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Thoughts on The Road

So, if you have been reading my blog for a long time then you know that I love Cormac McCarthy. Cormac and I, we could be best friends. I could talk science and he could talk literature, or we could sit on porch swings and admire the country.

We recently, finished reading The Road for American Literature. There is so much in my paper that I could not mention.

the_road

Stories of Courage and Justice 

I think that this is important for the man and the boy as they travel along the road. The man tells these stories in order to help the son understand his role in life such as being a “good guy” and “carrying the fire”.

Fact: The original title of The Road was called The Grail. This comes from the idea of Grail Narratives. (think: King Arthur and ties into these stories of justice and courage.)

“The father’s love for his son becomes the boy’s longing for his father and for community with others. That longing is depicted as a boy’s journey through a physically broken world in a relentless attempt to find that other whose pain and whose joy he can here. In a world poisoned by greed, dissociation, and despair, longing may itself be a form of redemption” (234).

The boy craves a normal world, even though he knows nothing of what our world is like. This longing for goodness might show a form of redemption for this broken world.

Does anyone know what “Carrying the fire” means? 

I asked my professor this the other day, because he is supposed to know everything, right? He is my professor and has written an article on The Road. So, he should know what this means, but he does not. We ended up discussing other things in the novel. I believe he mentioned that it has to do with the stories but I could wrong.

This is what I think, that the what McCarthy is saying is that there is something that is beautiful that we cannot put into words because their is so much truth and beauty in it. That this native statement of “Carrying the fire” symbolizes that goodness will continue on. Is there something more to this?

I like to think that everything that is going on in The Road, that is just a father and son traveling along the road and that there is something beautiful about the father’s desire to protect is son. That grace and beauty. Like the quote in my professor article (that I might get in trouble for posting):

“By creating a place of grief and ash, McCarthy seems to be searching for the origins of human goodness. By maintain a focused look at the origins of grace and beauty, he discovers what the ethical foundation of humanity might be: the simple words of a father for his son, “I have you,” illuminate a small hope in an otherwise dark narrative. Familial relationships preserve human goodness a long as a father is able to say, “I have you,” and a child is able to believe his words” (48-49).

The quote refers to this quote:

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one’s heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes. So, he whispered to the sleeping boy. I have you” (54).

That as long as the father is able to say, “I have you” meaning that as long as these stories stay true and that the father can continue to tell them. There is something extremely moving about that. That as long as the son is able to preserve this goodness and that the father also could preserve this goodness. There is something amazing about that idea. That redemption can them be gained.

The-Road-film-2009-001

There is also this idea of breath such as the breath of God (the Holy Spirit), I think that this is important to look at. Towards the end of the novel, the women who becomes a surrogate mother for the boy teaches him how to pray but the boy prays to the father because it is easier and that is what he promises his father.

“She said that the breath of God was his breath yet through it pass from man to man through all time” (286).

That as long as the boy remembers his father, this is away of honoring his memory and that the boy is making an effort to talk to God through his father. This becomes another effort in which the continue to “carry the fire”.

The idea of breath as plays an important role with the mother, she tells the father that:

“The one thing I can tell you is that you wont survive for yourself. I know because I would never have come this far. A person who had no one would be will advised to cobble together some passable ghost. Breathe it into being and coax it along with words of love.” (57)

That as long as the father is able to continue this family unit and create some sort of family for the boy. If the father can continue to think about the boy as part of the family and that he can instill goodness into the boy. As long as the father has a connection to his son, he can be considered a “good guy”. The man will always  need the boy.

Just some thoughts.

Works Cited

Cooper, Lydia. “Cormac McCarthy’s The Road as Apocalyptic Grail Narrative.” Studies in the Novel 43.2 (2011): 218-236. Print.

Kilpatrick, Nathan. “Some Last Venture at the End of the World: Familial Quests and Identity Formation in The Road.” Literature and Belief 31.1 (2011): 39-50. Print.

McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. New York: Vintage Books, 2006. Print.

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Posted by on December 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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It Came to the End

“It came to the end/ it seems you had heard/As we walked the city streets/you never said a word…/Where are you know?/ Where are you know?/ Do you ever think of me in/ In the quiet, in the crowd?

