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ERIC Number: EJ1002949
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
The Quest of Father and Son: Illuminating Character Identity, Motivation, and Conflict in Cormac McCarthy's "The Road"
Gilbert, Chris
English Journal, v102 n1 p40-47 Sep 2012
"The Road" has been an important part of the author's English IV Honors course for several years now. Undeniably bleak, it details a father and son's journey through a seared, post-apocalyptic wasteland. As they travel through the burnt remains of America, they are threatened by starvation, dehydration, and scattered, hostile humans. Although his students consistently enjoy the novel, the author receives occasional questions from colleagues about why such dark subject matter is part of his course; he tells them the answer lies in the text's two central characters: father and son. These two figures, described as "each the other's world entire," sustain an intensely uplifting relationship that captivates and transports the reader beyond the charred settings of the novel. These two characters have provided the author with invaluable opportunities to engage students in meaningful character analysis, critical inquiry, and self-reflection. (Contains 4 figures.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A