The road is a central symbol in both Swerve by Phillip Gwynne and The Road by Cormac McCarthy. In McCarthy’s story, a father and son take a journey on the road in a post-apocalyptic world in order to survive the harsh winter. In Gwynne’s story, Hugh and his grandfather Poppy set out on a road trip of a different kind. In both of the stories, the characters face risks and must overcome obstacles.
In The Road, the young boy is conflicted over whether he is one of the good guys or not. By the end of the story, after his father has died, the boy isn’t sure of what to do. When he meets a man who has been tracking them, he takes him with him and assures him he is indeed one of the good guys. Thus the boy has reassurance at the end. In Swerve, Hugh learns things about his family and himself as he goes on his journey. He comes to appreciate his parents’ support of him and understands it is not control. He also appreciates the landscape and sees all of the beautiful things in the world. By the end of the story, Hugh has grown. In both of these stories, characters grow and change by the end of their journeys, signifying a similar rite of passage.