Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Bookshelf

In trying to inspire teenagers, I am always looking for new literature or discovering new levels of understanding in the classics. Last year, a colleague of mine who marks the English 30-2 Diploma exams in Edmonton, read a lot of papers involving a novel called "The Road". I had heard a little about the movie, being the movie geek that I am, but I really did not know too much about the novel. I read the novel last semester and I absolutely loved it. I am hoping to teach the novel to my English 30-2 class this next semester.

Written by Cormac McCarthy, the novel is a post- apocalyptic look at a journey of survival for a man and his son. The literary elements and visual imagery are so beautifully written that the author draws the reader into a world that no one would be comfortable living, let alone trying to survive in. I found the imagery to be overwhelming at times and sometimes find myself trying to imagine what our city would look like with "Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before. Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world."

* Bonus marks for those of you who can identify at least two literary elements in the above quote. *

As I mentioned above, there is a movie that was made based on this novel. I have not been able to finish the movie and I found it kind of disappointing after reading the novel itself. The language and style of the novel just can not be put into a film. (Of Course, that is just my opinion. Some may like the movie) Either way, the novel or the movie, it is a story that will make everyone consider what is essential to us and to our survival.


  1. It's been awhile but I think I see a simile and I am not sure if "dark beyond darkness" counts as alliteration...or if alliteration is a literary element. Wow has it been awhile. Not having read the book yet, it could be foreshadowing too. Hmm, is that a one out of two teacher?

  2. wow you lost me at literary :) no bonus points for me!

  3. I say a metaphor and foreshadowing... Do I get part marks?!

  4. The Road, reinforced something in my very soul, that I have come to call my 'foundation' in my own personal nursing practice, Kari. We as humans tend to cling to this short mortality we have been blessed with. For some, it is the ONLY thing that matters. Others, realize that happiness and peace come with quality of life and not quantity. I delight in the gentle and loving sparkles I see in my own childrens' eyes - and that defines me. Will they be with me the day I take my last breath? Absolutely, whether in body or not. The love that the "Man" had for his "son", to always be ready to end his mortal life rather than think that he would feel physical suffering and mental anguish, is generally unfathomable. I think I understand it though. Fantastically profound and paradigm-shifting story, Kari, and I don't say that about alot of things.