The Road by Cormac McCarthy is a popular novel that has been adapted into a movie with the same name. It is set in a post-apocalyptic time when cannibals roamed the streets. The journey of a father to give his son a safer home is highlighted here. If you need to write “The Road” essay, there are a lot of topics you can write on.
The Road Essay Topics
While many people see the naturalism of Stephen Crane and the southern gothic of author William Faulkner, you can link the genres and analyze the novel as naturalistic and gothic.
Another topic for the paper could be how the novel is an antithesis of the novel “The Grapes of Wrath” in the latter, the Joad family drove to California for better jobs as well as uniting with others. This topic can be a contrast of themes or a comparison. The survivalist theme and brotherhood of man theme come into play.
The setting of the novel is stripped of natural life with a man and his son who are the sole survivors of a nuclear holocaust. It is an existential tale since the pair had one focus: to survive. They lacked any economic and cultural influences and so they were forced to carve their existence from an empty world. This gives it a great theme of the essence of life and family. You can write on that topic.
Before choosing which one to compare the novel to, do some research on all literary movements of naturalism, southern gothic and existentialism. The information will make it easier to decide if you want to write about the ideas above.
Another topic to focus on is the significance of the road in the novel. In the book, the road is significant and ambiguous. The author used it as a title and introduces an uncertainty which is a theme of the book. The road is anyone the characters happen upon.
The theme of love in the Road can also be a topic. How did the man show love for his son? He does so by doing whatever is necessary to ensure that his son survives even if it means he has to be violent. One obvious example is when the man shoots an attacker who wields a knife and threatens his child’s life. The main theme in the novel can be darkness, pessimism, or positive and uplifting.
The last paragraph highlights another theme that can be used as a topic. It shows vivid imagery of a trout hidden in mountain glens which provides a redemptive ending to the story of destruction and an awful indifference where all hope had been lost. It also showed the destructive nature of humans which caused the catastrophe while also perpetuating the evils the world suffered afterward.