Thursday, August 2, 2012

After reading "The Road"

Finished reading Pulitzer prize-winning post-apocalyptic dystopian novel by Cormac MacCarthy, "The Road." Due to an unknown disaster, the earth's ecology has been almost destroyed. People have resorted to cannibalism. In this bleak environment, a father and a son take a long walk over many days southwards, sea-bound. They meet many good and bad guys on the way. The father is a laconic guy and he doesn't answer his son's queries with pleasure. (Sparse dialogue and terse one-liners are distinguishable features of the book.) The son acts as the conscience of the father and asks him to treat humans that they meet with respect. They keep walking down the road but they don't know what they wiil get once they reach the sea. They reach there and the father meets with a disaster. 
This is a good book but not an enjoyable one. Bleakness permeates the whole book. In fact, MacCarthy gives a nod to Charles Dickens's "Bleak House" in style. The seaward journey might be an evoking of the return to the water, the primary habitat of all beings. The father tells the son that they are carrying fire within them which might be the fire of goodness. I find the book to be a strong argument for the preservation of nature and ecology. People should check their recklessness regarding nature. The post-disaster scenario doesn't look nice.

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