The Road


Cormac McCarthy

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The Man

The nameless protagonist of The Road. It is never explained what position the man held in the pre-disaster world, although he does know the scientific names of parts of the brain and is an… read analysis of The Man

The Boy

The man’s son, a young boy who was born just after the nameless apocalypse. The boy is defined by his relationship with his father, on whom he depends for survival, and his own innate… read analysis of The Boy

The Woman

The man’s wife and the boy’s mother, in The Road she only appears through the man’s memories and dreams. While the man reacted to the decline and destruction of humanity with a dogged… read analysis of The Woman

The Gang Member

The first “bad guy” the man and the boy meet in the novel, a member of a gang of murderers and cannibals who patrol the road in a truck. The gang member leaves his group… read analysis of The Gang Member


An old man the man and boy meet on the road. He says his name is Ely, but later admits that this isn’t his real name, as he doesn’t want people talking about him… read analysis of Ely
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The Thief

An outcast from a commune who steals the man and boy’s cart and supplies while they are exploring the beach. They catch up with him, and the man makes the thief strip off his… read analysis of The Thief

The “Good Guy” Man

A scarred, shotgun-carrying “veteran” in a ski parka, the man who finds the boy soon after his father’s death. The man says he is one of the “good guys,” and he offers to let… read analysis of The “Good Guy” Man
Minor Characters
The Burnt Man
The first person the man and boy encounter in the novel, a lone traveler on the road who has been injured by fire or lightning and probably won’t survive long. He only lowers his eyes in shame as the man and boy pass.
The Archer
A stranger who shoots the man with an arrow as they are leaving a coastal town. The man then shoots the stranger with the flarepistol, wounding him badly.
The Little Boy
A boy in an oversized jacket that the boy sees in a city. The little boy disappears without a word, but the boy calls out to him and is very distraught to leave him behind.
The “Good Guy” Woman
A woman who is part of the group of “good guys” that take in the boy at the end of the novel. She talks to the boy about God, but tells him that it’s okay if he finds it easier to talk to his father than to God.
The man's uncle, with whom the man, when he was a child before the land was devastated, once spent what he considers to be the perfect afternoon on his uncle's farm .
Woman with the Archer
A woman who the man finds cradling the archer, after the man has shot the archer with the flarepistol.