Monday, November 18, 2013

Parallels, Contrasts,Questions, and Friends

Pages 3-31


1. Mccarthy goes out of his way to mention the tarp used to cover the man and his son. Is Mccarthy using the tarp as a metaphor for something much more than just a physical cover?

2. For what seems like a very small detail in the plot, Why does Mccarthy devote so much time for the Coca-Cola scene when in actually it is very short and the boy doesn't react to the Coke very much?

Contrast: On page 19 the narrator refers to the Man watching the Boy when he says,"It was the first he'd seen the boy smile for the first time"(19). Then on page 25 when when the boy is having the coke the boy says "I'm scared. Don't you want to see where I used to live? No"(25). This exchange on page twenty five suggests a change in the boy's outlook on their situation and that the boy can become happy by the simple act of sliding down the hill, but when the father wants to cling to the past that happiness leaves and turns to fear.

Parallel: On page 3 the opening scene in the book states "When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of night he'd reach out to touch the child beside him"(3). Then on page 15 a similar scene appears "He pulled the tarp about them and he lay awake a long time listening"(15). This suggests that the father is extremely protective over his son and so protective that even when they aren't awake he is looking out for the safety and well being of his son.

Pages 31-53


1. Mccarthy seems to go out of his way to mention the lack of god in this society. Why does he bring this idea up so much in his story of the Father and Son?

2. When describing the world to his son, Why does he describe the roads as "Our Roads"(42)?

Parallel: On page 38 when the boy is described around a very beautiful pit of water it is finally described as "The boy walked out and squatted and laved up the dark water" (38). The on page 47 there is a fire raging with life, but after it ends "Then it was all dark again" (47). Here Mccarthy suggests that no matter the beauty in nature that still exists in this post-apocalyptic world without fellow human life to share it and keep the idea and memory of these events furthered.

Contrasts: On page 50 the Boy says "Can't we help him Papa?"(50). Then on page 51 the father says "There's nothing we could have done"(51). This contradiction helps to show the gap between the innocence of a child and what the Man has lived through that would prevent him from helping a person in need. This shows one of the disconnects between the son and the father.

Pages 53-73:


1. During the fight scene Mccarthy seems to focus on the belt of the marauder. Why does he devote four separate times to the Man's belt?

2. On the late pages of the section the father tells the boy that the father needs his help to guide him back to the campsite. Why is the first time that the father is leaving trust in the boy to help them and help their cause?

Contrast: On page 67 there is a contrast with the father, " He wiped blood from his face and held him"(67).  Then later on this page he tells his son " It's okay, he said. It's okay." (67). This shows how the father will put his son over absolutely everything in the Man's life. He is so devoted to his son that he will put his son over even his own safety.

Parallel: On page 61 when the boy is alerted to the existence of the new men when  , " The boy froze with fear"(61). Then on page 62 "They both froze"(62). Mccarthy suggests with the idea of being and fear tied together. this could explain why they need to go south for the winter, because the freeze is associated with fear and they try to escape that in order to escape the fear.

Pages 73-93:


1. Why does the group leave the shopping cart when it was crucial to them in the first part of their journey?

2. Why does the Father choose not kill the dog, but will not stop to help other people that need their help?

Parallel: On page 75 The father is told to be stroking the boy's hair and, "Gold Chalice, good to house to god"(75). Then on page 77 the father says that "I was appointed to do that by god"(77). This parallel suggests that the Father is a deeply religious man and that he could a part of some higher power on a quest to preserve his son and humanity, and that is partially his reason for living. One of the few ways he can survive in this planet is a very religious goal to be a good father to his son.

Contrast:  On page 81 when the Father and the Son inspect the abandoned town they describe it as "Darkness and Cold"(81) to ideas that do not really sound very comforting. Then on page 89 when the Father and son are peering over the distance the say " He got a fire going and walked out to the edge of the wood lot and stood looking over the countryside. the dead fields. A barn in the distance"(83). This contradiction is the distance between coldness and darkness to fire and what is a barn. The Cold and darkness suggests that there is very little hope to none at all, but the fire could show passion and hope, in the form of a barn, that there is other people out there that would be willing to help out the father and son and further the progress of humanity like the father could be trying to do.

1 comment:

  1. Very good job. How does knowing that Coke advertises itself as "the real thing" affect your reading of that scene, this novel?