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Key Events in Cormac McCarthy's The Road

Summary:

Key events in The Road include the man and boy's journey through a post-apocalyptic landscape, their encounters with other survivors, and their struggle to find food and safety. Significant moments are their discovery of a hidden food supply, the man's worsening illness, and their final encounter with a family that offers the boy hope for the future after the man's death.

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What is the climax of The Road by Cormac McCarthy?

For how filled with action and tension the story of The Road is, it is somewhat difficult to pin down a precise climax. Overall, the narrative is sparse, disjointed, and unrelenting. Most logically, by understanding the ending of the story, we should identify the climax as the moment that the man's fate is sealed. It is difficult to pinpoint this precise scene, however. He seems somewhat doomed from the start. The story ends with the boy being taken into the care of some of the other "good guys." Therefore, the climax is most reasonably the moment that the man and the boy, two characters with devotion to one another that has kept them both alive, have to say goodbye to one another.

The climax begins to build after the man shoots the archer who shot him, and has an intense human realization. He questions whether there are truly good or bad people. The boy and the man abandon their cart, the item that has been the closest thing to a hearth for them for the entirety of their miserable journey. Soon after, the man can move no further. It is at this moment that the reader has to question everything. Even though the man is telling the boy that he has to go on alone and carry the fire, it seems incredibly unlikely to the reader that the boy can survive on his own. We even question whether it would indeed have been better for the pair to use the bullets on themselves at the beginning of the story.

For three days while the boy stays beside his father's corpse, we are left with this question. However, this incredibly tense climax eventually resolves when the man with the shotgun, one of the "good guys," finds the boy and invites the child to join him.

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What's the turning point or climax of The Road by Cormac McCarthy?

The climax of a story is the point of greatest emotional intensity. In The Road, that point is reached when the man dies. Up until this moment, the man had always tried hard to dispel his son's altruism as a way of ensuring his continued survival in such a harsh, post-apocalyptic landscape. In some ways, the man was preparing his son for the moment of his death, that fateful day when the youngster would have to stand on his own two feet and take care of himself without adult supervision.

What is particularly intense about this episode is not so much the man's death as the crisis it provokes in his son. All of a sudden, an already scary world has just become even scarier. Despite his father's best efforts at showing him what to do, we're not entirely sure, at this point, that the boy will survive. We're left to ask ourselves whether or not the man's sacrifice was really worthwhile, after all.

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What is a major event in Cormac McCarthy's The Road?

There are several significant events in The Road, each more disturbing than the last.

The first significant event that occurs is when the man uses one of the two revolver rounds to kill a marauder that is closing in on them. This is shown to deeply upset the boy, and understandably so. The boy, at this point in the story, only understands the gun as a tool of escape.

Unlike the man, the boy was born into the wasteland that the world has become. It is all he knows. He does not have his father's memory of civilization to contextualize the stark nature of everything he sees. This fact, combined with his age, no doubt makes the wretched levels of humanity he sees both more normal and ethereal at once.

Until this point in the story, he has only been told to use the gun on himself if he is ever going to be caught by cannibals. The idea that his father is capable of the same monstrous violence confuses him and blurs the lines between the cannibals and the "good guys carrying the fire."

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What is a major event in Cormac McCarthy's The Road?

There are many major, significant events throughout the book The Road. I believe one of the most significant events is the illness of the boy. After trying to survive and escape from marauding bands of scavengers and cannibals, the boy becomes sick, and they must fight off illness and infection with no supplies.

The compromised state in which the boy and his father find themselves leads to their meager supplies being stolen. They lose what little they did have and are driven to further lengths to survive and find supplies, including the father having to swim out to an abandoned boat in the sea. They do eventually find supplies and the boy recovers, but this moment sets them in motion away from the little comfort they had and eventually leads to the father's death and the boy joining a new family.

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What is a major event in Cormac McCarthy's The Road?

A significant major event in the book 'The Road' by American novelist Cormac McCarthy is the discovery by the man and his young son of a group of people who have resorted to cannibalism to survive. The two, in their journey, have happened upon a dilapidated house in the countryside. The father goes into the house to investigate if there is sustenance there that they can acquire – food and clothing, medicine, and such.

While in the house, the father hears a racket coming from downstairs, but he’s unsure of what this is all about. He pries open a floor door to peer down into the subterranean level of this house. What he sees shocks and reviles him.

Down below are human beings who are missing legs, arms and more. This is because the marauders who captured them are keeping them captive below as a food source-  as disgusting as this is. This is a powerful and repugnant scene in the novel. However, it is used to great effect by Cormac McCarthy to show how society has totally broken down.

Mankind has, in essence, turned on itself to survive. The author is showing that it is an “every man for himself” mentality. Common decency and morals are now a thing of the past as concerns a significant number of survivors who are now left in America. This major event in the novel, that cannibalism is now a reality, informs the reader that humankind has possibly reached the point of no return in its decadence.

This scene propels the novel forward in that the man now realizes that he and his son have to quickly get away from the desperate marauding bands that are about. They must get to the coast – their goal -  and see if there are any decent, moral, humane people left in America. The discovery of cannibalism spurs the father to want to protect his son even more. As a result, he will do whatever it takes to protect his son and give him at least some small chance of surviving in this post-apocalyptic world.

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