Their world has been destroyed. Smoke, dust and ash cover the road ahead while they run from the darkness behind them. And yet, one brave father and son move on. In search of the coast, in search of a better future, they walk on “the road” with nothing but hope on their side.
Cormac McCarthy, an American author puts before us a picture full of destruction in his book titled ‘The Road’ (2006). It won Pulitzer in 2007. It is a hypothetical portrait of a country torn apart by war, natural disasters and pollution of every kind. Amidst all this, two brave souls make their way towards something they can only hope to reach. Hunting for food, braving the cold and fighting for their lives, the father and son make their way through a land full of death, destruction and decay.
McCarthy shows us the gruesome side of human nature through the horrific details of ‘death’. The ruins of cities and towns left behind after all that has passed. The horribly polluted rivers, lakes and seas, once beautiful tourist spots, are now nothing but mass graves blackened by the ash. His heart-rending description of the darkness that surrounds the two makes one think of the amount of hatred that we human beings are capable of.
But at the same time, the story of a father’s love for his child and his struggle to protect the boy, and a young boy’s innocence and fondness for his father shows us a different side of human nature. It gives us hope in a place where no hope survives at all. The father and his son- “each the other’s world entire” (in McCarthy’s words), truly represent love and kindness that seems lost in today’s world.
‘The Road’ is a tale of two extremes— of love and hatred, of kindness and cruelty, of hope and despair. It shows us two sides of our own nature.
The brave twosome must fight every odd in order to survive. But will they survive? Or will the circumstances overpower their strong will? Will it be happily ever after or something else?
McCarthy’s writing style is quite spontaneous and his use of words is very original. He can present the most complex of ideas in the simplest of words. This makes the book an extremely interesting read. This tale of survival is a reminder for all of us of the consequences that our hatred may cause. Perhaps, the fact that this book is a part of Oprah Winfrey’s book club is reason enough to read it but McCarthy through his unique style manages to capture the reader’s attention successfully and touch his heart. His words truly make you think as they describe what could lie ahead. It is most definitely, a book worth reading and remembering too!