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Most definitely. The way in which the father commits himself to looking after the boy and ensuring his safety and survival speaks of a great and deep love. The way in which the boy looks up to his father and shows his respect and admiration for him likewise indicates that this is a two way relationship that is tremendously important to them both. Consider, for example, some of the final words that the father says to his son at the end of the story:
You have my whole heart. You always did. You're the best guy. You always were. If I'm not here you can still talk to me. You can talk to me and I'll talk to you. You'll see.
Note too the way in which the boy responds to his father when he sees how exhausted and near death he is when they reach the place where the father will die:
Herre they camped and when he lay down he knew that he could go no further and that this was the place where he would die. The boy sat watching him, his eyes welling. Oh Papa, he said.
Thus we can see from these two quotes that the relationship between these two central characters in this incredible novel is very strong indeed. It is one that endures a hideous setting and one that is able to triumph over the many problems that beset them.
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