The sardonic blind man named Ely who the man and boy encounter on the road tells the father that, "There is no God and we are his prophets" (p. 170).What does he mean by this? Why does the father...

The sardonic blind man named Ely who the man and boy encounter on the road tells the father that, "There is no God and we are his prophets" (p. 170).

What does he mean by this? Why does the father say about his son, later in the same conversation, "What if I said that he's a god?" (p. 172) Are we meant to see the son as a savior?

Expert Answers
kristenfusaro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If he has a halo, he's a Christ figure! The son in The Road is supposed to represent the smallest inkling of hope that humanity has left, which is why he manages to survive in the end. He was able to spend the time on the road with his father, learning, understanding, so he can sacrifice -- which he did, he sacrificed his father and his personal hope for a humanity in order to build humanity for the future, thus, he is a Christ figure.

The character Ely is connected to the ancient Greek Tieriesias -- the general rule is that the blind characters are the ones who can truly "see" the truth. By stating that "There is no God and we are his prophets," he is explaining that we, as a human race, make and destroy whatever we see before us. We cannot rely on "God" to make everything better, we must build it for ourselves, and we must his proverbial prophets because human beings, at our abosolute and innate nature, need hope to survive. Faith and hope may be even more important to food and water in survival because it gives humanity the push to continue to try to find the food and water, and thus push farther and farther. There is no "actual God" according to Ely, because we all have the ability to carry the work of a prophet in us.

Read the study guide:
The Road

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