Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Road Journal

Theme: God:  McCarthy uses this theme in different ways so far in the novel. On pg. 5 he writes, "If he is not the word of God God never spoke" Here the author is showing how the father is laying down the law that he is the leader and will decide what actions him and his son will take from now on. He is the "Godly" figure of the group, in my opinion, he is in complete control of what they do. On pg. 12 McCarthy writes, "Oh God, he whispered Oh God." Here the writer shows the frustration of the father. He feels betrayed by God that he and his son are put in the situation they are in. This also shows that the father is religious as he is talking to what he thinks, is God. On pg. 55 and 58 are commonly used manners of speech "Why in God's name......For the love of God..." They are used, in my opinion, to add a certain gravity to their conversation and decision making by bringing God into it, as the father's wife wants them all to commit suicide. From 60-62 the father whispers "Oh God." Here the word is used as a cause for worry as he is whispering it to himself and then afterwards flees from the scene. Again it is commonly used in the world, when something bad happens people say things such as: "Oh God.....Damn it......What just happened?.." In my opinion its the mind trying to realize the events that occurred just recently, and whether they are good or bad is the reason for the corresponding response. 

Section 1:
-Contrast: pg.12 "Damn you eternally have you a soul? Oh god, he whispered Oh God."
pg.4."Barren, silent, godless" Firstly the the God and godless have a difference in capitalization. This, in my opinion, shows abandonment as godless is not capitalized while God is. He is talking to God on pg.12, while saying God isn't there on pg.4.
-Parallel: pg.5 "If he is not the word of God God never spoke."
pg. 12 "Damn you eternally have you a soul? Oh God, he whispered Oh God."
Both times God is capitalized and what I find a bit funny is he may be talking about himself in a subliminal way, connecting the two. The first is he says he is this godly being that conveys God's messages, but then criticizes God, and in a sense himself, for being in the situation that he is in.

1. Why is godless not capitalized, in your opinion?
2. Why is it a cart that they are using to carry their things?

Section 2:
-Parallel: pg. 33 "The boy stood beside him. Where he'd stood once with his own father in a winter long ago."
Paralleling him and his son with himself as a kid standing with his own father.
-Contrast: pg.39: "The river sucking over the rim and fell straight down into the pool below, the entire river."
"they followed the flats along the upper river among huge dead trees. A rich southern wood that once held mayapple and pipissewa." 
I really like this contrast and find it interesting. McCarthy shows how in this new, hell of a world that is now Earth, water has found a new life and is flowing strongly. Nature on land however is different. It is past its prime and is mentioned in the past tense, possibly foreshadowing death. Its a bit of a stretch I guess, but McCarthy is writing of life on land in the past tense, but the life of flowing water in present tense. 

1. Why did they go into the river, even though it was stated the water was freezing? 
2. The past tense language describing the plants, could it foreshadow death of the father and son?

Section 3:
-Parallel: pg.60 "God, he whispered." Talking to God again, as in the past sections, showing deep religious faith in Christianity.
-Contrast: pg.61 "Its all right, he said. We have to run . Don't look back. Come on."
I also found this interesting because in the beginning of the novel the father constantly glanced in the mirrors of the cart to look behind him, but here he urges his son not to look back, like he did.

1. Why does the father take the cart with him again? Is it a hindrance at all in his traveling?
2. What is the flake of obsidian on pg. 59?

Section 4:
-Parallel: pg.73 "His breath white in the glow of the firelight."
pg. 74 "He blew the flames to life....."
White is a color of meaning. It can mean purity, kind, clean, but here I believe it symbolizes life. It might be a stretch but white is often associated with God and angels, and as the Bible states, God created the universe and gave life to it. Here the father gives life to the fire, showing he is a man of faith in God.
-Contrast: pg. 88 "He tried to think of something to say, but he could not. He'd had this feeling before, beyond the numbness and the dull despair. The world shrinking down about a raw core of parsible entities."
pg. 83 "We're going to be okay, aren't we Papa?
            Yes. We are.
            And nothing bad is going to happen to us.
            That's right.
            Because we're carrying the fire.
            Yes. Because we're carrying the fire."
Total change in attitudes here from the father. It may show that even though he seems positive that they will survive on the outside, inside he feels vulnerable and that any time, his humanity, in fact his entire world will crumble underneath from him. Its an interesting difference between his outer and inner expressions.

1. Is the father actually have that strong of a faith in God, or is it the only thing he can't forget like he says on pg. 89?
2. Why does the son care so much about they boy and the dog, even more than his survival as when the father declines helping them, the son tells the father that he wants to die?

1 comment:

  1. Very good thinking here overall, Luca! Some philosophical and abstract ideas emerge here.

    Avoid y/n questions, though. Jot down the most probing questions you can.

    Literal questions are also okay: godless is never cap; flake of obsidian = rock acting as razor