The Road

The Man Character Analysis

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 excellent shot with a pistol. Throughout the novel the man is mostly defined by his extreme devotion to his son and his resourceful perseverance in surviving. He is haunted by memories of his wife, who committed suicide rather than face the apocalyptic world in which the characters live, and the pre-disaster world, but he has made the rare decision to keep surviving and “going down the road” despite the horror of the post-apocalyptic world. The man resolves to be one of the “good guys” and to keep “carrying the fire” of humanity and goodness, but he is not afraid to use violence, especially to protect the boy. The man has some kind of respiratory disease that makes him cough up blood, which worsens throughout the book and ultimately kills him.

The Man Quotes in The Road

The The Road quotes below are all either spoken by The Man or refer to The Man. 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 and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage edition of The Road published in 2008.
Pages 1-29 Quotes

When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he’d reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him.

Related Characters: The Man, The Boy
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

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He knew only that the child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God God never spoke.

Related Characters: The Man, The Boy
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

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Are you okay? he said. The boy nodded. Then they set out along the blacktop in the gunmetal light, shuffling through the ash, each the other’s world entire.

Related Characters: The Man (speaker), The Boy
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

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He mistrusted all of that. He said the right dreams for a man in peril were dreams of peril and all else was the call of languor and death. He slept little and he slept poorly. He dreamt of walking in a flowering wood where birds flew before them he and the child and the sky was aching blue but he was learning how to wake himself from just such siren worlds.

Related Characters: The Man (speaker)
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

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Pages 29-60 Quotes

He said that everything depended on reaching the coast, yet waking in the night he knew that all of this was empty and no substance to it. There was a good chance they would die in the mountains and that would be that.

Related Characters: The Man (speaker)
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:

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A forest fire was making its way along the tinderbox ridges above them, flaring and shimmering against the overcast like the northern lights. Cold as it was he stood there a long time. The color of it moved something in him long forgotten. Make a list. Recite a litany. Remember.

Related Characters: The Man
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:

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They are going to rape us and kill us and eat us and you wont face it. You’d rather wait for it to happen. But I cant. I cant… We used to talk about death, she said. We dont anymore. Why is that?
I dont know.
It’s because it’s here. There’s nothing left to talk about.

Related Characters: The Man (speaker), The Woman (speaker), The Boy
Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:

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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 well advised to cobble together a passable ghost. Breathe it into being and coax it along with words of love. Offer it each phantom crumb and shield it from harm with your body. As for me my only hope is for eternal nothingness and I hope for it with all my heart.

Related Characters: The Woman (speaker), The Man
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:

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Pages 60-91 Quotes

This is my child, he said. I wash a dead man’s brains out of his hair. That is my job. Then he wrapped him in the blankets and carried him to the fire.

Related Characters: The Man (speaker), The Boy
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:

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You wanted to know what the bad guys looked like. Now you know. It may happen again. My job is to take care of you. I was appointed to do that by God. I will kill anyone who touches you. Do you understand?
Yes.
He sat there cowled in the blanket. After a while he looked up. Are we still the good guys? he said.
Yes. We’re still the good guys.
And we always will be.
Yes. We always will be.

Related Characters: The Man (speaker), The Boy (speaker)
Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:

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Pages 91-124 Quotes

Do you think I lie to you?
No.
But you think I might lie to you about dying.
Yes.
Okay. I might. But we’re not dying.
Okay.

Related Characters: The Man (speaker), The Boy (speaker)
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:

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They lay listening. Can you do it? When the time comes? When the time comes there will be no time. Now is the time. Curse God and die. What if it doesnt fire? It has to fire. What if it doesnt fire? Could you crush that beloved skull with a rock? Is there such a being within you of which you know nothing? Can there be? Hold him in your arms. Just so. The soul is quick. Pull him toward you. Kiss him. Quickly.

Related Characters: The Man (speaker), The Boy
Page Number: 112
Explanation and Analysis:

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Pages 124-156 Quotes

Rich dreams now which he was loathe to wake from. Things no longer known in the world. The cold drove him forth to mend the fire. Memory of her crossing the lawn toward the house in the early morning in a thin rose gown that clung to her breasts. He thought each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins. As in a party game. So be sparing. What you alter in the remembering has yet a reality, known or not.

Related Characters: The Man, The Boy
Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:

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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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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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The men poured gasoline on them and burned them alive, having no remedy for evil but only for the image of it as they conceived it to be. The burning snakes twisted horribly and some crawled burning across the floor of the grotto to illuminate its darker recesses.

