On this road there are no godspoke men....what did he mean? In the book, The Road by Cormac McCarthy he wrote: On this road there are no godspoke men....what did he mean?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I believe that this line means that there are no external moral compasses influencing the remaining people who have survived the apocalyptic event. Men and women have been left to decide what is right and wrong on their own. There are no religious authorities, of whatever faith, left to influence the thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes and viewpoints of the survivors.

The godspoke men are not preaching, teaching, or reaching the people who need some inspiring direction  to help them handle and maybe even transcend above their abysmal state. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

With the road being an extended metaphor for a journey, and the difficulties in life, the absence of the "god-spoke men" suggests a lack of direction and focus.  Religion and spirituality gave people a sense of purpose and added meaning to life, like a road map, in the metaphorical journey.  Now in Cormac's novel, without these core beliefs or godly leaders, the journey has no direction or guide; the road is there, full of danger and unexpected obstacles, but the people who must travel it do so blindly and at their own risk. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In the Old Testament so often when the Israelites sinned and/or were in trouble, there were prophets and "godspoke" men such as Moses to lead them from their iniquities. In Cormac's dismal narrative, the world is bereft of anyone to inspire and lead.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I think he may be saying that in a more general sense, in that there is no world left to be God of, nor any reason to believe in one.  This lack of hope permeates the story almost until the very end, and it's not hard for the reader to imagine loss of religious faith being nearly universal among the handful of survivors in the grim setting McCarthy has created.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The quote refers to the fact that, given the post-apocalyptic setting, no religious leaders exist. Therefore, the speaker is simply referring to the fact that they are lost religiously, given no religious leader exists.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial