Through this paper I am going to explain what is ecocriticism? and how it deals in the novel The Road. In addition I also explain the central theme of the novel love and relationship between father and the son. The novel The Road was written by Cormac McCarthy. He is an American author who has written many novels. In the 21th century we are very much addicted toward technology also known as digital world for our own living we are destroying our nature. English writer Wordsworth said “Mother nature is our teacher”. The above line explains how much resources does this nature have within it. Its our responsibility as well as our duty to protect our ecosystem. In this novel the main characters father and the son are watching devastation of earth in their journey. In this technological world people are spending their time with the machines rather than with their parents ,relative and friends. This novel is best example in portraying the relationship between father and the son and their unconditional love. It is impossible in many families in the technology world but author clearly explain their love even through in their difficult situations.
These are the important point I am going to deal in this paper through the novel The Road
Keywords: Eco-criticism, Cormac McCarthy, Post-apocalyptic, Devastation of Earth
Cormac McCarthy is an American writer who writes novels, playwright and screen play. He was born in Rhode Island on July 20, 1933. His original name is Charles McCarthy. Later, he changed his first name from Charles to Cormac. He has written ten novels. They are The Orchard Keeper (1965), Outer dark (1968), Suttree(1979),Child of god(1973),Blood Meridian(1985),All the Pretty Horse(1992), The Crossing(1994), Cities of the Plain(1998), No Country for old men(2005) and The Road(2006). Forthe novel All the Pretty Horses he won US National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. He also won the Pulitzer Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction for The Road (2006). In an interview, McCarthy dedicates this book to his son John Francis McCarthy. This book is not about the despair and helplessness. The novelistreveals that he is not a fan of authors who do not deal with issues of life and death; it can be assumed that his writing tends to be explored issues of life including devastation of Earth. Most of McCarthy’s novels are portraying about life or reality which many of them associated to ecological issue.
What is Ecocriticism
The term Ecocriticism is coined by William Rueckert in his essay “Literature and Ecology: An Experiment in Ecocriticism”. It deals with the relationship between literature and nature through a range of approaches having little in common other than a shared concern with the environment. Ecocriticism is a term derived from Greek word Oikos and Kritis. Oikos means household and Kritis means judge. Ecocriticism especially named as critical approach in literature is an outgrowth of the environmental movement of the 1960. During that period , the literary interest in nature, always a central topic in American literature and criticism. Early theories focus on issues of class, race, gender, region as important criteria of critical analysis. The late twentieth century has woken up to deal withecological system.
McCarthy’s novels, The Road which was published in 2006 by Vintage book publisher. It is the most representative novel which is related to the study of Ecocriticism. The novel generally deals with environmental issues. The issue for instance is the fire of woods that happened along the country which gives the reader an image of burned land, ash and dust everywhere and so on. In short, the novel portrays the tough journey of a father and a son as the main characters in a burned land in America. The issue of devastation of earth is focused in the novel which grasps the whole setting of the novel. The novel compares the road and the society both of them will bring with the right way but ends with ambiguous. Many scholar pointed out that this novel is the best masterpiece in the 21st century especially in the issue of global warming. It is also the first experimental work in Ecocritical study by McCarthy’s. the novel strongly relies on environmental themes. It is difficult to read The Road without feeling the overwhelming cumulative force of the novel’s desolation, and this desolation is most prominently present in the landscapes. Combining traditional methodologies with ecological perspectives, ecocriticism is most appropriately applied to a work in which the landscape itself is a dominant character, when a significant interaction occurs between author and place, character and place. Landscape by definition includes the non- human elements of place –rocks, soil, trees, plants, rivers, animals, air as well as human perceptions and modifications.
Cormac McCarthy’s novel “The Road” presents a good example of a past apocalyptic fiction. It is a subgenre of science fiction. Post apocalyptic stories often take place in a non-technological future world or a world where only scattered elements of society and technology remains. Post apocalyptic narratives could play a great part in preventing a future disaster that is ready under way by creating a sense of crisis. The novel ‘The Road’ describes the journey of a father and the son. Father and the son, who also remain unnamed throughout the novel, travel through the rough terrain of the southeastern of United States. McCarthy chooses to use no quotation marks in dialogue and for some contractions, he leaves out the apostrophes. Because this is a post-apocalyptic story, the exemption of these punctuation elements might serve as a way for McCarthy to indicate that in this new world, remnants of the anicent world like electricity, running water, and humanity no longer exist, or they exist in very limited amounts.