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ENG259H5 (1)

The Road Lecture.docx

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Ella Soper

"The Road" - Cormac McCarthy -Comforting believing we may not have to reckon with our responsibilities -Prospect of regeneration, a reckoning, most die, good survive, biblical notion, end of one thing, beginning of another, held out hope to those who have suffered and felt oppressed -Apocalyptic thinking brings hope to the hopeless -Mother figure adds "sexual intrigue" in a world that is lacking women -Time line of the story has been pulled backward (memories) -Apocalyptic films/novels answers something in us, makes us believe we contain something virtuous and will be the ones to survive -People aren't really looking around, what is the humanism that exists between human beings? Do we really love and engage each other? Look at the tribalism that would ensue, what would we have left? -Question of whether there is any hope/potential for conditions to improve -Why is this an environmental text? -A society is shaped by its founding myths: tell us who we are as a people, nations, and how we should act towards one another; we put up walls to keep nature out and sustain ourselves; how we come to identify ourselves, preserves a sense of tolerance -Disillusion of these founding myths, story not about what were becoming, but our inevitable disillusion/extinction -Social contract "okay? okay." -The road: a figure so large in American culture, potent symbol of what it once was -Shopping cart: hollow symbol of consumerism that once was -Horizon opening up the further west you go, but father and son are journeying south -Pitting of good forces against evil, good against marauders, carriers of the fire against the cannibals: source of the appeal, keeps the man good in the face of dark choices, boys perspective changes the man's -Reduction of human potential to the level of a how-to manuel -Ultimately about "The World shrinking down about a raw core of parsible entities... The sacred idiom shorn of its referents and so of its reality" -"Each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins" like "certain ancient frescoes entombed for centuries suddenly exposed to the day." :acidity to reality that does damage to recollections that are balanced -Man pulling down a book off the shelf, putting it down and looking back to the greyness: allusion to utility, abolishes the notion that culture might save them from the world that now exists, where this may have once been promised before -McCarthy laments the fact that human culture and language has shrunk down to this raw primitive state -Books preserve culture, right things down for posterity, development of human civilization, libraries exist to warehouse these archives -Words are suggestive of Anglo-Saxon diction -Allusions to the absur
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