Refer to this quote from "The Road": "Do you think that your fathers are watching? That they weigh you in their ledgerbook? Against what? There is no book and your fathers are dead in the ground."...

Refer to this quote from "The Road": "Do you think that your fathers are watching? That they weigh you in their ledgerbook? Against what? There is no book and your fathers are dead in the ground." Who says this? What does it mean? Why does he say it?

1 Answer | Add Yours

durbanville's profile pic

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

Posted on

Is The Road, a man and his son spend their time moving around, trying to survive and to stay safe from "bad" guys who would not think twice about murdering them and eating them. They are being cautious and are careful not to leave their rubbish behind for fear of being discovered. They think they may be being followed so settle down for the night and keep watch.

The strangers behind them do not stop and disappear into the distance. In the morning, after a seemingly long night, the man assesses their position and looks on the map. It takes on an almost figurative meaning as the man contemplates.

The "fathers" that may be watching is referencing God,or a higher power, possibly older relatives who are long dead. The feeling is that no one is accountable anymore because there is no one to "weigh you in their ledger book." There is no judgment and no record (book) or "ledger." The evil doers will not be punished. There is no conscience or feeling of disappointing a deceased relative.  

People have always taken comfort in the belief that they are living according to what they were taught and feel proud of what a parent or grandparent, etc may have thought of them had he or she been alive. This statement dispels any such illusion. The reality of it is that there is nobody looking out for anyone else! There are no principles to live up to and a person must become his own measure by which to guide his actions.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,912 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question