How does the novel, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, demonstrate the theme of belonging?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the basic element of belonging is seen between the father and the son.  The structure of the characterization and thematic development is rooted in the idea that the father and son belong to one another.  The rest of the world is almost irrelevant.  From the opening, it is apparent that the belonging theme is represented by this bond.  It never leaves the novel, and even when the father dies, it is evident that the belonging is located between father and son.  No others in the outside world can penetrate this circle of belonging that both share.  The memory of the mother/ wife is still there, but outside of this, little else permeates this realm of togetherness that both share.  It is here where the theme of belonging is its strongest.  Within the world of despair, isolation, and intense individualism, there can be a sense of transcendence and belonging.  This has to be nurtured and fought for at all possible ends, but it is something that can be held and possessed through a world of contingency and impermanence.  In this, the theme of belonging is highly evident.


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