Do you think people would likely behave as they do in the novel, under the same circumstances?McCarthy envisions a post-apocalyptic world in which "murder was everywhere upon the land" and the...

Do you think people would likely behave as they do in the novel, under the same circumstances?

McCarthy envisions a post-apocalyptic world in which "murder was everywhere upon the land" and the earth would soon be "largely populated by men who would eat your children in front of your eyes"(page 234).

How difficult or easy is it to imagine McCarthy's nightmare vision actually happening and does it now seem that human civilisation is headed toward such an end?

Asked on by melwel

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brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Well, let's look at New Orleans.  In a horrible tragedy and amidst government indifference and incompetence, the city flooded and hundreds of people died.  When law enforcement and first responders fled, for the most part, we were left with a city in anarchy.

How long did it take before there was brutality in the Superdome, looting in the major stores and violence in the streets?  Four days.  We were only four days from animalistic behavior when the absolute worst took place.  I think what happens in the book is very possible if a disaster that great were to befall the Earth.

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

Post #2 is on a totally different subject!

I'd like to believe that faced with the circumstances the novel depicts people would behave more nobly, like the man and his son. However, most likely people would become just as primitive and brutal as those in the book. The scene in which the man finds opens the trapdoor and discovers what is being kept in the cellar is horrific. But who knows what horrifying things we'll do when we're starving, and the world is burnt to ashes?

Such things have already happened on a smaller scale. The ancient Egyptians tell of a famine that was so severe that people resorted to eating vermin, carrion, and even their children. A famine in Russia in the 1920s caused people to turn to cannibalism as well. Other examples exist.

But McCarthy does give us hope for humanity in the family that agrees to take in the boy.

epollock's profile pic

epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

And, there are far too many people in this world, who only live for destruction, from world leaders toterrorists.  It's impossiblele to get rid of them all.

epollock's profile pic

epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Absolutely. In the aftermath of similar events, there would be complete chaos and anarchy, and a fight to survive. With so little food, it would almost seem to reason that the fewer people there are, the more food for everyone else.

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