Related Characters: The Man (speaker)
Page Number: 186-187
Explanation and Analysis:

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Pages 189-246 Quotes

When your dreams are of some world that never was or of some world that never will be and you are happy again then you will have given up. Do you understand? And you cant give up. I wont let you.

Related Characters: The Man (speaker), The Boy
Page Number: 187
Explanation and Analysis:

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The boy shook his head. Oh Papa, he said. He turned and looked again. What the boy had seen was a charred human infant headless and gutted and blackening on the spit. He bent and picked the boy up and started for the road with him, holding him close. I’m sorry, he whispered. I’m sorry.

Related Characters: The Man (speaker), The Boy (speaker)
Page Number: 196
Explanation and Analysis:

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When he went back to the fire he knelt and smoothed her hair as she slept and he said if he were God he would have made the world just so and no different.

Related Characters: The Man (speaker)
Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:

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They trekked out along the crescent sweep of beach, keeping to the firmer sand below the tidewrack. They stood, their clothes flapping softly. Glass floats covered with gray crust. The bones of seabirds. At the tide line a woven mat of weeds and the ribs of fishes in their millions stretching along the shore as far as eye could see like an isocline of death. One vast salt sepulchre. Senseless. Senseless.

Related Characters: The Man, The Boy
Page Number: 220
Explanation and Analysis:

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Inside was a brass sextant, possibly a hundred years old. He lifted it from the fitted case and held it in his hand. Struck by the beauty of it… He held it to his eye and turned the wheel. It was the first thing he’d seen in a long time that stirred him.

Related Characters: The Man
Page Number: 225
Explanation and Analysis:

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Pages 246-287 Quotes

He was just hungry, Papa. He’s going to die.
He’s going to die anyway.
He’s so scared, Papa.
The man squatted and looked at him. I’m scared, he said. Do you understand? I’m scared.
The boy didn’t answer. He just sat there with his head bowed, sobbing.
You’re not the one who has to worry about everything.
The boy said something but he couldnt understand him. What? he said.
He looked up, his wet and grimy face. Yes I am, he said. I am the one.

Related Characters: The Man (speaker), The Boy (speaker), The Thief
Page Number: 257
Explanation and Analysis:

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.

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.

They went on. In the nights sometimes now he’d wake in the black and freezing waste out of softly colored worlds of human love, the songs of birds, the sun.

Related Characters: The Man
Page Number: 270
Explanation and Analysis:

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.

You have to carry the fire.
I dont know how to.
Yes you do.
Is it real? The fire?
Yes it is.
Where is it? I dont know where it is.
Yes you do. It’s inside you. It was always there. I can see it.
Just take me with you. Please.
I cant.
Please, Papa.
I cant. I cant hold my son dead in my arms. I thought I could but I cant.

Related Characters: The Man (speaker), The Boy (speaker)
Related Symbols: “Carrying the Fire”
Page Number: 277
Explanation and Analysis:

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.

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.

