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The Road By Cormac Mc Carthy And Blindness By Jose Saramago

3941 words - 16 pages

In all cultures, there are people struggling for survival. Some are starving, some are living in sheer poverty, some are thrown into slavery and some just cannot get their footing; but in all of these situations there seems to be a common theme that presents itself over and over again. Many of these people become so desperate to live they will give up their morals and give in to whatever they can to get by. Occasionally, there is one person stronger than the rest, one able to hold onto their morals, one that would rather die than give in to immorality. However, given certain circumstances; even these people turn to pure barbarianism in order to survive. The Pulitzer Award-Winning novel, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, details the numerous obstacles a man and his son face, in an attempt for survival, in a post-apocalyptic world. The man, the protagonist in the novel, hesitates to help any random strangers who he and his son encounter along their path. Meanwhile, Jose Saramago’s Nobel Prize-Winning novel, Blindness, deals with a mass epidemic of blindness infecting nearly everyone in an anonymous city. The doctor’s wife, who keeps her sight throughout the novel, can be identified as the protagonist. Her situation of being the only person with sight amongst the blind is both dramatic and yet classic; as it adds depth and interest to the novel. Both works emphasize the fact that the dark side of human nature becomes more pronounced once survival is threatened.
Originally, in McCarthy’s The Road, the readers are given a slight insight into the dark and disturbing nature of humans through the decision of characters prior to the unexplained post-apocalyptic event. For instance, the boy’s pregnant mother’s decision to commit suicide and give up hope for the survival of her unborn son, despite the father’s pleas; reflect her selfish ideals towards life. While on the road, in a few flashback sequences, the fate of the boy’s mother is revealed. Among the flashbacks, there was a conversation between the man and his wife after the boy has been born. The man entreats his wife not to commit suicide. She wishes to die by her own hand however, in order to escape what she believes is her inevitable rape and her family’s inevitable murder. She wishes that their pistol had three bullets, not only two, so that she could spare her entire family from their gruesome fate. Throughout the conversation, the man continues to beg her to reconsider her decision or at least wait until the morning to say goodbye to their son. After her death, the man and the boy pack up their camp, and the boy only says, “She’s gone, isn’t she?” (McCarthy 50). This sequence of events reveals the mother’s very dark nature because instead of being there for her son, like a devoted parent, she chooses to leave this world out of pure fear of the post-apocalyptic event. She even goes so far as to question the existence of her husband and newborn; yet she does not even do a small good deed as to tell...

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