After finally getting to the end of The Road I do not really feel that surprised. Don’t get me wrong the ending is very depressing and heart wrenching but it was almost expected. Throughout the entire book the father’s death was foreshadowed through the constant (and consistently getting worse), cough. The turning point in the book, when I realized that we were losing the father, was when he began to cough up blood. I’ve seen enough movies and dramas where the main character begins to violently cough up blood to come up with the conclusion that blood is BAD. So although the end of the book leaves the reader sad that the relationship between the father and son has been destroyed by death, we are relieved and hopeful when the boy finds the “family” at the end that is willing to take him in.
Now at the very end of the novel when the boy walks out into the road for the first time and is confronted by the older man, I thought his life was over as well. Throughout the whole book the father was trying to teach his son the new “right and wrong” and how to follow the new norm of survival of the fittest but when the boy was found, my heart sunk. As the reader, it is in our nature to assume the worst in the situation. One thought kept running through my mind, “No! Don’t do it. What if he is the bad guy??” But the boy decided to take a cautious chance and in his innocence, went with the man. Although we do not know exactly what happened from that point on, we assume by the last few sentences that he is safe and continuing to grow in the deformed world.
Overall, The Road was a well written novel with a scary but outstanding message. It makes the reader really reflect on their morals and ability to think on their feet. It was very easy to get wrapped up in the story and constantly ask the question, “Well…what WOULD I do?” Although the style of writing was drastically different and it appeared that dialogue did not exist, it kept the reader interested and focused so that they could understand which character was speaking. The small amount of characters allowed us to become emotionally attached and explore the struggles of each person. The author could have taken many different approaches to writing a book about post-apocalyptic times but the structure and the idea of a true father-son relationship made The Road a success. This is definitely a book I would recommend to anyone outside of class because for Christians it will challenge their perception of the world and for non-Christians it will (hopefully) push them to question life after death – physically, spiritually, and emotionally.