Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Road: Memory

In The Road, Cormac McCarthy uses the idea of memories to show hwo difficult it is to forget the past, but how necessary it is for the maiun charecters to leave the past. On page 25 the Father and son both return to the Father's house, "The boy stood looking at it. The peeling wwoden clapboards were largely gone from the lower walls for the the firewood"(25). Intially the boy is scared to enter the house but the Father insists on it, because he is clinging to the past and does not want to leave any of his memories away. The boy does not want anything to do with this house and he is exteremly tentative to enter the house. Then as the Father goes thorugh the house partially reliving his old memories and having a great sense of nostalgia, but as the boy goes through the house he gets a very different perspective on the house, " The floor buckled from the rainwater, in the living room a small animal dismembered and placed in a pile"(26). The boy manages to see the house for what it is, a dilapidated, barely standing building that is of no use to the family on their journey south, an after the full tour of the house the Father has a simialir realiztaion about the house in response to should they have gone to the house the father responds, "It's alright. We shouldn't have come" (27). This shows that the Father has made a realization about their journey that the son has already realized. This suggests that the Father realized that this journey was fairly selfish and was a cling to the past, and it will not help them in the future and their future travels. The fact that the father wanted to finally leave his past behind him and never return suggests that in this new world there is no room for previous memories. Similarly on page 56-58 the McCarthy uses the story about the mother committing suicide as another memory that must be forgotten by the Father in order for him to push forward her final argument is described as' "She was gone and the coldness was her final gift"(58). This suggests that this made it easier for the father to let go of the mother, and push on with boy. This could also suggest that only through leaving his wife, mentally and physically, could he forge on with his boy in an effort to live and hope for a better future. McCarthy uses memories to show how difficult it is to forget the past , while simultaneously it is crucial to forget his connections to the past world so he can survive in the new world.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent work throughout these responses. you are particularly probing on the topics of memory and knowledge.