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Survival in an Apocalyptic World - Research Paper Example

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Throughout the book titled “The Road”, McCarthy paints a bleak and hopeless picture of a struggle to survive by a father and son in a post-apocalyptic world. The novel begins with the unnamed father and son traveling southwards across a post-apocalyptic empty scorched land…
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Survival in an Apocalyptic World
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"Survival in an Apocalyptic World"

Download file to see previous pages The terror begins as the lone father and his son ran out of food and begins to desperately scavenge for food everywhere in an empty world where there are no longer supermarkets or food stores. Matters are made worse by the dangerous marauding gangs who are so merciless in their hunt for food and have almost turned into cannibals. Other authors depict an environment filled with huge blast craters, formless landscape, radio active elements and problems of electro-magnetic pulses all of which are associated with the aftermath of a nuclear war (Charles, 6). According to many authors who have predicted an apocalyptic end of civilization, survival in a post-apocalyptic world will be characterized with untold misery caused by anarchy, lawlessness and a conflict between human orientations towards violence, compassion and self preservation. Although McCarthy has not explained the cause of the devastating apocalypse, many other writers have concurred that a number of events ranging from a nuclear exchange, global pandemic as well as natural catastrophes can potentially lead to the downfall of our contemporary civilization. Generally, throughout the novel, McCarthy has primarily emphasized on the conflict between self preservation and the basic human values, compassion and sympathy to the other humans. Survival in an apocalyptic scenario is widely depicted as a period of darkness characterized by acts of violence, extreme selfishness and other dark social practices such as rape, slavery, cannibalism and terror gangs. This paper critically analyzes the theme of “Survival in a post-apocalyptic world” as presented throughout McCarthy’s novel “The Road” Conflict between self preservation and human values It is widely believed that a post-apocalyptic world environment is going to empty deserted landscape where the infrastructure in the traditional world was completely ruined after the catastrophic event. As a result, humans are left roaming in the wild and deserted world for survival. The depiction of a post-apocalyptic scenario where everything is covered in ash and dust alludes to some form of tragic end to our civilization through nuclear Armageddon, eruption of a super volcano or other unspecified events. Regardless of the cause, the concern is survival in some of the absolute bleakest circumstances ever known to man. Consequently, in the post-apocalyptic world, people are increasingly concerned of their own well being than of other people and this is in part driven by their primitive survival instincts. The struggle for survival is not only characterized by little room for humanistic ideals or desires to help other people in need but also the existence of cruelty as individuals fight over scarce food and other basic resources. McCarthy (87), also paints the same picture of a ruined environment with old newspapers scattered all other the place and a lone bottle of Coca-Cola in the dust. There are also charred corpses all over the place and frozen in their final postures in a horrifying manner. A father and his son made their journey along the frozen, wretched and drenched road. As they walked they got tired and decided to rest on the woods where the son slept. On a post-apocalyptic world as the road is full of barren and desolate landscape where there is absence of human activities like electricity, running water and humanity. As his son was asleep, he began to remember one of his imaginations of a being with dead eyes.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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