliar with. The boy had never questioned his father before and, if he did, he’d always concede to the father’s correctness. In this situation, the boy is unhappy with the decisions the man is making and calls him out for not taking his own opinions into consideration. The boy is showing signs of wanting to run his own life.

The motifs I used in my creative piece, the mention of cans and the phrase “Take a look”, are there to help the passage flow naturally with the story. I think it’s important to include the frequently occurring motifs in order for the passage to sound like it belongs. The motifs also add to the mood of the passage, creating the same dark and somber feeling present throughout the rest of the novel. The mention of the grey and hollow cans reiterates the coldness of the world the man and boy live in. The phrase “Take a look” adds to the complete uncertainty of the situation.

Overall, I think an inner monologue such as this one would have enhanced the story to some extent. It would add more humanity to the man’s character but it would also take away from the man’s sole purpose of caring for his boy in this world. If the man was reminenscing about the time before and what he could have had, then he’s more likely to lose hope in the situation he’s currently in. In the end, I can understand why something like this would be cut from the story, if McCarthy ever wrote it.

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 207

The following passage is a scene from one of McCarthy's earlier manuscripts of The Road that was originally titled The Path. *SVU Sound effect*

Are you hungry?

I dont know.

I think that you do know.

Papa can I ask something?


Can we sit down and eat?

Sit down?

Yeah sit down?

The man gave the boy a wide-eyed stare. His eyes were piercing into the boys soul. He began to daydream about the old world. He envisioned people laughing, and drinking wine intimately at a table. Suddenly, the room began to shake, the lights blew, and the people once laughing and drinking wine begin to look terrified.

Papa! Papa! Papa!

The man heard the boys call and was mortified. He instantaneously rushed over to the boy and hugged him squeezing him harder than he ever had before. There was a cold draft blowing through the room. The boy looked up at his father and they began to grin at one another. The man picked the boy up and put him on his shoulders. The man scanned the room in hope of finding table settings. Eventually, he spotted a candle surrounding pyroclastic residue. With his eyes locked on the candle the man took the boy off of his shoulders and placed him onto the ground.

I think we may be able to work something out.

The following is an explanation of the choices I made for my creative piece.

When reading Cormac Mccarthy’s ‘The Road’ there was a recurring motif of darkness that was essential to the reader’s vision of the setting, characters, and suchlike. However, that darkness stops in one scene in particular; on page 207 the man and the boy are in a house that they end up having a candlelit dinner in. In this novel, eating and having fire/heat are separate luxuries, but to have the intertwined creates an ultimate one. I found it incredibly ironic that they were on the road, living in obscurity at one moment, and then having a candlelit dinner the next. We associate dinners, (esp. Candlelit one’s) with normality and practical luxury; McCarthy never explains as to how this idea comes about in this text and this left me with a myriad of questions. The goal of my creative piece was to answer those questions.

For this specific scene, I wanted to focus on the theme of humanity. Throughout the text, we see various aspects of humanity. These aspects include Ely, who has lost his faith in humanity, the cannibals who have the smallest sense of humanity imaginable, and the boy who is incredibly humane and moral in all of his thought processes and decision making.

When reading ‘The Road’ you cannot help but constantly reevaluate the circumstances and question where they stem from. A major question that came to mind was “Do extenuating circumstances diminish fragments of our humanity.” We see that the circumstances for some characters have in fact diminished fragments of their humanity but the boy has faith in such humanity, and as a result the father does as well.. While they may be living in the same society they do not have identical circumstances. The boy has never experienced something that is so normal and humane. A candlelit dinner is a faction of humanity he had never known before. His circumstances hindered him from experiencing a fragment of humanity and normality.

I decided to go with the motif of luxuries because they recur rather frequently in the novel. Whether it be fire, food, or candlelit dinners the boy and the man always end up having the luxury of being well nourished, warm, and safe. While this may appear to be practical for us, it is something that most characters have no access to.

For the plot, I wanted a scene with significance that could provide reasoning for having such a dinner occur as well as to provide a gradual shift into the next scene. There is such a stark juxtaposition between the previous scene when they are on the road and the scene of the calm, luxurious candlelit dinner. The man having that daydream is a logical explanation for such, which is why I chose to go with it, (esp. since dreams recur in the novel as well)

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 251

​This is a section of the Road that gives the boy a memory. The parts in bold are that parts I added the parts with out bolding are MacCarthy's writing so that you know exactly how it fits.

He built a fire and propped the boy's wet clothes up and brought him a can of apple juice. Do you remember anything? he said.

About what?

About being sick.

Her voice came in clear as looking through a freshly cleaned window

Is it worth all this struggling? she said

The flaregun was lying on the ground illuminated by the fire that was especially lucent that night, giving the boy a brief sense of hushness. No sooner did the feeling occur to the boy did it vanish like that of an apparition. Arguing once more, He looked up at her. Why not just die now and be in a better place?

Stop it. He said

Why should I?

Because of a certain cognate boy. You’d want to orphan a child in this world?

That doesn’t matter. I’ve made up my mind. We have but one choice in this world.

And what better place? Is there no better place than with us?

She looked to the flaregun as if it were the answer.

I beg you please don’t.

Ephemeral caliginousness jolted the boy from his thoughts

Moving his hand away from the boy’s eyes the man peered into the boy’s eyes

You feel warm. Why don’t you go to sleep, he said



What’s wrong?

Remember when I wished I was dead.


She did too. She was like me.

Don’t say that.

I remember the flaregun

The flaregun

I remember shooting the flaregun.

Do you remember getting the stuff from the boat?

He sat sipping the juice. He looked up. I'm not a retard, he said.

I know.

I had some weird dreams.

What about?

I dont want to tell you.

That's okay. I want you to brush your teeth.

With real toothpaste.



The placement of this passage on page 251 is because this is the first time in the book that the boy’s body mirrors that of the the father’s. When the boy is sick the reader is informed of the boy’s first dream. The content of that dream is not specified. Keeping it that way is essential to the mystery of the boy, but by giving the boy a memory before the dream he doesn’t want to talk about strips away at some of the mystery for the reader but not for the father.

The characters in this scene bring a new light to the boy. By giving the boy a reason behind the hiding of his dream with this memory of his mother creates a depth to the boy for the reader without taking away the mystery he is to the father.

There is one sentence in the section that plays at the vocabulary that McCarthy has throughout the book. “Ephemeral caliginousness jolted the boy from his thoughts” Caliginousness is used instead of simply darkness and ephemeral is used as a replacement for brief. The more advanced vocabulary here suggests that the reader is no longer in the boy’s head.

The essential question that is prominent here is, how dangerous are memories? Why like the question isn't answered completely it is hinted at that they are very dangerous. Through the ending when the father pulls the boy out of his mind it draws upon the parallel that the boy has been doing for a lot of the book. This also plays at that role reversal that the reader sees shift in the second half of the book.

The memory is very prominent in this section of the story using the motif of dreams in a way that the reader has seen before but only with the father. The carrying of the fire is hinted at with the flaregun being a recurring symbol throughout this section. Themes that were in this section are survival using a clue from another part of the book when the father says that they have had this discussion many times before to the mother. The conversation itself however was never played out in the book therefore this section was created to fulfill that. The overwhelming theme of what is the point comes back into play in this section, as it does whenever the mother is in play.