Please explain the meaning of the following quote from The Road:      Can I ask you something? Yes of course you can. What would you do if I died? If you died I would want to die too. So you...

Please explain the meaning of the following quote from The Road:     

Can I ask you something?

Yes of course you can.

What would you do if I died?

If you died I would want to die too.

So you could be with me

Yes so I could be with you.

Okay

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

This is a quote that comes from the beginning of the book, and is taken from a conversation between the boy and his father. This quote is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, at the beginning of this conversation between the father and son, note what they say to each other:

Can I ask you something? he said.

Yes. Of course.

Are we going to die?

Sometime. Not now.

The entire conversation then is placed in the context of the threat and the danger facing the father and son. At the beginning of the story, when the reader is still trying to work out what kind of world is being described to them, this conversation clearly reveals that this world is one characterised the threat of death and danger. The boy instinctively recognises that there is a chance he will die, as the quote indicates. The quote also reveals the strength of the bond that lies between the father and son. If the son dies, the father says that he would want to die to "be with" his son. This indicates the purpose and goal of the father's life: he lives to protect his son and to see him grow up and survive. At the beginning of the novel, therefore, this quote reveals important information that helps the reader orient themselves to both the strange world that is described and also the two characters that inhabit it.

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