Cormac McCarthy's "THE ROAD" discussion

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boy turns into a man

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message 1: by Britne (new)

Britne (golds120) | 12 comments I feel the boy matures throughout the novel in certain ways. At what point do you think the boy actually turns into a man in the story?


message 2: by Erwin100 (last edited Dec 03, 2010 09:54AM) (new)

Erwin100 | 7 comments I think that once they made it to the coast, he started to mature. His dad handed him the gun and instead of totally fighting his father on the idea of abandoning him for a short time, he took the gun and marched along the shore.
I guess he also matured (more by force) when his father died and he had to decide whether to stay alone or to go with the strangers that found him.


message 3: by Delos105 (new)

Delos105 | 16 comments Mod
The juxtaposition of the overriding theme of subtraction and the maturity of the boy is a great addition to the aspect of an internal flame. For I believe it is the points in which that the son begins to question his father's answers that this maturation process begins. Therefore, the strategic manipulation of dialogue throughout the course is one to note.

I also agree with Amanda that as a consequence of being reprimanded by the laws of nature upon his father's death, that he was forced to be a man as he takes on the full responsibility of the legacy of his own family's internal flame. Which is a lot to handle.


message 4: by Britne (new)

Britne (golds120) | 12 comments Yes, I agree with Amanda, too. When the father dies, the boy must now be responsible for himself and decide whether or not to trust others, like the man who he goes with. That takes a great deal of maturing in him after his father dies.


message 5: by Taked101 (new)

Taked101 | 11 comments I also agree with Amanda. The boy matures once he must make his own decisions and that is after his father dies. He has no idea what to do from then on, but he makes the decision to go with the family. He also has to be strong and mature enough to move on from such a traumatic death in his life. Although he matures, he does not lose his faith and trust in humankind, which also shows that a small part of the boy is still there.


message 6: by Delos105 (new)

Delos105 | 16 comments Mod
I see a reoccurring theme of trust that coincides with the boy's maturation. Can anyone expand on this subject?

To note, it is our psychological nature to be obedient towards our authority figures. However, as a sign of maturity, we learn to make decisions for ourselves, mainly as a result of personal experiences. Therefore, both Britne and Courtney make good points in the essence that the boy matures when he starts making his own decisions, due to his choice to trust his own judgement more than others. Which by the end of the novel, he is freed from the literal guidance of his father and is his on "man."


message 7: by Erwin100 (new)

Erwin100 | 7 comments I think it's nice how the boy still has trust in humankind even after his father died. His father pretty much told him over and over that they were out on their own and would probably never encounter any "good guys." The boy still goes with the family, but he does have to think about that decision. His father obviously made an impact on him and although he will still be trusting, i think his father taught him how to look out for himself as well as others.


message 8: by Taked101 (new)

Taked101 | 11 comments By the end of the novel I feel that the boy knows how to make his own decisions, he is just scared to make them without his father to reassure that what he is doing is okay. Amanda's point about looking out for others and himself is definitely present. The boy will be cautious of the family but also have a trust with them. I think he would eventually grow close enough to them to want to protect them from the bad guys.


message 9: by Delos105 (new)

Delos105 | 16 comments Mod
Also to note is the fact that through the dialogue, the boy always seemed to be on the lookout for good guys questioning the morality of the majority of those that they encounter along their journey. Therefore throughout the novel, the boy was always looking out of others, more or less. Maybe that's what it means to hold the fire, one's ability to hold on to the belief that there is goodness in everyone, and thus hope for the world. By the end of the novel, through his father's influence, forced the boy to tread forward...of course with caution...but to tread forward none the less.


message 10: by Britne (new)

Britne (golds120) | 12 comments Marissa brings up a good point about the dialogue of the boy. He is always asking questions about whether people are bad guys or good guys, and if they are "carrying the fire" too. He questions their morality, trying to figure out whether or not he should trust them, showing that he comprehends the idea that not everyone is good, and he shouldnt always trust everyone.


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