This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

What Makes For A Meaningful Life: A Look Down The Road

1727 words - 7 pages

Preston B. Wilkes
Mr. Howell - 5th
IB English HL I
9th November, 2014
What Makes For a Meaningful Life: A Look Down The Road
Under what circumstances is suicide justified? One of the lasting images in The Road is the death of the mother by her own hand. At the beginning of the book, her reasons seem justified, due to the terrible state of the world in which they lived. There are a many stories (like the time when the man and the boy were at the fountain) throughout the book, that seem to point to the fact that life is meaningless.The boy and the man really should just kill themselves because, what are they really living for? In response, the reason for living as it is given in The Road is, ...view middle of the document...

The fact that the only possible outcome is of a grueling death therefore, the best alternative is the endless void and nothingness. However as the book reaches its conclusion, we find that her foundation may be faulty or maybe even that her reasons were different than what she originally said..
Even though the man concurs and says on page 58 that, “...she was right”, his actions and the outcome of their odyssey to the sea prove her wrong. The man dies, but the boy finds a new family and the man is left to decay peacefully under a blanket in the deserted woods with no cannibals to be seen. They are not eaten or killed by the bands of marauders that now roam the world as the mother so fervently upheld that they would be. In fact when all is said and done, their lives turned out okay given their circumstances. One would think that since horrible deaths were the basis of the mother's stance, that the issue is settled since that is not what happend. The man made the right choice in risking it and, not killing himself as well as the boy. Still the questions linger though, what is the reason for living in such a desolate world and, since she knew that her horrible view of their end was not the only way, why did the mother kill herself ? Why death may not be as bad as the mother made it out to be, the world they live in is certainly not much to wake up to in the mornings. Still, the author maintains in the book and even says in an interview, that the reason simply put for living, is love and the maintaining and edifying of bonds with those whose affection one reciprocates.
Now to fit with the general theme of the novel and the views of the mother, one could point to a scene in the book that appears at first glance hopeless. One like this can be found on page 39, “He held him and floated him about, the boy gasping and chopping at the water”, and state that this shows what the man is doing, simply holding him and the boy up above the water. They are getting nowhere and accomplishing nothing and one day, once his arms get tired or either of them make even the smallest of mistakes, they will both drown in the cold realities of the world. However the author would argue the following, that the most important part of quote is not about the boy desperately chopping at the water but the very first part, the fact the man held him. The reason the man lets the boy tear at the water is not to teach him to swim for that would be pointless but, so as to build the bond and trust between them because that is all that matters at this point. The world is falling apart and the only thing left to live for, is the boy he is trying to keep alive.
To really drive the point of bonding as meaning home, one only needs to read the oddly placed scene, depicted in the flashback early in the novel. In which the man describes a day spent with his uncle collecting firewood (which of course is no accident, since this is the same task that occupies most of the boys and mans time). Even...

Other Essays Like What Makes for a Meaningful Life: a Look Down the Road

What Makes A Great Leader? Essay

427 words - 2 pages office. A leader must be able to effectively get his ideas across to his co-workers day in and day out in order to be successful.Not only that, a great leader must acquire the ability to make tough decisions no matter what the risk may be. He can not be concerned with how others will look at him based on a decision. A great leader must have confidence in himself as well as his abilities to lead effectively. He should recognize the costly penalty

What Makes a Good Friend? Essay

562 words - 3 pages characteristic that makes a fantabulous friend fantabulous. On top of that if they can not connect on a personal level then being able to imagine and perceive what it might be like is also a runner up skill for a friend to have. A good friend should always be putting his friends before him and there needs high on the priority list, or just understand that some people have troubles sometimes and you just have to accept that because no one is

What makes a true leader?

704 words - 3 pages I believe a true leader needs to possess several different leadership characteristics to be considered a successful leader. Depending on the circumstance or task at hand they may use one leadership skill or they may use several. I understand leadership to mean setting a good example for others to follow and inspiring them to do their personal best. I have no doubt that each of us encounters leaders in our everyday life. Whether it be a

What Makes A Good Supervisor?

