Conclusion: “This Is Later”

On April 16, 2007, the American novelist Cormac McCarthy was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Road. The Road is an unbearably painful tale of a father and son, among the last survivors on the planet, traveling an American landscape that has been rendered a post-apocalyptic charnel house by a nuclear conflagration. Their love is that last fragment of human feeling remaining in a world destroyed by hatred and war. Technologically advanced man has left behind a gray and ruined landscape. When men of good will do not stand up and fight the forces of evil, stupidity, and complacency, it leaves the world looking like this:

In those first years the roads were peopled with refugees shrouded up in their clothing. Wearing masks and goggles, sitting in their rags by the side of the road like ruined aviators. Their barrows heaped with shoddy. Towing wagons or carts. Their eyes bright in their skulls. Creedless shells of men tottering down the causeways like migrants in a feverland. The frailty of everything revealed at last. Old and troubling issues resolved into nothingness and night. The last instance of a thing takes the class with it. Turns out the light and is gone. Look around you. Ever is a long time. But the boy knew what he knew. That ever is no time at all.1

Two and a half years later, in December 2009, the film version of the novel was released. In bringing this bleak and complex novel to film, the producers reportedly had a difficult time ...

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