Part 3b:

            I am going to start off today’s post by picking up where I left off last post. In the middle of the night, the man woke up to loud noises: “It’s the trees. They’re falling down” (97). McCarthy describes the noises as “the whump of the falling trees and the low boom of the loads of snow exploding on the ground.” Why were the trees falling in the middle of the night? We are never given an explanation for this, so I guess it is up to us to interpret it. My first thought was there could have been an earthquake or a big group of loggers clearing the forest. The next morning, the trees lay in “hillocks of snow” and tree trunks that “stood stripped and burntlooking” (98).

            Just like in the beginning, we are given an illustration of the man’s love for the boy. The man began “cutting up one of the coats and wrapping the boy’s feet” (99). Then, he cut “squares of plastic out of the tarp” to finish wrapping the boy’s feet. The boy goes on to say, “Now you, Papa” (100). He is making sure “papa” is taking care of himself too. This ties back to my first post when I mentioned the theme of the book: a father’s love for his son. He is making sure the boy is cared for and protected before he begins caring for himself; he would rather use all of their resources on the boy than himself.

            The next morning, the man woke up to “tracks in the snow” that were “within fifty feet of the fire” (103). He feels these tracks were made by a wagon. There were also “boot-prints between the wheels.” I believe the wheel tracks and boot-prints were made by the bad guys. Earlier in the book, Cormac explains that the bad guys came with “wagons drawn by slaves in harnesses” (92). I feel the boot-prints were the harnessed slaves behind the wagon. The man and the boy then got worried and took off back into the woods. They came to a safer spot and sat down. Not long afterwards, the man stands up to see if anyone was coming. “When he did they stopped and one of them looked back. He froze” (105). They finally began moving again.

Why were they so worried about hiding from other travelers? Did they do something bad? If they were not the bad guys, then why didn’t they make friends and have the opportunity to gain more shelter and food?  We may never know.

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