Here is the answer and explanation to the question How do you write an essay on a theme that appears in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road?
How do you write an essay on a theme that appears in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road?
To write an essay about a theme in The Road, an important first step will be to select the theme on which you will focus. Two central themes in Cormac McCarthy’s novel are the moral dimensions of survival and the father-to-son relationship. Appropriate outside sources about these themes can be chapters in books or articles in literary journals. Publications that are called “peer-reviewed” or “juried” are usually considered reliable sources. One likely source is The Cormac McCarthy Journal; the entire Autumn 2008 issue is devoted to The Road.
Within the theme of morality and survival, one controversial topic is cannibalism. The setting strongly shapes the action because of the dire environmental consequences of the unnamed apocalyptic event that occurred before the period when the novel takes place. The shortage of food, in particular, generates conflict among the survivors. In one significant scene, the father and son protagonists encounter a group of people who feed on other humans. An essay about how the need to survive changes moral beliefs could include this episode. A relevant outside source from a peer-reviewed journal is Andrew Estes’s 2017 article on cannibalism in the European Journal of American Studies.
Because the boy’s mother is largely absent, his relationship with his father is a dominant theme. An essay about this relationship would include both the father’s teachings and what the son learns. The essay could address how effectively these lessons help prepare the boy to live after his father’s death. Alternately, the theme could be addressed by incorporating the depiction of the mother’s absence.
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