The Road

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 or knowing where he is. He says he has “lived like an animal,” and is struck by the sight of the boy. At the boy’s convincing, the man shares some food and their fire with Ely, but the next morning they leave him.

Ely Quotes in The Road

The The Road quotes below are all either spoken by Ely or refer to Ely. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Death and Violence Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Road published in 2008.
Pages 156-189 Quotes

It wouldnt make any difference. When you die it’s the same as if everybody else did too.
I guess God would know it. Is that it?
There is no God.
No?
There is no God and we are his prophets.

Related Characters: The Man (speaker), Ely (speaker)
Page Number: 168
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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I never thought to see a child again. I didnt know that would happen.
What if I said that he’s a god?
The old man shook his head. I’m past all that now. Have been for years. Where men cant live gods fare no better. You’ll see. It’s better to be alone. So I hope that’s not true what you said because to be on the road with the last god would be a terrible thing so I hope it’s not true. Things will be better when everybody’s gone… When we’re all gone at last then there’ll be nobody here but death and his days will be numbered too. He’ll be out in the road there with nothing to do and nobody to do it to. He’ll say: Where did everybody go? And that’s how it will be. What’s wrong with that?

Related Characters: The Man (speaker), Ely (speaker), The Boy
Related Symbols: The Road
Page Number: 170-171
Explanation and Analysis:

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Ely Character Timeline in The Road

The timeline below shows where the character Ely appears in The Road. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Pages 156-189
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
...ago. The man says he still doesn’t know. They turn a corner and see an old man shuffling along the road ahead of them. They catch up to him and he warily... (full context)
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
...asks if the boy is a “little boy.” The old man says his name is Ely. (full context)
Death and Violence Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
They make camp and light a fire. Ely says he has always been on the road, and that he knew some kind of... (full context)
Death and Violence Theme Icon
Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
The man asks Ely about how he eats and stays alive, but Ely only answers vaguely. He admits that... (full context)
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
In the morning the man relents to the boy and gives Ely a few more cans of food. Ely doesn’t thank the boy, but the man says... (full context)
Death and Violence Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
The boy is sad that they left Ely but he accepts that the old man will probably die. That night the man wakes... (full context)