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January 18, 2009


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It's interesting that you're seeing less horror and more hope the second time around. I read it a few months ago and definitely felt that horror...but kept at it because I felt there was an important message there.

I guess I assumed that it was all-out nuclear destruction (ugh), although there were still so many buildings standing that maybe that wasn't it at all. I kept wanting the author to explain, but I understand why he didn't - my guess is to make the story universal, no matter what happens in our future.

I thought the mother killed herself (wow, all this ambiguity!)...and to be honest, I totally judged her for it...to leave both your husband and your child, when you still have them both and they're what matters most...though of course I've never been in that situation, so I don't know. I think that war probably brings out the best and the worst in people, though.


I think the man, the boy, and the mother are stand-ins for the Holy Trinity and how McCarthy feels they act toward each other. I think it is important to notice the rare appearances of the mother to really make the connection on that part. She never talks to the boy and her only part in the book is just giving birth to him. After that, the man cares, nutures and protects the boy. She only talks to the man and tries to re-affirm, not affirm, what he has already planned.

Another connection is the fact that the boy wants to save every one while the man remains indifferent and suspicious of every one.

It doesn't bother me to not know how the world was destroyed. The only thing that matters is how the landscape mirrors what the man sees. He sees the death and destruction while the boy seems to have an urge to stay somewhere and re-build. The boys always seems to be somewhat bullied by the man to try to see the same thing he does (the binoculars).

I don't want to write any spoilers yet, so I leave off with that.

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