What do you see as the most distinctive feature of the prose style? How is the The Road in some ways more like poetry?

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Prose is referred to as "ordinary writing." Essentially, prose is plainly written language. This answer to your question, for example, is prose. The most distinctive feature of prose is its grammatical cohesion, whereas poetry does not necessarily have to adhere to grammaticality. Poetry is mainly denoted by certain components such...

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Prose is referred to as "ordinary writing." Essentially, prose is plainly written language. This answer to your question, for example, is prose. The most distinctive feature of prose is its grammatical cohesion, whereas poetry does not necessarily have to adhere to grammaticality. Poetry is mainly denoted by certain components such as word sounds, an unusual structure, and a rhyme scheme.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy can be described as poetry due to the unusual structure in which certain parts of the book are written. For example, an excerpt of dialogue between two characters within the book is structured as follows:

Yes. It is.

You have some, Papa.

I want you to drink it.

You have some.

He took the can and sipped it and handed it back. You drink it, he said. Let's just sit here.

It's because I won't ever get to drink another one, isn't it?

Ever's a long time.

Okay, the boy said.

As you can see here, the structure is reminiscent of a poem, and certain lines are not necessarily grammatically correct. The fifth line could be categorized as a run-on sentence, and the first word of the eighth line is not the complete word "forever." As stated previously, poetry does not necessarily need to be grammatically correct.

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Prose is generally characterized by syntax, or sentence structure.  Sentences possess a subject and a predicate; these are frequently found in the order:  subject (noun), verb, object (if applicable). 

Poetry, however, may omit a subject or verb because it conveys ideas through a mixture of sounds and images rather than pure narration.  Writing complete sentences is therefore unnecessary in poetry but typically required in prose. 

Cormac McCarthy's The Road is littered with sentence fragments, descriptive phrases that fail to include a verb, or one word statements.  For instance, the landscape is described on page 2 as "Barren, silent, godless."  This sentence provides a series of adjectives, but fails to mention a noun.  The effect, heightened by the use of asyndenton (the omission of the conjunction), promotes the notion that McCarthy's novel reads more like a poem, which is interested in conveying meaning through imagery, rather than prose, which uses direct story-telling.

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