How is the writing in "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy in some ways more like poetry than narrative prose? Cormac McCarthy has an unmistakable prose style. There is no grammar and McCarthy jumps in and out from dream to reality in "The Road".

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The reasons that you stated above in your question partially answer the question itself; McCarthy has a very unique feel to his writing, and he does jump in and out of dreaming and reality within a passage.  Poetry tends to do that much more than narrative prose.  One of the main purposes of narratives is to tell story; the emphasis is on plot. Poetry is more about mood and feeling, and McCarthy's storytelling has a definite mood to it, so in that sense, it is very poetic.

Adding to its poetic tone is his unique grammar.  Poetry takes liberties with grammar, using the language, words, and grammar for impact, rather than for understandability.  Take for example the opening sentence:  "When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him."  Although not necessarily incorrect in grammar, it is a lengthy sentence...

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