And I hear of your coming/ And your going in the town/ I hear stories of your smiles/I hear stories of your frown”

I am really in love with this new Mumford and Sons song, that I got over a week ago. Maybe because it is the end of the semester and I am becoming slightly upset. I already missing my little group from Anthropology and American Lit.

It has only been a day.

I am looking forward to next semester. A new English professor, new classes, and a new/first job.

I am thinking for applying for a position in the tutoring center (Student-Athlete tutoring center). I am waiting for grades to be post and I know that I am going to be over a 3.0 this semester. It is just frustrating because I need to retake my neuroscience class because I have discovered that a D, helps build character.

I have professors that I know that can write good letters of recommendation and that I can use as references.

I still have about 18 cases to cover for political science. I really just want to know grades and I need to finish cleaning out my apartment. I am enjoying my last weekend on campus. I have already sat on my swing. I plan to go to one last yoga class before I am able to practice at my home studio. I have already looked at book list for next semester, a thousand times mostly to see what we are reading for British Lit.

I am having second doubts about my major. I really want to become an English major. Even though, I am not very good at it. I love to write and read. According to my professor, I have been very insightful about The Road and that he has learned a lot from me about it. Except, for the fact that it is not going to matter. Maybe, I should give it one more semester and see how British Lit. goes.

I keep thinking about the two stories that, we read “The River”, by Flannery O’Connor and The Road. I felt rushed at the end of the final, so I didn’t get elaborate as much as I wanted to.

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Poem 1129, by: Emily Dickinson

“Tell all the Truth but tell it slant-

Success in Circuit lies

Too bright for our infirm Delight

The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased

With explanation kind

The Truth must dazzle gradually

Or every man be blind-“

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Telling Stories with John Green/ VlogBrothers (Part 2)

When do you feel most alive?

I feel most alive when I have finished a good book or long periods away from my computer like when I go for a run or to yoga class. Other times it is when I am drinking tea or coffee and having great conversations with friends and family.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in Telling Stories with

 

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Define: Dystopian Literature

Dystopian Literature is my favorite. I have no idea why I love it so much. I don’t know if it is writing about what our world might become or what it is like now. It’s just awesome. My professor from last year sent me a list of dystopian literature. He was working with a teacher-friend on creating a list of dystopian literature. I was surprised that he remembered! I really wished they offered a dystopian literature class at Private University. I would take it over American Literature or British Literature.

Wikipedia defines dystopia as:

A dystopia is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian. Dystopian societies feature different kinds of repressive social control systems, and various forms of active and passive coercion. Ideas and works about dystopian societies often explore the concept of humans abusing technology and humans individually and collectively coping, or not being able to properly cope with technology that has progressed far more rapidly than humanity’s spiritual evolution. Dystopian societies are often imagined as police states, with unlimited power over the citizens.

I really like that the reason that I love dystopian literature is because it is modern literature. It’s different from what I read everyday and it’s just so good.

Strawberries add to the awesomeness of dystopian literature but not included

Here is the list (with added commentary):

1. Feed By: MT Anderson (read) 

I hate feed, I hate the whole idea of how advertising is presented. I hate the love story that goes on. I think that I am extremely  biased towards MT Anderson. I read The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, it was terrible. I loved the first half but the second half was terrible.

2. The Handmaid’s Tale By: Margaret Atwood (read) 

3. Oryx and Crake By: Margaret Atwood (read)

4. The Year of the Flood, by Margaret Atwood (read) 

Rumor has it there is going to be a third book in the MaddAdam series (Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood). Not a big fan of Margaret Atwood but slow starting to enjoy her works.

4. Lord of the World, by Robert Hugh Benson (read) 

Quick read, I think I understood it better because we just finished studying Vatican I in one of my classes.

5. A Friend of the Earth, by TC Boyle (read) (Loved this) 

6. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury (read)(New Favorite)

I loved this book a lot. It is now in the running for new favorite book. 

7. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card (read) 

I never realized that it was a book series. It was good but a little unrealistic. I would never send my future child into battle school, even if the government “owned” my child. Also, it is a future reference to know what your child is doing on the internet. I would want to know if my children was making money from writing a political columns (who does this remind me of…).

