Story Living in a post-apocalyptic world would leave one feeling terrified, alone, and on the brink of going mad, but it is hard to imagine these feelings to the actual extent. In the book The Road, McCarthy is able to draw the readers in for them to experience the real emotions of living in a post-apocalyptic world. The readers are able to feel this fear and realness because McCarthy impersonalizes the two main characters and clearly depicts the differences of life before and after the traumatic experience.
When speaking about the two main characters in the book, McCarthy uses no names. The small boy is referred to as “the boy” and the father of the small boy is referred to as “the man. ” The author described these characters in such a vague way in order to make the readers stray away from thinking that this experience is unique only for the man and the boy. The reader can now understand that this could happen to anybody. Now the reader can put himself/herself into this role and experience every emotion and experiences to the fullest extent.
Also, by giving little description of the characters, the reader can now focus on the relationship of the man and boy as a whole rather than on each separate character. The relationship intensifies the feeling for the readers and allows them to be a part of the bond between the boy and the man. The unknown details about the main characters, ironically, draw the reader in and allow him/her to experience the setting and relationships more thoroughly. Often in the story, there are anecdotes or objects found that make the characters think about the pre-apocalyptic world. The man and the boy visit the house they once lived in.
The familiarity of the house sparks memories of their old life. The reader can now compare their house to the man’s house and realize how scary it would be to see their house in such a negative way. Also, the man and the boy find a coke in the beginning of the story. The man explains how that soda is probably the last soda they will ever see. The rarity of a soda puts things in perspective. In normal society, having a soda is a normal occurrence. The readers can now imagine that other regular occurrences in their life that they enjoy would also become an infrequent happening.
The comparison that McCarthy makes between the pre-apocalyptic world and the post-apocalyptic world gives the reader the ability to vividly imagine this drastic change of lifestyle. McCarthy is able to paint out, not only, a story, but a dramatic experience. The reader is able to actually live through and feel the emotions of this strange world. They understand how alone and terrified the boy and the man felt throughout their journey. The emotional connection with the story that the readers have is reached with the unique way the author writes and tells this story.