Get the entire The Road LitChart as a printable PDF.
The road.pdf.medium

The Man Character Timeline in The Road

The timeline below shows where the character The Man appears in The Road. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Pages 1-29
Death and Violence Theme Icon
Familial Love Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
A man and a boy sleep in the woods, the man comforted by the boy’s presence. Every... (full context)
Death and Violence Theme Icon
Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
The morning gets vaguely lighter and the man looks down the road with binoculars. All the trees are dead and colorless, and the... (full context)
Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
The man returns to find the boy still asleep. The man takes out his pistol and their... (full context)
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
They come to an abandoned gas station and the man searches it for food or tools but finds nothing. He picks up the phone behind... (full context)
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Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
They try to fall asleep and the boy asks the man questions for reassurance. The man says that they won’t die and that they are going... (full context)
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Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
The next morning the man whispers a vague prayer, asking to see God so he can “throttle” and “damn” him.... (full context)
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
The man remembers walking with his uncle on his uncle’s farm as a child. They walked through... (full context)
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Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
The man and the boy keep going south for more weeks, passing through a hilly country. Everything... (full context)
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Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
They keep moving and the man notices the lack of marauders on the road. He hopes the “bloodcults” have all killed... (full context)
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Familial Love Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
The man dreams of his wife emerging as a bride from green leaves. Sometimes he also dreams... (full context)
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They continue down the road and the man thinks about his wife, remembering her smell. He finds two brooms and attaches them to... (full context)
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
...starts to rain one day but they keep walking, holding the tarp over themselves. The man has more color-drenched dreams, and thinks of them as death calling him. The man and... (full context)
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
They reach the outskirts of a city and explore a wrecked and looted supermarket. The man searches through a fallen soda machine and finds one last Coca Cola. He gives it... (full context)
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...stolen. The next day they leave the city and come to the house where the man grew up. It is abandoned and decayed like all the other houses. The man wants... (full context)
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Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
The man goes into the house and the boy comes with him, holding his hand. The man... (full context)
Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
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...seems to pass beneath them like an “underground train.” The boy is terrified but the man comforts him, saying that it was an earthquake. The man remembers the first years after... (full context)
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One day they stay in an abandoned house and the man reads old newspapers while the boy sleeps. The man wonders if he will be able... (full context)
Pages 29-60
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Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
More long weeks pass as the man and boy keep traveling. They come to a mountain range and the man wonders if... (full context)
Death and Violence Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
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...and pass through lifeless forests and burned resort towns. They cross a stream and the man remembers seeing trout there long ago. It gets colder as they get higher, and there... (full context)
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One day they walk near a forest fire, and the color of it reminds the man of the sun. He resolves to “make a list. Recite a litany. Remember.” They keep... (full context)
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Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
The man remembers the first days after the nameless disaster, and then months later when there were... (full context)
Familial Love Theme Icon
Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
The next morning they move on and drink their last packet of cocoa. The man tries to give all of it to the boy but the boy makes them split... (full context)
Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
...find a river. They travel farther and reach a waterfall, which amazes the boy. The man jumps into the pool below the waterfall and swims around. The boy takes off his... (full context)
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
...the boy is frightened by the long drop. They walk through the forest and the man remembers the names of the trees that used to live there. He finds some shriveled... (full context)
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The man checks for other people, as the waterfall is a “good place,” and he remembers seeing... (full context)
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Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
...the truck, and it starts to rain. The truck has been there for years. The man searches the tractor, and they sleep that night inside. The next day the man tries... (full context)
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...seems burnt and wounded, and he just looks down silently as the boy and the man pass by. The boy wants to stop and help him, but the man says there... (full context)
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As they go on the boy starts crying and keeps looking back. The man assures him that they have nothing they could give to the burnt man, and the... (full context)
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The man remembers the disaster, which is only described as “a long shear of light and then... (full context)
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The man and the boy play cards sometimes and the boy asks questions about “the world that... (full context)
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Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
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One morning the man wakes up coughing blood. He says his wife’s name aloud and feels like he may... (full context)
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The man begged his wife not to kill herself, but she said she should have done it... (full context)
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The man said he couldn’t go on alone, and his wife agreed, saying he would only survive... (full context)
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The man then thinks about how the boy is totally a product of the post-apocalyptic world, and... (full context)
Pages 60-91
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One morning the man is wakened by a noise. He grabs the pistol and then sees a group of... (full context)
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The man and boy hide in a ditch and watch the group pass. The man can see... (full context)
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The man points the pistol at the bearded man and tells him to keep walking quietly forward.... (full context)
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The bearded man asks if the man is a doctor, and he invites him to the truck to... (full context)
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The bearded man calls the man “chickenshit” and pulls out a knife. The bearded man runs towards the... (full context)
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The man runs through the woods until he collapses from exhaustion. That night he hears the group,... (full context)
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The next morning the boy won’t speak at first. The man finds where the truck group camped, and he sees bones in their firepit. Then he... (full context)
