What is the setting and point of view of "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy?

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mrs-campbell's profile pic

mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The setting is a very  unique and interesting one.  It is set in the future, at some indeterminate time.  The novel occurs after a nuclear holocaust has wiped out nearly all of the inhabitants of the earth, and most certainly most of civilization and all of its comforts.  So, the two main characters in the novel, the father and his son (we never learn their names), travel amidst a nuclear winter, where ash from the nuked matter constantly falls from the sky, making it gray and slushy.  It rains and is cold all of the time, there is hardly any plantlife or clean water left, and certainly most animals and food is gone.  Humans have become barbaric and cannibalistic as a means to survive, so the father and the son live in constant fear of running across these barbaric crowds of people, and wander from place to place, looking for food.  It's a pretty depressing scenario overall.

The point of view of the novel is a third person narrator, meaning, the novel is written from the point of view of "he or she" and not "I," and it is written mostly from the perspective of the father.  However, it is a very interesting perspective--very limited, and dry.  We only get the father's perspective, his thoughts occasionally, and then just their actions and travels through the wasteland.  As a result, the writing is very stark and yet, poetic in moments as the narrator describes the landscape, or the emotional trauma of the father.

I hope that these thoughts helped a bit; good luck!

lunarcamel's profile pic

lunarcamel | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Setting is Tennessee, Chattanooga area ( see Ruby Falls) south through Georgia ( kudzu) and then through Florida (beach) and then back up to toward the swamp area of Florida. They walk much too quickly for reality. The point of view is stated in mrs campbell's post. Forget the grammer used in this book, forever.

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