The Road Questions and Answers
by Cormac McCarthy

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What are some pros and cons in surviving in a post-apocalyptic world like in "The Road"? What evidence in the book can support this?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There does not seem to be much in way of advantages of living in a post- apocalyptic world.  McCarthy's work does show how the relationship between father and son is something that matures and grows in the post- apocalyptic condition in which the book takes place.  The desolate and barren world is one devoid of much in way of hope and redemption.   It is the emotional bond that exists between both father and son and the bond that is enhanced through the condition of being in the novel's setting.  Yet, outside of this, the world that is depicted is the embodiment of brutality.  It is one in which individuals are fundamentally challenged, beset by threats to their own survival.  Additionally, the constant threat of harm from others and the sense of lawlessness that the father and son confront in the post apocalyptic setting are realities that make life fundamentally difficult to endure.  I think that this is part of the reason why the father and son bond becomes so important.  Their connection to one another is a reality that is not entirely experienced in the world around them.  This state of being where there is nothing but struggle, pain, and chaos is one of the most destructive elements and conditions of the post- apocalyptic setting of the narrative.

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