“It (science fiction) is, in fact, a literature of anarchy, a convincing way of describing possible worlds previously unknown to us, that puts the tyranny of ordinary reality and the claustrophobia of our limited perceptions in doubt” (Nodelman 38). Science fiction is a form of literature that allows humans to express views of the world as they see it by way of exaggeration, allegory, and unencumbered creativity. This creativity is exhibited with such precision in the graphic depictions of the post-apocalyptic world of Cormac Mccarthy’s The Road that when reading it, it is easy to get lost in what the mind’s eye is seeing. The humanity of the father and his boy and the inhumanity of the rest of “society” set against this dark and ominous antagonist of a dead, ashen world is an example of what makes this genre so dynamic. So what is Mccarthy’s opinion of the world as he sees it? As the “carriers of the fire” the man instills hope and purpose in the boy as he sees its importance in their deteriorated world. Hope and a definable purpose in one’s life are concepts that, if practiced, can facilitate a societal redirection toward more humanitarian ways of life. With this in mind the book can be broken into three different characters each with goals and ideals of which much is conveyed: the humanities, the inhumanities, and the environment. “You have to carry the fire. I don't 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." (McCarthy 278-279)
In the book, the man and the boy are the embodiment of humanity and characterized by moral righteousness, hope and the vitality of the human spirit. In short, they are the keepers of the “fire.” The boy is “deitized” throughout the entire book and is humanity’s last chance at some sort of harmonious world, or at least some semblance of his father’s world. He is the future. He refuses to let his human instinct...