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Volume 3 Issue 2

July 2017

Humanism and Self-Actualization in a Post-Apocalyptic World in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road
Ms. M.L. Eileen Brisha, 
Assistant Professor, 
Department of English, 
Holy Cross College, 
Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India
Cormac McCarthy is known for his practical writing, simple sentences and ordinary themes of life. He is the author who proclaimed that literature is one that talks about the incidents between life and death. All his novels deal with a variety of travel either intended or unintended by his characters. The author uses ‘road’ to carry his ideas and characters. The characters though simple and plain are complex as well. He is known for his unique prose style and ignoring grammar and punctuation rules. His language is plain with descriptions sometimes violent. He is a rare writer to be in interviews because he has told that there’s nothing for him to say. Everything he has to say is there on the page. McCarthy’s portrayal of a Post-Apocalyptic future is a fascinating and challenging one to the readers. The Post-Apocalyptic world of McCarthy is a desolate land with grey air and remnants of humanity fading away into oblivion. Cannibalism is found everywhere and the civilization is left beyond saving. The novel accounts the journey of an unnamed father and his son called the ‘man’ and the ‘boy’ heading towards South for a safer future but the man awaits doom on them within a couple of days. They are referred to as ‘the good guys’ who will not succumb to any act of violence in their journey. The man with a heavy heart wants to save the boy from the disgusting and annoying surrounding, wanting his son to always carry ‘the fire’- the fire of humanism and prove to be ‘the good guys’. The man in spite of the disastrous circumstances tries to teach the moral and the ethical values of life for his son to uphold in any of the situations he comes across in future. He knows that in future the presence of the father figure may or may not be with his son, but he wants his son to hold on with the values of life which he slowly inculcates in him.
Fire; Post-Apocalypse; Self-Actualization; Death; Decay; Silence.
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Progressive Publishers is a novice publishing enterprise located at Tranquebar, Tamilnadu, India. It primarily publishes university text-books for efficient English language learning and an online scholarly journal entitled Literary Quest. Its primary goal is to promote progressive, secular, socialist and egalitarian thoughts among academicians, researchers and students of English literature. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and Social Justice are the ideals upon which the whole enterprise rests.