The next section begins with the man in an old closed trailer. He lit some paper and threw it on the ground to see what was in it. He found human bodies. Cormac McCarthy describes the bodies as “dried and shrunken in their rotted clothes” (47). When the fire died down, what was left was a faint pattern in the shape of a flower” (47). I interpreted this flower as a representation of happiness in a rough and dark time.
Just like in my first post, we get a feeling the boy is scared. However, he seems to be even more scared this time around. On page forty-eight, “the boy clung to him” during the lightning storm coming through overnight. The boy is able to find comfort in the man. The next day, they resumed their travel down the road. They came to a burnt strip in the road. This is a result of lightning striking the ground, which caused a line of fire to spread all throughout the woods. The man and boy attempted to walk on the burnt road, but it was still hot. With every step, the “hot black mastic sucking at their shoes and stretching in thin bands” (48). They cannot further their adventure down the road without destroying the bottoms of their shoes.
Suddenly, a set of tracks appeared in the tar. They noticed a man “shuffling along the road” and “dragging one leg” (49). Once he was exhausted enough, he “sat in the road and did not get up again.” The description of the man we are given is: burnt looking, scorched-black clothing, one eye burnt shut, a wig of ash, and a blackened skull (49-50). McCarthy describes his shoes as being “bound up with wire and coated with road tar” (50). Later on, the man says the traveler was “struck by lightning” (50). At first with the evidence of burning, I interpreted that the new traveler could have been escaping a fire. When they begin to leave the scene, the boy begins crying. He wants to help the man, but “papa” wants to keep moving and leave him there. On down the road, “papa” turns and looks at the man; I believe he was hesitating on going back to see what he could do to help the injured man.
Page fifty-on is the first mentioning of a wife. In my first post on part 1, I brought attention to the fact that Cormac McCarthy had not mentioned anything about a wife or mother. When the man pulled her picture out of his wallet and laid it on the road, “he stood and they went on.” I feel he left her picture on the road because he does not want anything to do with his wife and leaves the last known evidence of her, besides the boy. With him walking away from the picture, I interpreted this as him leaving her in the past since she is in the past.
The way I interpreted the next couple of pages was as a flashback leading up to where the book begins (52-59). I feel as if this all came back to him in a dream; that is why it is placed in the particular part of the book. “She was standing” and “cradling her belly in one hand.” I imagine the woman is pregnant because she is cradling her belly. I think she is pregnant with the boy in the book. I am going to be ending today’s post with another quote from my book: “he should have tried to keep her in their lives in some way but he didnt know how” (54).