8. Nights at the Circus, by Angela Carter (read)

Not sure if I liked it, very confused by the end of it.

9. The Hunger Games Trilogy [Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay], by Suzanne Collins (read)

I really liked the first book in the Hunger Games Trilogy but I was not a big fan of Catching Fire or Mockingjay. I was not a big fan of the movie either.

10.Herland, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (read) 

11.Dune, by Frank Herbert

12.Brave New World, By Aldous Huxley (read, one of my favorites) 

13. Children of Men, By: PD James (read)

I saw the movie first and I thought the book was going to be similar. I was a little nervous to read it but it was good and interesting. Way different from the movie which was good.

14. Out of the Silent Planet Trilogy [Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and This Hideous Strength] by CS Lewis (read) 

15. The Giver trilogy [The Giver,Gathering Blue, The Messenger], by: Lewis Lowry (read) 

This was one of my favorite book series growing up. I read them all the time. I think I still have them somewhere. I just remembering in 5th grade when we had reading days. I would also bring in something from the Giver trilogy.

16. Notable American Women, by Ben Marcus (read) (Strange and one of those if women ruled the world kind of book similar to Herland but worst) 

17. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson (read) 

I have seen the movie, but have never read the book. I remembering liking the movie a lot. I might try and read it this summer. I recently got around to reading it and way different from the movie. I tried to watch the other day really late at night but I ended up freaking myself out.

18. The Road, By: Cormac McCarthy (read) (see telling stories with Cormac McCarthy) 

19. A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter Miller (read) 

20. Invitation to a Beheading, by Vladimir Nabokov

21. The Children of the Last Days series [Strangers and Sojourners, Plague Journal, Eclipse of the Sun, Father Elijah], by Michael D. O’Brien (read) (loved Eclipse of the Sun and Strangers and Sojurners)  

20. 1984, by: George Orwell (read) (favorite) 

21. Love in the Ruins, by Walker Percy (read)

22.Frankenstein, by: Mary Shelley (read) (I think it is one of those border dystopian literature, I don’t really consider it dystopian) 

23. Super Sad True Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart (read)(Not Impressed)  

24. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, by Mark Twain

25. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells (I have it for my kindle, I am about 1/3 of the way through and that was at winter break. Someday I will conquer this book.) (read) 

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2012 in Define:[fill in the blank]

 

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Old Pictures

Traffic

Enjoying the Cone

Mighty Cone

Let’s have a Picnic

Live Music

Buildings

Fading Light

Leaves

You know, just creepn’

Jane Eyre

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Please, I beg of you come home

Put your dreams away for now/ I won’t see you for some time/ I am lost in my mind/ I get lost in my mind/ Mama once told me/ You’re already home where you feel loved/ I am lost in my mind/ I get lost in my mind (The Head and The Heart- Lost in My Mind)

Last night  was the first time I cried for my sister, the one who is strong, loving, kind, amazing, and awesome. We were talking on the phone, she was unable to sleep. It was hard. It was the first time that it became real how far away she is living. I want to get on a plane so badly and fly to Williamsburg and never let her go. She misses home a lot and she has been having a bad week. Problems with her fridge and with work. She is stressed. I can hear it in her voice. Moments of panic, doubt, and “did I make the right choice” clustered together in her frustrations. Even though, she is my older sister.  I want to explain to her, so badly, the ethics of having a soul. I want to hear her thoughts, ideas, and passions. I want to give her what I cannot give myself. I want to hear her stories, record them in my mind. To play back in the forms of quotes and hear the words of a young chef. I want to whisper with her in the night plans for the future and mutter, maybe even curse about the past.

I want to hug her and have her push me away. I want to physically hold her before she is physically pulled away from me in order to remind me of what I lose every time she leaves. It’s been six months since I last saw her. Actually it’s been three days. She was on Skype. In person, it has been six months. Sometimes,  I want to scream “that I can’t do this anymore”. I want to hear her call out “Baby Bear” for the room next door when she is looking for me. I want her to use up all the hot water in the shower. I need her. I need her half-smile that she gives, her know it all attitude, and the fighting over books. Most importantly I need her home, safe and sound.

Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air was of the true, wise true friend called Piggy (Lord of the Flies, William Golding)

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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