In The Road, the father has already made reference to his being a god. What does he mean by that?

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Michael Ugulini eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy, the man (the father protagonist of the story) makes a reference that he is a god because, in essence, he is the being (albeit a human being) that his son looks up to for protection and guidance and sustenance. To the son, the man - this father - is a god; is his personal savior, and the son hopes the father will rescue them from their lot in this destroyed and barren landscape.

In addition, the man is also his own god, in the sense that, if he doesn't believe in God (or does, but lacks the faith and the will to ask for help) then he is the being responsible for his future - based on his present actions. He is essentially a god unto himself as he is relying on himself to survive. The man himself is the foundation for his and his son's survival as pertains to him relying on his skills to get he and his son to the coast, where they both hope they will find help.

Cormac McCarthy continues to avoid specifying where the two are in the novel because, in reality, in the burnt out landscape of nuclear-destroyed America, it doesn't matter. They can be anywhere. In fact, they can be anywhere worldwide and it wouldn't alter the themes and meaning of the story. Therefore, a reader anywhere can relate to the story as it is a universal story that can happen anywhere.


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The Road

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