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They travel all day and then the man leaves the boy to go find firewood, but the boy keeps repeating that he’s “really... (full context)
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The man wakes up and strokes the sleeping boy’s golden hair, thinking of it as a “golden... (full context)
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They travel all day and that night the man apologizes to the boy for not being more careful. He tells the boy that he... (full context)
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Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
The next morning the man gives the boy a rough wooden flute he carved. Soon the boy falls behind playing... (full context)
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Later they come to a town and the man scans the horizon with binoculars. He sees nothing, but the boy can see a distant... (full context)
Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
...a car that night and see lights in some of the windows in town. The man wakes up at night and vaguely wonders where they are. The boy asks him question... (full context)
Death and Violence Theme Icon
Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
...that he won’t hurt the stranger and for him to come back, but then the man comes out of the house and gets angry at the boy. The boy starts crying... (full context)
Familial Love Theme Icon
...boy worrying that the strange boy doesn’t have anyone to take care of him. The man reassures him that he must. Then the boy starts crying again and says he wishes... (full context)
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They make camp that night and the man thinks of the last dog they saw, the one the boy is probably remembering. It... (full context)
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They travel all day and then make camp. The man feels a dull despair and can’t think of anything to say. He imagines the names... (full context)
Pages 91-124
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The next morning the man wakes up to see a group of strangers coming down the road. They are all... (full context)
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Familial Love Theme Icon
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Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
It starts to snow that afternoon and the man and boy trudge on. Soon they are freezing and exhausted, and the boy asks if... (full context)
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
...a tunnel under a fallen tree and fall asleep again. When they wake up the man feels like he can’t concentrate, and he has a hard time getting the boy to... (full context)
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Familial Love Theme Icon
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...if they’re going to die, and wonders how long they can live without food. The man says that as long as they have water it takes a long time to starve.... (full context)
Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
They keep going, eating snow and growing weaker. That night the man watches the sleeping boy and notices the “strange beauty” of his thin face. The next... (full context)
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
...big plantation house. The boy is scared and doesn’t want to go in, but the man says they have to, as they need to find food. They walk onto the porch... (full context)
Death and Violence Theme Icon
The man finds a locked hatch in the floor and then looks for a shovel to pry... (full context)
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The boy points out the window and the man sees six strangers coming across the yard towards them. The man grabs the boy’s wrist... (full context)
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Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
The man pushes the pistol into the boy’s hand, telling him to put it in his mouth... (full context)
Death and Violence Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
...the boy falls asleep. Later they hear screams coming from the big house and the man covers the boy’s ears. Then the man makes them get up and set out through... (full context)
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Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
The boy falls asleep and the man considers whether he should leave him alone to go look for food. He decides to... (full context)
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
On the way through the yard the man finds some old apples. He eats a few, seeds and all, and gathers up the... (full context)
Pages 124-156
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Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
...and set out again. That evening the boy wants to have a fire, but the man confesses that he dropped the lighter. Later the boy asks if the bad guys were... (full context)
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Familial Love Theme Icon
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...apples, and after some coaxing the boy asks if they would ever eat people. The man assures him that they wouldn’t, even if they were starving – which they are now... (full context)
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The man starts to think that death is near and he finds himself sobbing sometimes at night.... (full context)
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The man starts dreaming about his wife again and now he doesn’t want to wake up. He... (full context)
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The man walks back towards the house and then stops in the yard, feeling faint and wondering... (full context)
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Finally the man goes back to open the hatch door. He lights the lamp first and gives it... (full context)
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Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
The man descends into a concrete bunker, and he whispers for the boy to follow him down.... (full context)
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They have pears and peaches for dinner, and the man notices that the boy is still wary, probably fearing that he will wake up in... (full context)
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The man and the boy sleep for a whole day and a half. When he wakes up... (full context)
Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
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...the bunker and go up to the house, carrying water and a little stove. The man fills a hot bath for the boy, and the boy says he is “warm at... (full context)
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The man and boy explore the nearby town and find a new grocery cart to carry supplies.... (full context)
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They return to the bunker and the man cuts the boy’s hair. Then he cuts his own hair and shaves off his beard.... (full context)
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The man jury rigs a tank of gas and they spend the rest of the day eating... (full context)
Pages 156-189
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Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
They stop to eat lunch and the boy asks where they are. The man says he thinks they are about two hundred miles from the coast “as the crow... (full context)
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Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
...hill and the boy asks about their “long term goals,” a phrase he heard the man use long ago. The man says he still doesn’t know. They turn a corner and... (full context)
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The man opens a can of fruit and the boy gives it to the old man. The... (full context)
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...been on the road, and that he knew some kind of apocalypse was coming. The man asks if he wished he was dead, and Ely says he wishes he had died,... (full context)
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The man asks Ely about how he eats and stays alive, but Ely only answers vaguely. He... (full context)
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In the morning the man relents to the boy and gives Ely a few more cans of food. Ely doesn’t... (full context)
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The boy is sad that they left Ely but he accepts that the old man will probably die. That night the man wakes up coughing and feels like he is... (full context)
