The Road

The Woman Character Analysis

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 perseverance, the woman eventually gives in to despair. She believes that it is inevitable that she will be raped, murdered, and eaten, so she decides to escape that fate by committing suicide. The man begs with her to reconsider, but he has no reasonable argument against hers. The woman leaves without saying goodbye to the boy and kills herself with a piece of obsidian. Contrasted with this bleak death are the man’s memories of their happy marriage and life together before the apocalypse.

The Woman Quotes in The Road

The The Road quotes below are all either spoken by The Woman or refer to The Woman. 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 29-60 Quotes

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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The Woman Character Timeline in The Road

The timeline below shows where the character The Woman 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
The man dreams of his wife emerging as a bride from green leaves. Sometimes he also dreams of walking through a... (full context)
Death and Violence Theme Icon
Familial Love Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
They continue down the road and the man thinks about his wife, remembering her smell. He finds two brooms and attaches them to the cart to clear... (full context)
Pages 29-60
Death and Violence Theme Icon
Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
...for the mountain pass, and they are cold and hungry. The man dreams that his wife is sick and he takes care of her. He wakes and remembers the reality of... (full context)
Death and Violence Theme Icon
Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
...all its contents spread out across the road. He lingers over a photograph of his wife, but then he leaves that on the road too. The next day the boy is... (full context)
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
...power went out. The man immediately started filling up the bathtub with water, and his wife, who was pregnant, asked why he was taking a bath. The man then remembers another... (full context)
Death and Violence Theme Icon
Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
One morning the man wakes up coughing blood. He says his wife’s name aloud and feels like he may have said it in his sleep. The boy... (full context)
Death and Violence Theme Icon
Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
The man begged his wife not to kill herself, but she said she should have done it back when they... (full context)
Death and Violence Theme Icon
Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
The man said he couldn’t go on alone, and his wife agreed, saying he would only survive if he lived for the boy. But this was... (full context)
Death and Violence Theme Icon
Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Faith, Trust, and Doubt Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
...product of the post-apocalyptic world, and the fact that he was so unsurprised by his mother’s suicide. The man remembers the boy being born by candlelight while they watched cities burning... (full context)
Pages 124-156
Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
The man starts dreaming about his wife again and now he doesn’t want to wake up. He thinks about how the act... (full context)
Pages 189-246
Death and Violence Theme Icon
Familial Love Theme Icon
Survival and Perseverance Theme Icon
Dreams and Memory Theme Icon
...ago, before the disaster, when he cooked crabs on the beach, and watched his sleeping wife, and felt that God had made the world a perfect place. (full context)