Discuss how McCarthy's style of writing is impacted by the setting of The Road.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that McCarthy's style is able to mirror the physical condition that faces the boy and his father, as well as the emotional bond that exists between them.  In doing so, McCarthy is able to bring out the darkness and light that exists in the post- apocalyptic world between the boy and his father.  McCarthy is able to do something quite amazing in his work.  The very idea of a setting in a world where there is no hope might trap the writer into only being able to convey this element.  Yet, McCarthy transcends this in arguing that the bond between parent and child, the love that is there can be present in any setting.  In ensuring that this element is also present in his narration and style, there is an emotional chord that causes affect in the reader.  There is horror and misery at what the father and the son experience, but there is also a sense redemption in the love of a father saying, "I'm here" or a son opening his eyes and saying, "Hello papa."  McCarthy does not lose these moments in the immense bleakness of the physical setting.  Rather, he uses them to accentuate how love is transcendent and bonds of loyalty can be felt in any setting, ensuring that the constant in the world of humans is the feelings of love and devotion experienced.

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