As it makes up the title of the novel and its main setting, the road is the most important symbol of The Road
. The roads are one of the few things that couldn’t be destroyed by whatever disaster destroyed the earth, and the man
spend most of their time on a road leading to the coast. As a unifying place for travel, the road is a place of both transience and danger, and in the novel it comes to symbolize the human drive to keep moving and keep surviving, no matter the circumstances. The man is defined by his perseverance in living despite the hellish state of the world (as opposed to the woman
’s despair and suicide), and his endless journey down the road symbolizes this dogged endurance. He has no clear goal in mind – except heading south and reaching the coast – but he keeps going anyway, and he teaches the boy this same lifestyle of the road. In the end it seems that the road itself is the destination, as the man tells the boy to keep “carrying the fire” and heading south, moving ahead with the human will to live and go forward.