Throughout the first half of the book, the man and boy are traveling this road. They have come upon times where people have gotten close or seen them, which cause them to panic and take off running. However, there has yet to be a time like this though.
When running from a man that passed by them during the night, the man and boy came up on a large extravagant house. “The house was tall” with “white doric columns,” a gravel driveway, and “the windows were oddly intact” (105). They thought the house was abandoned, so they went in.
After walking through the house, they came upon a door in the floor; “There’s a reason this is locked” (108). Papa is curious while the boy is worried and scared. There “were naked people, male and female,” in the corner of the hideous smelling room (110). McCarthy says that there was a man lying with his legs chopped off, “the stumps of them blackened and burnt.” I put two things together and go back a few pages; when describing the front porch, McCarthy says, “Chattel slaves has once trod those boards bearing food and drink on silver trays (106). I imagine the people locked in hidden room were once slaves. When the man heard someone say “Help us,” he and the boy took off back up the stairs. Once to the top, “A bearded face appeared blinking at the foot of the stairs. Please” (111). Luckily, they escaped those people, but when they looked out of the window, they noticed “four bearded men and two women” coming across the field.” The man and boy fled from the scene as fast as they could.
When in the woods, the man was going to leave the boy and try to distract the people from finding him. Before the man walked away, he handed the boy the gun and said, “If they find you you are going to have to do it. You put it in your mouth and point it up. Do it quick and hard” (113). “Papa” was worried they were going to find the boy. However, before he walked away, “all he saw was terror. He took the gun from him.” I could not imagine giving my child a gun and telling them to shoot themselves. After traveling the road for years, McCarthy says the boy is beginning to look like someone “out of a deathcamp” (117). That is such a harsh way to describe someone, but they have not been able to shower or eat much.
They came upon yet another house; this one had a barn with it. When penetrating through the house, the man gathers grape drink mix, a box cutter, and a screwdriver (119-121). On his way back to where the boy was sleeping on the hill, the man walked through the orchard. He stepped on something…”an apple” (120). Even though they were “dry and almost tasteless,” he ate one and began collecting some for the boy, more than he could carry. When Cormac says the apples were “dry and tasteless,” I feel he is referring to society and humans they have come across. They are savages and have no feelings; this can cause them to commit some pretty bad things. The next morning, the man goes back to the house before the boy wakes up. He finds water stored in a floorboard: “Nothing in his memory anywhere of anything so good” (123). As humans we take advantage of the resources we have. We don’t know how good something is until we don’t have it anymore. This is another representation of how God will always provide for you. The man and boy are never worried about where their next meal is coming from or when they will run out of water.