What would be good essay topics for "The Road"?Cormac McCarthy's "The Road"

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Certainly, there are several approaches to an analysis of Cormac McCarthy's "The Road."  While many see the Southern Gothic of William Faulkner and the Naturalism of such writers as Jack London and Stephen Crane, one can draw parallels to one of these genres, analyzing the novel as Gothic or as Naturalistic.

Or, perhaps, one could write how "The Road" is the antithesis of "The Grapes of Wrath" in which the Joad family drive to cornucopia of California in search of work and unite with others in Steinbeck's socialistic novel.  The topic for this analysis could be a comparison/contrast of themes:  the brotherhood of man theme vs. the predator/survivalist theme

A setting stripped of all natural life with a father and a son as the sole survivors of a post nuclear holocaust, "The Road" is essentially an existential tale as the father and son have one focus:  to survive and to attain some meaning in their lives.  Without any cultural and economic influences, the father and son must carve out their existences from a world devoid of life.  The only meaning that they have comes from the paternal and filial love that they feel, the esssence of the family and life.

You may wish to do some research on the literary movements of Southern Gothic, Naturalism, and Existentialism as this information will help you decide if you wish to choose one of these ideas.  Also, you may wish to check out the how-to sites listed below.

Good luck!

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