The Road In Tim O Brien's The Boy And The Man

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The Road opens after some unknown apocalyptic event has struck. The first few pages of the novel situate us in the landscape: ash, isolation, and a long road to travel. You could say the novel alternates between two settings: the road and excursions away from the road into houses or other possible food mother lodes. Although The Boy and The Man suffer from exposure to cold and from a lack of food, they don't encounter too much danger early on. That changes about a quarter of the way into the book. A group of "bad guys" (basically, people out on the road who steal and rape and eat other people) wakes up The Man one morning. The Man tries to get The Boy and himself out of view but they run into one of these "bad guys" who has wandered off…show more content…
The Boy and The Man have run out of food and need to find some supplies. They start poking around the kind of house they normally wouldn't explore – there are too many telltale signs of occupation. And they end up seeing something horrifying: a basement full of human captives being held as livestock. Whoever is living in this house is eating their way through a store of human beings locked up in the cellar. The Man and The Boy hightail it out of there and almost get caught by the gang that lives in the house. Then our heroes have a string of good luck. Granted, their good luck is punctuated by near-starvation and sickness, but at least they don't have any run-ins with evil people. Right when they're both on the verge of starvation, The Man finds an apple orchard and a well, which keep them fed and watered for a little bit. As seems to always happen, though, their food stores run out soon enough and they find themselves hungry once again. This leads to their major discovery: a bomb shelter full of canned goods and supplies. They spend a couple days here eating to their hearts' content. But because they're sitting ducks if anyone happens along, they leave the

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