Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Section 12

Parallel - pg. 259 "He looked up, his wet and grimy face. Yes I am, he said. I am the one."

Very early in the book, the father says the son is the only thing he is living for. This brought up again, except the son says it himself, showing the son is exactly how the man imagined him to be.

Contrast - pg. 259 "The man squatted and looked at him. I'm scared, he said. Do you understand? I'm scared."

For really the first time, the father is taking off this tough persona of his towards his son and expressing how he truly feels. Earlier throughout the book he constantly urges his son to keep going, when he himself has doubts of their survival and sometimes just wants it all to end. This is a contrast to that and instead he is finally honest with his son.


1. Does the son think his dad was lying about being the "good guys", based on what he says on the top of pg. 268?

2. Does the father die of an illness other than his infected wound, as on pg. 272, McCarthy writes, "He spat into the road a bloody phlegm." I would assume a serious leg injury, even if infected, would not cause you to cough up bloody phlegm, so does he have some kind of other problems?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Section 11

Parallel - pg. 234 "They went on in the perfect blackness, sightless as the blind.... I know. Pray for lightning."

It's a bit of a stretch but I connected this to the bible when Jesus healed the blind man and allowed him to see again. Here the man and son are as good as blind, like the old man in the bible. Both involve Jesus or some kind of divine intervention, and need a light source to see.

Contrast - pg. 241
"I'd like to see it.
 You mean shoot it?
 We can shoot it.
 For real?
 In the dark?
 Yes. In the dark."

Before the son was very frightened by the gun, but here he seems a bit joyful in being able to fire it. Granted it isn't the pistol, but its still a gun able to kill someone.


1. Why is the son almost joyful at the chance of firing the flaregun, even though it can kill someone the same as the pistol, which he was scared of holding?

2. On pg. 245, the father tells the son "We don't work on your lessons any more." This is after he asks him to write the alphabet. I'm wondering, could the boy have been home schooled by the father before the apocalypse in the story occurred?
Section 10

Parallel - pg. 219 "He remembered waking once on such a night to the clatter of crabs in the pan where he'd left the steak bones from the night before."
Paralleling the current time to a past experience, pre apocalypse.

Contrast - pg. 217
"Can I go swimming?
 You'll freeze your tokus off.
 I know."
A fairly light hearted and even comical conversation between the man and his son, something that contrasts to their normal conversations, which are very grave and sometimes depressing.


1. Why was the boy crying on pg. 218?

2. Is "her" on pg. 219 the man's wife?
Section 9

Parallel - pg. 185 "He tried to look like any common migratory killer but his heart was hammering and he knew he was going to start coughing."
Its the same as with his son. He never is truly honest with his thoughts, as he can't be. To help them to survive, he cannot tell his son that he has doubts of their survival or else mentally, he would go insane. He cannot be soft towards strangers, or they may take advantage of him and his son.

Contrast - pg. 209 "They ate slowly out of china bowls."
No sense of urgency, which is a contrast to when they were in the bunker, where they were scarfing down the food that they found.


1. On pg. 185, does the son mean he needs to believe his father to survive, or could it be to keep some kind of mental sanity, thinking that his father knows what he's doing?

2. Why did the father bite his lip while watching his son running on pg. 201?
Section 8:

Parallel - "Perhaps he'd turn into a god and they to trees."
Its a parallel to God and the Garden of Eden in the bible.

Contrast - pg. 171 "There's not any people. What are you talking about?"
Its a contrast to what he has been telling his son. To him, there isn't anyone anymore, in the lawless hell that he and his son must survive in, but he keeps telling his son that they are the good guys.


1. Has his son gained some power now in their relationship? From 162 to 163 he starts conversations with the father and even orders him around a bit, something the father would do in his stead.

2. Is the old man's name a reference to the biblical character, Elijah?
Section 7:

Parallel - pg. 137 "Okay. This is what the good guys do. They keep trying. They don't give up."
A repetition of the moral boost the man has to constantly give to his son.

Contrast - pg. 154 "Some part of him always wished it to be over."
Its a contrast to how he acts towards his son. He keeps telling his son to persevere and keep going for both of their survival, even though he himself doubts their chances.


1. Who is "they" that the father is talking about on pg. 148?

2. Bottom of 154 to 155, could that mean the whole concept of god, is an alien one, as he considers himself an alien to his son, but he himself is a Christian?
Section 6:

Parallel - pg. 122 "He swept the boards clean and knelt and hooked his fingers in the ring and lifted the trap door and swung it open."
pg. 110 "Then he raised the hatch door and swung it over and let it down on the floor behind."
He does the same thing to enter both shelters, a basic parallel.

Contrast - pg. 122 "Down there in the darkness was a cistern filled with water so sweet that he could smell it."
pg. 110 "On the mattress lay a man with his legs gone to the hip and the stumps of them blackened and burnt. The smell was hideous."
Basic contrast to the smell of the man's rotting flesh, to the smell of the water.


1. Why did the father aim the pistol at their reflection in the mirror?

2. Why did he take the packets of plant seeds, even though he did not know what to with them himself?