Mmichoski asked:

The theme of the story is to always think of others before yourself, and this is shown by how the Father cares for the boy before himself. As well the boy teaches the man to show sympathy for some refugees they find on the road?

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Pixellle This doesn't seem to be a question, but I'll respond anyway.

I don't think that "to always think of others before yourself" is the theme of the book at all. Even the boy points out that, although the man tells stories about helping people, in reality, they don't help others often, if at all. They can't afford to. The man is even unnecessarily evil at one point, indulging in revenge.

No, to me, the theme is more subtle. It's about the "fire" that they carry, which is humanity, or what's good about humanity. It's about the absurdity of remaining hopeful against all odds and all reason. It's about the ridiculous drive to keep going, when all is surely lost.

And all is surely lost here. How long before canned goods run out? With no animals, no birds, apparently no other living things, with the soil and ocean poisoned, could humanity hang around long enough for the earth to heal itself? According to this book, probably not.

And yet, people continue. They selfishly strive to stay alive, and to keep only those of their tribe alive, too. Different people draw different lines as to what they will do to stay alive.

Can the boy and his new family keep the fire alive? Is there any future for them? Is there any future beyond them? And is the striving to survive all that matters? Or is the striving to remain human, in the best sense of the word, all that matters?

This book asks many questions, and answers none of them. That's up to the reader.
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