1188 words - 5 pages it also opens the door to have an open relationship between the supervisor and the employee and ultimately that is what you want.” Knowing how and when to push your employees takes more than book smarts. It requires a supervisor to know how to manipulate a person and situation. In order to do this that underlying trust and relationship is required. This type of relationship must begin way before one gets to the supervisory role. For example

What Makes A Good Leader

691 words - 3 pages they will be nearly as much of an impact or even considered a leader if they are always trying to do what is best or seems best for them. A true leader will gain more in being satisfied by finishing something that they started then they would by gaining material possessions and not benefiting the well being of the society around them. When you put yourself in a role as prestigious as being a leader is, you have to make yourself dependable to those

What makes up a Civilization?

389 words - 2 pages man who excels in all fields necessary for a successful and fruitful life is a civilized/renaissance person.A good example of a civilized person would be Leonardo Da vinci. Leonardo Da vinci was a very educated and intelligent man. He was a painter, sculptor, inventor, scientist, philosopher, and simply a respectful person. Many people who considered themselves civilized, throughout history, were truly not. People like the discoverers of America

The Meaning Of Life : A Look Through The Matrix

1717 words - 7 pages . But taking a deeper look at this speculation uncovers numerous flaws in this way of thinking. Scientifically, we know what is real and what is not by our senses. Light reflects in the retina of our eyes and sends electrical signals towards the brain, telling us what we are seeing; the same occurs for touch--when we touch something nerve endings send electrical signals to the brain telling us whether it is hard, or soft, etc. While this seems as

What Makes A Good Project Manager

924 words - 4 pages What Makes a Good Project Manager? Introduction What makes a good project manager? When evaluating this question we can start by breaking the question down, and stripping some key words in it. In this case, the words project, and the word manage, by doing this we are able to start arriving at some assumptions. The Project Management Body of Knowledge defines a project as such: “A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product

What makes hospitals non for profit. Identify a specific hospital and provide an explanation

559 words - 3 pages Citizens Medical Center is a non for profit, short term acute care facility controlled by the county government and is therefore considered tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service. Citizens is mostly provided their funding through state government, non partisan/non political donations, and gross patient revenue.Due to their non for profit status Citizens is required to maintain three main requirements set forth by the

The Amish - a Cultural Look

2264 words - 10 pages The Amish - A Cultural Look Loren Martin Donald Anderson ANT 101 19 November, 2012 The Amish – A Cultural Look When we think of Amish, we think of horse drawn buggies, homemade clothes, straw hats and bonnets. This is all set in a quiet, peaceful country side in rural America. There is a lot more to the Amish community than what most tourists see on an average drive through Amish country. This paper will look at several things

Serpent Handling as a Meaningful Practice

1566 words - 7 pages people worship in this way, nor what it means for them to worship in this way. This view only attempts to refute the practice of handling serpents altogether because of the potential risk of death that accompanies it. Therefore, it is necessary to interpret their actions from a less biased approach, in order to be more encompassing of a practice that is not always fully understood. It is my belief that the people participating in these serpent

Related Papers

A Look Into A Life Essay

590 words - 3 pages [edit] Persepolis: The Story of A Childhood Section 1 (the veil): The first section sets the tone for the rest of the book. Marjane is forced to wear a veil at school, and she doesn't know what to think about it. At the core of her being is religion. It was for this reason that she submits to the authority of her teachers, who have told her of the religious symbolism behind the veil. This first section introduces her conversations with God in

What Makes A Good Leader? Essay

735 words - 3 pages leader has to lead by example and has to be a good role model for the team. You, as a leader must not only hear what you are expected to do, but also see. You need to know your people and look out for their well being. You also need a good understanding of human nature and the importance of sincerely caring for your mates. You need to keep your team informed and know how to communicate with not only them, but also seniors and other key people. The

What Makes A Good Story Essay

583 words - 3 pages What makes a good story? A story can take many approaches, but the key elements of a good story must remain consistent. An entertaining storyline, an interesting cast of characters, and the perfect setting set the backdrop to a writer's masterpiece. As paint and canvas is important to a painter, a great storyline, interesting characters, and these elements are crucial to an author's story as he puts his creative ability to the test with

What Makes A Great Leader Essay

797 words - 4 pages What makes a great leader? There are many schools of thought and mountains of research in attempting to answer that question. Answering that particular question is a monumental task and given the scope it would be impossible for me to answer that question here. What I will do is take a look at the given scenario and determine what kinds of leader each of the 3 executives are based on the attributes and characteristics of each. With the scenario