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Yuki Kuran

"The Road" by McCarthy

Hey, guys) I'm having IOC on this book in 10 days and I would like to discuss this book with you.

What is the role of fire in the book? I can see that it is a contrasting imagery, since it is a cause for destruction (we can see a lot of references to it) and the only source of light. However, when the child says 'we're carrying the fire', I could not really get what he means by that. You could say that it stays for 'life' and all that but why would McCarthy write about the destruction? 

Also, if you have some other useful notes on the book (imagery, tone, allusions), could you please share it with the rest of us? Collective thinking is always good.  

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Also, please, I beg you, share with your Gradesaver or Enotes account(s) with me, if you have one. I'll do a favor for you in return. Please, please, please. 

Edited by Yuki Kuran

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Fire has several meanings in McCarthy's _The Road_, and you're quite right to point out that it has (at first sight) contradictory meanings. Fire that destroys, fire that cleanses and fire that gives hope. You can add to this list, of course. The point is to examine the use of fire (motif) in context, and there you will be able better to appreciate its meaning and significance. 

 

The temptation of course is to offer a single explanation and to quash apparent contradictions of meaning (this is what we do in our essays, which defies the whole point of an essay ) -- but try to avoid doing that:  IB examiners like to hear you air these questions and doubts. If nothing else, it shows that you are AWARE and able to discuss these openly and handle ambiguity. You should show that you've given plenty of thought to this, anyway, and offer possible explanations. If done convincingly and honestly, it counts as engagement and appreciation.

 

Instead of begging for Gradesaver or Enotes, why not give the motif (and the work) more thought? I think you're on the right path asking people to discuss it in this forum. It'll add to everyone's appreciation of the book and also help you think about other aspects. It'll be more apparent in the exam that you have given some thought to the book.

Edited by Blackcurrant
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