Posted at 02.10.2018
These were the parting words of an dying fathers previous breath to his loved young child as his time on what remained of globe was slowly fading away. In Cormac McCarthy's novel THE STREET, the daddy and his kid are traveling towards south in a post-apocalyptic environment with only the idea of "carrying the flames" within their hearts. The term "carrying the hearth" is McCarthy's way of expressing that the father and kid need to transport on using their journey no matter the hardships they face and to keep on the fire of what mankind was. The "fire" symbolizes the love that they feel for one another and their power that's forcing them forward to transport on with the journey to the south. The "fire" can also represent their desire and beliefs in a gruesome and decaying world. Another debate would be that "fire" may also be displayed as the humanity that is still left alive. In Cormac McCarthy's book, The Road, throughout the voyage the child is portrayed as the father's interior "fire".
The father's undying love for his son is what provides him the strength to carry on with their voyage and survive. The love that the father and kid feel for the other person is obvious to the visitors throughout the novel, THE STREET, without them needing to utter the three worded phrase. That is proven through the conversation the two had during another one with their restless nights. "Can I ask you something?" "Yes. Needless to say you can. " "What could you do if I died?" "In the event that you died I'd want to pass away too. " "Which means you can be with me?" "Yes. THEREFORE I could be with you. " "Okay. " (McCarthy, Pg. 11). Also, the father, viewed as both the archetypal parents, always put his boy first as it pertains to food, warmth, and safety. The daddy disregards his health over his sons. "He awoke coughing and walked out so as not to wake the child. He coughed till he could flavour the bloodstream" (McCarthy, Pg. 54) "They had a single blanket in the load up and he first got it out and protected the boy with it and he unzipped his parka and placed the youngster against him" (McCarthy, Pg. 67). Throughout the novel, readers can clearly start to see the father fighting himself, wanting to know if he'd have the strength in him to yank the trigger liberating the one left over bullet, eliminating his own flesh and blood to let him pass away left over innocent and unharmed/tainted from the clutches of what humanity has manifested into. "Is it possible to undertake it? When enough time comes? When enough time comes there will be no time. Now is the time. Curse God and pass away. What if it generally does not fire? It has to fire. What if it doesn't fire? Would you crush that favorite skull with a rock and roll? Is there such a being within you of which you know nothing at all? Will there be? Carry him in your hands. Just so. The soul is quick. Move him toward you. Kiss him. Quickly. " ( ) this estimate discloses the fathers powerful love for his boy, hoping him to pass on painlessly; still being the "good man" while he himself would put up with the actual tainted world threw at him. Needless to say, the love that the daddy and son share is powerful. It's what books them on the road. It offers them the durability to continue and proceed even when they are at deaths doorstep. At some point, the father's power to survive begins to slowly and gradually seep out of him, wishing it might just be over, but the youngster brings back his father's nature and power. "What's the bravest thing you ever have?" he spat in to the street a bloody phlegm. "Getting up today" he said. "Really?" "No. Don't listen to me. Come on, let's go. " (McCarthy, Pg. 272).
Throughout the novel, The Road, the son is seen as the flicker of light in a dimming world, representing trust. The way he whole-heartedly feels and has beliefs in the "good guys" and performing as his father's morals gives the father the wish and faith he needs to continue on using their journey also to "carry the fire". Over and over again, despite the loneliness, despair and lack of expectation, the boy's goodness shines out brightly in a dark and gray world, for example when the thief stole their things from the beach, the young man stopped his daddy from hurting him and begged him to leave some food and clothes for the thief. As the book progresses, the father's trust begins to waver regarding his situation in the post-apocalyptic world they can be journeying through. The setting up of THE STREET plays a major role in enabling the father continually struggle to keep his trust in mankind and god. He questions god and openly uncovers his hatred towards god and his circumstances by stating, "Have you a neck where to throttle you? Have you a heart and soul? Damn you eternally have you a heart and soul? Oh God. " (McCarthy, Pg. 11-12). In the end, however, it's his son who makes him see the little flicker of light and that you can always take that anticipation even in the most difficult of times. Through the father's eye, the boy sometimes appears as a god-like amount. The way the father speaks of his son is overflowing with religious references towards god. He says, "If he's not the term of God, then God never spoke. " (McCarthy, Pg. 5). Another reference point would be when "He sat beside him and stroked his pale and tangled mane. Golden chalice, good to house a God. " (McCarthy, Pg. 75). the boy lets the father still have that sense of belief in god by thinking that he was appointed by god to view over him and protect him. "My job is to manage you. I got appointed to achieve that by God. I am going to eliminate anyone who details you. Do you understand?" (McCarthy, Pg. 77). Despite the fact that the daddy is irritated at god, because of his son, he still has notion in him.
The "fire" in the book, THE STREET, can be referred to as the flame of humanity that has been still left alive still burning up of their hearts. It's the son that brings about that shred of humanity in his father's heart. Throughout The Street, the boy's reactions and pleading to help the people who they meet throughout their journey shows how the boy and his dad become foils towards each other. A good example would be when the man doesn't show any guilt or remorse for going out of people locked up in the basement. He instead feels relief for successfully getting his kid and himself out of there, nevertheless the boy is upset that they didn't try to help them, just like when his dad didn't let him help the man struck by thunder or the little guy and dog he came across. It's difficult for the boy to comprehend how they could be the "good folks" when there are so many criminals out there. He continually asks his daddy whether there truly are any others like themselves, the good guys. The daddy is the main one leading the young man to mature and become aware of the entire world they are really in and also to understand how life will be. The boy's kind-heartedness in exchange is what's leading the father to provide in and help other survivors rather than always being mindful of them for the boys protection for example, the old man they on the road called Ely. From the father's point of view we see that mankind isn't yet wiped out on earth. We also start to see the goodness and innocence in the youngster that makes us, the visitors; believe humanities flame is still burning. The kid is referred to as "Someone aiming to supply a vulture broken in the road. " when the youngster offered food to the old man, Ely (McCarthy, Pg. 163). This fire of humanity is but a flicker of light in a post-apocalyptic world, however it provides is and the father a sense that there is hope for mankind.