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❶Please choose the access option you need: The man and the boy were both dehydrated and starving so the refreshing cold taste of the Coke gave them that sense of happiness that they would be fine.

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by Jack Kerouac
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Imagine the air thick with black clouds towering over your very essence and having to muddle through 10 feet of snow and a strong gust of wind. A world where all faith should be gone, but amiss all bad things, it continues to linger through the eyes of the youth. Being able to see the light when your surroundings are pitch black signifies that humanity has not been lost completely. Although, the man knows in his heart that death is inevitable and dangerously close, he continues to live for the sake of the boy whom he believes carries the final hope for humanity.

The man views the boy as a symbol for hope and provides the man with a purpose in life, to protect the boy above all. Violence is the antagonist in the novel because the people are driven into thievery, murder, and cannibalism because of the post-apocalyptic landscape. Food is scarce and people are starving, and consequently, people turn to thievery as a way to fend for themselves. At this point in time, stealing is not a crime anymore.

There is no government, there are no regulations, and all is fair game. When the man says that he will protect the boy at any cost, it is not an understatement. When a member of a bloodcult posed a threat to the boy, the man did not so much as fidget to reach for the safety of his weapon. Without overthinking, the man shot the degenerate dead before his son. The biggest act to violence, however, is the scene of the discovery of the dead infant.

He [the man] bent and picked the boy up and started for the road with him, holding him close. The man feels instant regret for letting his guard down and allowing for the boy to sight such a monstrous thing.

He apologizes to the boy with the argument that he should have shielded him from how harsh the world can be. The violence is inevitable and cruel and the boy comes to this realization at this time of the novel. The boy is the only thing the man has left, and thus, he loves him endlessly. The quote depicts the story line with impressive accuracy from describing the weather, to the love that triumphs all. You have my whole heart. What is touching is that the dialogue is convincing and it is not hard to picture a father saying sweet things to his boy in such a manner.

Although the boy has no memory of the previous world and was born into a world of violence, he continues to practice faith. The man and the boy have faith that good will come soon and they are certain of this because of small acts of kindness that they stumble upon. The man and boy see finding temporary shelter, a basement with ten food cans, or a fully functioning cart as a sign that the omnipresent God is watching over them.

Although it is never clear whether the man believes in a God or not, he is certain that the boy might just be the last holy thing on the planet. He provides food for an old man who has no way of reciprocating this kindness and who will contribute nothing to rebuilding society.

Despite the scarcity of resources, the father— guided by his son —decides to invest something into a life that might seem wasted. With this gesture, the author makes a subtle statement about the sanctity of human life, which must be respected regardless of circumstance. Despite his understandable initial resistance, the Father always tries to engage in costly but charitable acts. The Boy teaches the Man to recognize an aspect of humanness in all the wanderers who travel the dangerous road, including the thief who selfishly takes their possessions instead of asking for help.

Such unbending mercy is heightened by the strong amorality of their world. Even the well-meaning father acknowledges a difference between his child and himself; in the corruption of others, the Man recognizes his own limitations.

Maintaining the parabolic symbolism of his narrative, McCarthy again equates physical ugliness with moral degradation. Old Ely also betrays the weight of this burden in his inability to believe that a divine presence could still roam the Earth. He does not deny the existence of a deity but, in his cynicism, he thinks that a force of fecundity and purity would have not survive in such a wretched environment. This incapability suggests the belief that redemption remains unachievable for humans, even in the afterlife.

This potentially reconstructive faith suffers threatening spasms of uncertainty, which progressively push the Father deeper into the exhausted path his wife chose. Similarly, the Man depends on the Boy with the same desperate fervor of a suffering theist. With his son by his side, the Man is distinguished from other aimless travelers: The Man also has this simultaneous bond with the Boy: Instead of keeping his child safe through death, the Man decides to trust in his moral fortitude and divine potential.

The emotionally exhausted dad finds the solace he has long been rejecting and the Boy is able to safely continue his journey with other people who might also benefit from his spiritual guidance.

His messianic journey and Aquinian duty can continue. The Promise of Christian Humanism: Thomas Aquinas on Hope. Exploring Aquinian Grace and the Boy as Messiah. The newsletter highlights recent selections from the journal and useful tips from our blog. Inquiries Journal provides undergraduate and graduate students around the world a platform for the wide dissemination of academic work over a range of core disciplines. Representing the work of students from hundreds of institutions around the globe, Inquiries Journal 's large database of academic articles is completely free.

Learn more Blog Submit. It is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. Moreover, the views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Inquiries Journal or Student Pulse, its owners, staff, contributors, or affiliates.

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