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They come to a coastal plain and some marshy land. One morning the man wakes up and the boy isn’t there, but the boy soon appears and says there’s... (full context)
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The man realizes that they will run out of food before they reach the coast, as all... (full context)
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They sleep in a shed, listening to the rain, and the boy asks the man if there are other “good guys.” The man says that there are, but that they’re... (full context)
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...enter a small town and are confronted by three men holding lengths of pipe. The man raises the pistol, trying to look tough, and the men slink away. The man and... (full context)
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The man remembers when he was a child standing with a group of men digging a hole... (full context)
Pages 189-246
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One night the boy wakes up from a bad dream and he won’t tell the man about it. The man tells him that if he tries to escape into a better... (full context)
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...He asks why the people didn’t leave the road when it was melting, and the man says because everything else was on fire too. (full context)
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They go further and the man has a bad coughing fit. Then they sit in the road and eat and the... (full context)
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The man studies the map and the boy suggests that they haven’t gone as far as the... (full context)
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The man worries that the boy won’t talk anymore. They make camp and the man checks the... (full context)
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
...sees a distant, well-camouflaged house and they set off for it. On the way the man finds three arrowheads made of white quartz on the ground. When they come to the... (full context)
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They wander through the empty rooms and find some cans of vegetables. The man says they might be poison so they have to cook them very well. They bring... (full context)
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The next day the boy insists that they not go upstairs, but the man wants to search for food or blankets. The boy argues but then gives up, accepting... (full context)
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The man thinks about his goal of reaching the coast and realizes that he has no reason... (full context)
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...is gray and lifeless, filled with ash and slag. The boy looks disappointed and the man apologizes that it isn’t blue. They make their way down to the ocean and sit... (full context)
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The boy asks if he can go swimming and the man allows it. The boy runs out and plays in the freezing surf, and when he... (full context)
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The next morning they search the beach and the man calls them “beachcombers.” They come to a rock jetty and see a large sailboat on... (full context)
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The man decides to explore the boat. He gives the boy the pistol and tells him to... (full context)
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...boy, who sits huddled on the beach and eventually falls asleep. In a locker the man finds a heavy box and inside is an old brass sextant. It is in perfect... (full context)
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The man gathers up some rope and examines the galley. There are lots of cans of food,... (full context)
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The man swims ashore and greets the boy with his finds. He tells the boy that they... (full context)
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...which is occasionally lit by flashes of lightning. It starts to rain, and eventually the man hears the rain against the tarp, and they find the cart. They fall asleep under... (full context)
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Afterward the man has a coughing fit and tastes blood. He recognizes that he is dying. Later he... (full context)
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The man swims back to shore and tells the boy about his finds. The boy asks if... (full context)
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The boy asks about how many people there are in the world, and the man says he doesn’t think there are... (full context)
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That night the man loads the flarepistol and fires it over the ocean. It explodes like a firecracker in... (full context)
Pages 246-287
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In the morning the boy feels sick and has a fever. The man tries to comfort him but the man himself is terrified. He holds the boy all... (full context)
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The man feels like it is the “last day of the earth.” The boy keeps sleeping feverishly.... (full context)
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...find all their belongings – cart, blankets, tarp, and shoes – have been stolen. The man curses to himself and the boy starts to cry. The man follows the bootprints up... (full context)
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The boy finds some sand and the man hurries ahead, but soon he starts coughing and has to slow down. In the evening... (full context)
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The boy starts crying and begs the man not to kill the thief, but the man tells the thief to take off his... (full context)
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After they go a ways the man tells the boy to stop crying, but the boy can’t. The boy begs the man... (full context)
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In the morning the man goes to look at the road and feels an earthquake in the distance. He wonders... (full context)
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On the way out of town the man hears something whistle over his head and he throws himself on the boy. He sees... (full context)
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After a while the man leaves the boy hiding and limps into the stranger’s house. He finds a woman holding... (full context)
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The boy gets the kit and the man disinfects and sews together his wound. The boy watches the whole time. The man apologizes... (full context)
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The man asks the boy for a story, or to tell him about his dreams. The boy... (full context)
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Two days later they leave town, the man limping badly. They travel a while along the sandy road and then turn inland the... (full context)
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The man coughs up more blood and has to stop and rest more often than before. The... (full context)
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...and plants have been preserved from the wind. More days pass, and one night the man lies down and knows that he will not get up again. (full context)
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The boy tries to split a can of peaches with the man but the man makes the boy save his half “until tomorrow.” The boy wants to... (full context)
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The man tells the boy that the boy needs to keep going down the road, to keep... (full context)
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The boy asks the man to take him with him, but the man refuses. He had thought he could kill... (full context)
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The narrative shifts to follow the boy. The boy stays with his father for three days and then sets off on the road. Immediately he sees someone following... (full context)
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The scarred man asks about what the boy has, and the boy says he only has some blankets,... (full context)
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The scarred man tells the boy to go out in the road and wait for him to fetch... (full context)
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The boy goes out to the road and a woman embraces him. Later she talks to him about God, and he tries to pray but... (full context)