The Road Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Road.
This section contains 396 words
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The Road Summary & Study Guide Description

The Road Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

An unnamed father and son walk south in search of the good guys, the people that are not raping, killing and eating other humans to stay alive. They ransack abandoned houses for clothes and food, which they push around in their cart, moving from place to place to avoid detection. America, and, as far as they understand, the rest of the world, has been wiped out by a virus. A few people remain, but the ones that do, fight desperately for their own survival.

The father and son travel by foot. The father pushes the cart that contains their food and other useful items, while the boy often takes a broom and sweeps away debris in the road so the cart can run smoothly. Ash covers everything. Occasionally they come to a house or town. The first house they see is the house the father grew up in and he reminisces about old times.

The weather changes from rain to snow and rarely relents. The father has an awful cough from this weather; every time he has a coughing fit, he moves away from his son so the son cannot hear the coughing. Nevertheless, the specter of death hangs over both of them. However, death would be a release from what is an awful life. The sight of bodes has become such a normal occurrence that it rarely effects them.

Occasionally they meet or see a live person, but often the father is always too paranoid to trust anyone. This is particularly apparent when they have food. At times they are starving to death, but when their cart is loaded they are in danger from travelers on the scavenge. For such cases, they carry a pistol, which more than once comes in handy.

As they move through the towns and the mountains, the father's sickness becomes worse. The warning signs are there in the mountains when he coughs up blood. However, given that the father has the chance to recover in a shelter that offers food and heating, his decision not to stay costs him his life.

Towards the end of the novel, a stranger fires an arrow into the father's leg. He fixes the wound, but the loss of blood saps all his strength. Giving the boy his last bit of advice, he finally passes away. However, with the paranoid father now gone, the boy meets new companions.

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This section contains 396 words
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