The Road: Opening to page 35

1. Describe the tone, mood and atmosphere of the opening pages of the novel. Examine the dream in the opening pages as a way of establishing a sense of foreboding.

The mood and atmosphere in the beginning of the book is very dreary, dark and desolate . It gives a sense of unease as there is no one around except for the man and the boy. Not a sound is made. The fact that the man states that it’s not safe on the road anymore now that it is day sets a very dark and foreboding atmosphere.

The dream in the opening sequence establishes a sense of foreboding by describing the cave they are wondering in as “the inside of some gigantic beast”. It’s as if they are trying to find a way out, to escape the beast. The shadows created by the light also make it seam as if the darkness surrounds them and they are trapped. However, it’s the creature within the cave which rally brings out a sense of foreboding as they can see it’s bright white eyes clearly in the darkness. They know the creature is blind because of it’s shite eyes, but the man can’t help but feel as if it will find them using their other senses and attack.

  • doesn’t trust his dreams
    • p 268

 

2. Find details which describe the landscape in these pages. Overall, what image does McCarthy create of the devastation of the earth in this world?

  • “nights dark beyond darkness and the days more grey each one than what had gone before”

The image McCarth creates is a world full of darkness and danger. The days are bleak and the nights are filled with danger and the unknown. The novel also states that the man has a motorcycle mirror attached to the cart so he can see if there is any danger behind them. It’s as if there is no more happiness in the world, only a sense of danger and need to survive.

  • everyday, it’s seems as if the world is giving up
    • man feels as if world is getting darker
  • McCarthy’s language is quite baron and bare:
    • the devoid of poetic techniques and bluntness emphasises how horrible this world is
  • “God-less” – world is so dark, even god is not there
    • God usually symbolises hope and faith, it being a “God-less” world means that the people have given up on hope and faith
  • Fire: hope or general perseverance?

3.  What kind of journey are the man and his son on? Where is the evidence for this?

  • They are on a journey for survival. On page 4, the man states that they were moving south for the winter as they wouldn’t survive another winter in their current location. They’re moving south get get warm.
    • migration: reducing them to animals, not a journey they are taking willingly
    • one of necessity, must keep moving to survive

4. Describe their relationship using evidence to support your ideas.

The man and boy have a father-son relationship. This can easily be seen in the first couple sentences of the novel, where the man goes to put his hand on his son to make sure h’s still alive and breathing. This relationship is further proven when the boy asks what his father would do of he died, to which he replied “i would die too,” so he could be with his son.

  • The boy has a lot of questions of what is going on and the man answers – gives us an insight into teh world they live in
  • They have a strong, protective bond, the boy relies on man for survival, boy is the only thing the man has
  • Man takes care of boy and makes sure he lives
  • There a lot of times where the boy is taking care of the man in a way the man doesn’t imagine
    • kid cares for him and wants to protect him from himself
      • “that’s not true, i worry about things too.”
  • Care’s about the boy enough to teach him how to effectively kill himself should anything happen to the man
    • kid would be safer if he was dead, there would be no more suffering
    • Man almost did it himself once to “save him”

5. Memories of the past come to the man’s mind – what kind of memories are they? What importance might they have?

The memories the man has are ones full of how things used to be, of the “better world”. They are ones filled with happiness and life, which is a complete contrast to his reality. These memories serve him as a reason to keep fighting for survival, so that maybe, one day, the world won’t be so bad anymore.

6. What do you notice about the narrative style of writing? What might be the reason for choices McCarthy makes stylistically? Look at the effects of crafting such as: use of imagery, poetic and metaphoric features, syntax and punctuation, other?

  • Each paragraph is like a short snippet of everyday life for the man and the boy. This way, it really allows the reader to easily come to terms with the situation the characters are facing and what everyday life is like.
  • Some of the main literary devices that stand out for me is the use of diction, imagery and structure. The words used in The Road are simple enough to immediately understand what is happening as well and easily conveys the atmosphere and mood set. The use of imagery also helps with setting the scene as it is easily able to convey that sense of foreboding and unease felt within the novel. It is also able to easily convey the feeling of happiness when describing the man’s dreams. The use of structure is also really effective as each paragraph/scene is short, which forces the author to choose words which would quickly describe what is happening, before moving onto the next scene. It’s used as if to illustrate everyday life and the hardships they face.

