Cormac McCarthy's The Road is a work of devastating beauty -- a grim glimpse into a possible future for all of us. It tells the story of a father and son traversing the destroyed landscape years following an unnamed cataclysmic event has put the world to the torch. McCarthy's writing is sparse, on the nose yet hauntingly poetic. He has much to say on what drives mankind to do the things we do. Since the book was released in 2006, very little in our world has changed for the better and often feels as if we are on the precipice of something incredibly dangerous. Maybe it's the perfect time for us to look inward and find what makes ourselves tick. Maybe it's time our teenagers took lessons from a book that could lend them some desperately needed perspective on what life holds for them. This novel isn't only about a time of tragedy and desperation rather, it's a celebration of life and the fire that burns inside all of us -- spurring us on. There is a ton of knowledge to be mined from these pages and I think it's high time our students began to reap the benefits of a book written within the last thirty years.
5. It Defines Our Humanity
The father and son we follow throughout the course of the novel speak of "carrying the fire." It's how they define whether or not they're on the proper course morally and also whether or not a stranger poses a threat or not. People may debate what the intended definition of that term is but broken down, it's a symbol of our internal furnace, our heartbeat. It is the definition of our humanity. There is a lot of loss and grief in the novel but the father and son urge one another to push on. They must. They're "carrying the fire." This is the spark to reignite civilization and rebuild what we took from ourselves. Our children need messages like this one. Lessons to teach how never to give up, never to give in to what's easy -- reach out and truly strive for the best of what resides in each and every one of us. Humanity. It's the heart of the novel. A novel based on a series of choices they must make not only to survive in the physical sense but also to keep their conscience alive. Choices, everyday we make choices and how many do we later regret? I ask you this, if you were taught to keep hope alive at all costs, to never forget what makes you whole, would you be willing to travel the hard road?
I'm married and live in New York with my wife and pets. I'm a writer and definitely not a comedian (just ask my wife). I've successfully linked my twitter, goodreads, facebook and google+ pages although the successful aspect of all that is up for debate. I also started my own blog on wordpress and have just finished my first novel, The Violent Winds. Now it's time to try and trick some unsuspecting fool into buying it.