"The town had been abandoned years ago but they walked the littered streets carefully..." (150).
"...leading out of the looted and exhausted cities, hopeless messages to loved ones lost and dead" (180).
Explanation: McCarthy uses descriptive words to show how important these dead cities are. They describe the world around them and how everything is dead and dirty and covered in ash. He wants us to see how these cities are abandoned. I think it is really interesting how he uses repetition in different ways to make us see how the cities are different, but essentially they are the same because of the abandonment. Lastly, these lines connect along with more lines throughout the book because the boy and his father walk through a dead world as they try to find light in the south.
"The boy never looked back at all" (174).
"The boy kept looking back" (50).
Explanation: Page 174 is the first time that the boy does not continuously look back after seeing a person or a group of people. They left the old man that they helped on page 174. It is also the first time they helped someone, instead of walking right past them, like the man who was struck by lightening on page 50. The boy has a big heart, he is always looking to help everyone. But the dad on the other hand wants to be selfish and always wants to keep looking, not caring about anyone else but him and his son. It was very interesting to see how they finally helped another person. It could maybe suggest that they have hope that they are going to survive and they want to share their faith with other people finally.
- Why did they help this old man but no other old man earlier in the book? Why does the dad still not want to help him, only the boy?
- What does the coughing suggest? Is the dad sick and does he not want to tell his son? Why?
- What does the boys bad dream say about their future?
"Dont lose heart, he said. We'll be all right" (177).
"And you can't give up. I wont let you" (189).
Explanation: As the father and son are reaching the end of their journey, they struggle more and more every day to survive. The father does not want him or the boy to lose faith, as shown on page 177. He tells the boy to not lose heart, which essentially means to not lose faith and that he cannot give up. This connects to the line on page 189. It is very important that the father and son continue their journey to the south in order to survive. They will die if they stop now and the father knows that. He tells the son many times not to give up and it encourages the boy to keep going. As long as the boy is alive, then the father will be. His son is his motivation to continue. Neither of them will give up.
"What would you like for supper? he said" (140).
"We're almost out of food. We have to keep going" (197).
Explanation: Page 140 was right after the father and his son found the house full of food. They felt rich and luxurious, like they had all of the food in the world. It was a message from God telling them that they are going to survive and they need to keep striving. But then on 197 along the road, they are almost already out of food. It is crazy how fast the food went and they have to go back to being the hunters for food. In these harsh, apocalyptic times the father and his son struggle to survive because of the little food they have. And then once they find some, it's already gone.
- What is McCarthy referring to on page 196 when the father states, "there is no book and your fathers are dead in the ground" ?
- Why is the boy having more and more bad dreams? Are they symbolic? How?
"He's planned to leave but the rain was justification enough to stay" (155).
"All the while it continued to rain" (212).
Explanation: On these pages the rain is symbolic. In the first house of food that they found, they stayed a few days but the father wanted to keep moving along the road through their journey. In this second house on page 212 where they find food, again the father does not want to stay that long because we wants to continue on. Both times it begins to rain when he wants to leave and keep walking. The rain justifies him to stay. I believe that the rain is a symbol of faith. The rain is telling him that they should stay for a long time because it is dangerous on the road and they can have shelter, food and sleep in these houses. Faith is a big theme in the book and therefore rain is just another way to tell the father to keep safe and stay in the house.
"Is it blue? The sea? I dont know. It used to be" (182).
"He could see the disappointment in his face. I'm sorry it's not blue, he said" (215).
Explanation: Throughout the journey they have been trying to get to the south and get to the sea. The boy had high hopes of what he imagined the sea would be like. He is a young boy and he had never seen the sea before. The father tells him that it used to be blue and that is what he hoped for. When they get to the beach on page 215, the boy is sad because the sea is gray and murky, covered in ash. It is just another way of telling how this new world is no world of color. Everything is gray and dark. His wish of seeing the blue sea did not come true and his thoughts were not the same before and after.
- What is the importance of the boat? Why would the man swim all the way out when it is so cold?
- Does the dad know what is going to happen at the end of their journey? I feel as if he can sense things that will happen, is that true?
"I am going to die, he said. Tell me how I am to do that" (175).
"Every day is a lie, he said. But you are dying. That is not a lie" (238).
Explanation: We do not know what disease the father has yet. My guess is tuberculosis because he has coughed up blood. He has known for a while that he is not doing well and that he is going to die. He repeats it many times because he knows it and it is vital to their journey. If he dies, the boy will not survive which would be the end to the story. The importance of the mans repetition is because he is having a realizartion and he is trying to hide it from his son.
"He fell into a dreamless sleep" (250).
Explanation: Throughout the book, dreams have been a big theme. I believe that the father uses dreams to escape the horrible reality he is living through. He needs an escape route from the present. This is compared to how the boy has nightmares because he is so young that he never really lived before the apocalypse and does not have any "happy thoughts" to escape to. Now on page 250, this is the first time where we see the father sleep without dreaming. I believe that it means that the conditions are just getting worse. He is getting sicker, the boy is getting sicker, and there is no escape route for him. He cannot leave this harsh reality he is living through.
- Is the father going to die? How?
- Why did the boy get sick?
Page 260- END
"You have to talk to me" (77).
"You have to talk to me, he said" (261).
Explanation: Whenever something does not go the boys way, he does not talk for long periods of time. At the end of the book, they were robbed. And although they did not kill the theif, they took their stuff back. The boy was very upset because it was basically killing him and he never wanted to kill anyone. When he gets upset because they cannot help someone, he doesn't talk. It is his own way of telling his dad that he is mad and that he is almost rebelling against him.
"You said you wouldnt ever leave me" (279).
Explanation: The father said that he wouldn't ever leave his son. His son was his whole life and he was the reason he was still alive. The father dies and it is very tragic for the son. He was lucky enough to find a new family he could travel with, but his dad died right in front of him in his arms. The whole book the dad was carrying their fire. Now the tables have turned and the boy has to take care of himself and carry the fire himself. It is different than the whole book. Throughout the book, the boy had to take care of the father more and more. Now that he is dead, the boy has to mature and take care of himself, something he's never done before.
- What's going to happen to the boy?
- Is this new family safe to be with? Why?