 

  • McCarthy sets up that humans make rational decisions, which is untrue
    • they have to think rationally in order to survive, but even that is based on irrationality?
      • Irrationality that hope is there driving force
  • There are always some people who manage to survive even the worst of times – interesting how McCarthy doesn’t show us the ending
  • Hope is engrained within us since we were kids because of stories
  • Innocence vs experience: difference between children and adults
    • kid is hopeful and wants to help everyone he can
    • man is more suspicious of people and knows how to survive
  • Wants the boy to carry on in resilience

CAS Planning

What aspects of CAS are you looking forward to?

I am looking forward to the Creativity aspect of CAS. This is because I love to do things related to the arts, like music, pottery, drawing, painting, and the like. I have even been learning how to play the guitar, though I am thinking of learning how to play the acoustic instead of classical guitar this year. I find creating very enthralling as I don’t see it as work. It can help give my mind a break from all the school drama. I am also looking forward to the Activity aspect of CAS. I have been learning a type of martial arts called Kali since I was in grade 6. It is something I really enjoy and participate in every Saturday. I am going to try and attend twice a week this year. This is what I am going to do for my Activity.

How might you plan your year of CAS in order to maintain balance?

As I will have no time no time after school if I get into the HS Drama production, I will join a local or global service that runs during lunch. This way it doesn’t clash with my after school priorities, like my tutors (and hopefully the drama production). If if don’t get into the HS Drama production this year, I will be doing my creative part of CAS during term 3&4. I will have more time to join an after school creative activity then. As for the Activity part of CAS, I will continue to do the martial arts class I attend every Saturday.

CAS Planning

What aspects of CAS are you looking forward to?

I am looking forward to the Creativity aspect of CAS. This is because I love to do things related to the arts, like music, pottery, drawing, painting, and the like. I have even been learning how to play the guitar, though I am thinking of learning how to play the acoustic instead of classical guitar this year. I find creating very enthralling as I don’t see it as work. It can help give my mind a break from all the school drama. I am also looking forward to the Activity aspect of CAS. I have been learning a type of martial arts called Kali since I was in grade 6. It is something I really enjoy and participate in every Saturday. I am going to try and attend twice a week this year. This is what I am going to do for my Activity.

How might you plan your year of CAS in order to maintain balance?

As I will have no time no time after school if I get into the HS Drama production, I will join a local or global service that runs during lunch. This way it doesn’t clash with my after school priorities, like my tutors (and hopefully the drama production). If if don’t get into the HS Drama production this year, I will be doing my creative part of CAS during term 3&4. I will have more time to join an after school creative activity then. As for the Activity part of CAS, I will continue to do the martial arts class I attend every Saturday.

Well Being Prompt – Would It Be Hard For You To Shift To Eating More Healthier Foods

I think it would be a little hard at first to shift to eating more healthy foods. This is only because I wouldn’t be used to it and it means I will have to minimise consuming my favourite snacks. However, I think, over time, it will get easier. I think that eating healthier foods is a good idea and that everyone should at least try and eat healthy foods everyday. It won’t be easy, but it means your taking better care of your body.

My Portfolio

Hi, my name is Brianna. I was born in Australia and have lived in Singapore for 12 years. I absolutely love music. That’s why I’m learning how to play the Guitar. I’ve been taking guitar lessons since grade 4. Each year there is a small show where we, the ITP students, perform for our parents. We don’t have to perform if we don’t want to though. This is suppose to build up our confidence for our grading. Unfortunately for the last 2 years I haven’t been attending them because I have stage fright. This year I’m going to perform though as I want to get over my fear. I want to be an actress when I grow up. You have to be comfortable performing in front of people and cameras if you want to be an actress. I haven’t been in a drama production since I was in grade 3, but it’s something I’d like to do this year. I have loved to read ever since I was in grade 5. My favourite series Percy Jackson & the Olympians. I’m interested in learning how to create and run a business in enterprise. I want to run a business that has something to do with animals, like an animal shelter or an animal boarding place. Some activities I want to participate in are drama (as mentioned before) and yoga as I have really tight muscles. I want to sign up for circuit training and voice lessons as I really love to sing and want to keep fit. I’m not sure what other activities I want to do this year yet, but I want to do something art or music related, like beatboxing or dancing.