The Road takes the form of a classic journey story, a form that dates back to Homer's Odyssey. To what destination are the man and the boy journeying? In what sense are they "pilgrims"? What, if any, is the symbolic significance of their journey?
The sardonic blind man named Ely, who the man and boy encounter on the road, tells the father that, "There is no God and we are his prophets" [p. 170]. What does he mean by this? Why does the father say about his son, later in the same conversation, "What if I said that he's a god?" [p. 172]. Are we meant to see the son as a savior? Why is Ely the only character named in this novel? What does this mean and how does it affect your understanding of the meaning of the work as a whole?
How is McCarthy able to make the post-apocalyptic world of The Road seem so real and utterly terrifying? Which descriptive passages are especially vivid and visceral in their depiction of this blasted landscape (pick at least 3 and please cite)? What do you find to be the most horrifying features of this world and the survivors who inhabit it?
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