“The deepest depths of human life”: existential motifs in the novel The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Качур, Ірина Ігорівна (2021) “The deepest depths of human life”: existential motifs in the novel The Road by Cormac McCarthy Studia Philologica (16). pp. 61-67. ISSN 2311-2425

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The implementation of the basic principles of existentialism in Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road is studied in the article. The author states that this philosophical movement, which explores the problem of human existence, had a significant impact on the formation of world literature and origin of a new literary movement that bears the very same name. The works of American writer Cormac McCarthy are philosophical in nature and cover a great variety of themes such as life and death, freedom, relationship between parents and children, man and nature. The post-apocalyptic novel The Road, which brought the author worldwide fame, is considered the pinnacle of his writing skills, as it thematically, compositionally, and stylistically embodies the traditional features of McCarthy’s works. It does not have a large number of characters, which allows readers to pay more attention to the philosophical idea of the novel. The author tries to find answers to the essential questions of meaning and purpose of human existence, which makes it possible to identify a significant number of existential motifs, such as absurdity, forlornness, fear, freedom, alienation, individuality, and so on. The motif of absurdity is manifested through the depiction of an almost completely uninhabitable world, in which cruelty and death prevail. The personages of the novel are devoid of illusions and disappointed in life, especially the older generation; so they just try to survive and keep their individuality. The main characters have a dreadful fear of starvation or violent death, and they are also afraid of losing humanity and hope for a better future. Therefore, fear frees them from the conventions and laws of the hostile world and gives meaning to their existence.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: existentialism; Cormac McCarthy; existential themes; American literature; post-apocalyptic novel; topos of road.
Subjects: Статті у журналах > Статті у періодичних наукових виданнях Університету, які не включені до затвердженого Переліку МОН України (не входять до категорії Б)
Divisions: Факультети > Факультет права та міжнародних відносин > Кафедра іноземних мов
Depositing User: викладач Ірина Ігорівна Качур
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2021 08:02
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2021 08:02
URI: https://elibrary.kubg.edu.ua/id/eprint/39772

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