The Relationship Between Father and Son in The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Categories: The Road

In The Road by Cormac McCarthy, the father and son’s relationship is very dependent in the beginning of the novel. As we continue reading they are still dependent on one another, the father providing for and protecting the son, and the son being the father’s only motivation to live; however their relationship begins to change, distance, and weaken as they go through their trials and tribulations.

The boy, being young and naïve has a very pure heart. If he sees someone else struggling he has this immediate immense desire to help them.

The father is wearier of other people, which helps to keep the boy alive, but also causes the boy to distance himself from his father. We see this when they come upon the old man on page 161. The boy finally convinces the father to feed him, after arguing about it for some time, and after when them and the old man go their separate ways the boy is quiet and seemingly angry with the father.

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We also see a similar occurrence between pages 255 and 260 when the man steals their shopping cart on the beach. They finally find the man travelling down the road with their things and the father is very stern, and from the boys eyes mean, in dealing with the situation. He holds the man at gunpoint and takes their things back, and forces the man to give them his clothes as well, all the while the boy crying and begging the father to have mercy on the man.

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The father later ended up leaving the man’s clothes on the road but the damage had been done and it took the boy a while to begin speaking with the father again.

Cite this page

The Relationship Between Father and Son in The Road by Cormac McCarthy. (2022, Apr 26). Retrieved from

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