Dependent Origination

The Road

Posted on: May 26, 2017


I am torn between giving out three or four stars to the book. On the one hand, it has something strongly going for it. For example, I went through the first half of it like in no time. The writer constructs such a riveting world that it draws me in and I simply couldn’t leave it. The plot is so simple. Man and Child. Woman occasionally showed up in Man’s dreams. Then the Fire. the Road. I was so curious about what happened, what made them having such a harsh foraging life. Later on, I realized it is intentionally left out of the book as to what exactly happened. The world is bleak and there is no known reason. It is all you have. You have to figure out whether you want to go on or you want to give up. Man decides to keep at it because he has Child. They depend on each other.  Sometimes Child feels like the goodness of Human, when he repeatedly wants to help other people in need. Man has to defend them all. Don’t give out our food because we are on our own. No need to give anything to him. There is nothing we can do about it. The forever theme of the inner fight between good and evil in a single heart makes me think of No Country for Old Men immediately. After finishing reading and researching a bit, the two book did come from the same author. Time to read the other book.

On the other hand, the book does get repetitive after I figure out this is going to be the entire book. Nothing else is going to happen. It would just be what they see and do on the road to the Coast, where they have placed all hopes. It is so obvious that nothing is going to improve on the Coast but this is where we got attached to the characters emotionally since we as onlookers know it but they don’t and we have to watch it unfold. I did skipped a few pages, like only reading the first line of a paragraph for the middle part. But I got into it by the end. The ending is surprise. I thought the book would end rather depressingly. But no, it is Humanity in the end. I don’t really think the ending is a natural flow of the story but it does give me hope about everything. At times like this, when my own conciousness is being examined, I suppose everyone needs uplift.

All in all, the allegory of the book is very strong. It strips our life to its bare bone. It is survival and the things you have to do so you can survive. Are you going to be bounded by anything when faced with your own demise? That is the ultimate question. It doesn’t matter whether it is an apocalyptic world or a regular life with basic necessities. It is a choice. I hope I can make a good one.


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