How is the mother dying in The Road by Cormac McCarthy significant in developing a plot in the story?

The mother dying is significant in developing a plot because it creates the setting for the anguished father-son story. Rather than being a family story, it becomes a picaresque tale of two male figures surviving a post-apocalyptic dangerous world. It also underscores how intensely the characters need and love one another. The dynamics would have been different had it been a family wandering together. The two characters are completely dependent on one another because they are a world unto themselves.

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The mother dying in The Road by Cormac McCarthy is significant in developing a plot in the story because it creates the setting for the anguished father-son story that the book tells. Moreover, it leaves the father alone to care for the son in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world that is both frightening and dangerous. The dynamics would have been different had there been two parents wandering along with the son.

First, with two adults together, much of the responsibilities that the father by necessity places on the boy would likely have been shared with the other caregiver, the mother, instead.

Second, with the mother gone, the novel becomes a picaresque story of the two male figures wandering in search of many things. They need to obtain food, and that is a key driver behind many of the events that occur in the story. They wander in search of a potential human enclave of other survivors who might have formed another post-apocalyptic civilized society.

Moreover, the story shows how close the father and son become. Because it is just the two of them, the story underscores how tensely and intensely they both love one another and need one another. Had the mother been present in the story, the poignancy and intensity of their love might not have come through as easily.

The two characters are completely dependent on one another because they are the entire world to each other. Together, they search the earth for a better life for both of them. Sadly, the odds are very much against their survival. The death of the mother also underscores just how low their chances of surviving are.

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