“Hold Him in Your Arms”: Deconstruction of Gender Roles in the Post-Apocalyptic Novel The Road

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Izze Lofquist (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site: http://library.unca.edu/
Anne Jansen

Abstract: Over the last few decades, the post-apocalyptic genre has been the star of the science fiction scene, with the genre being known both for its heart-pounding thriller stories and its often chilling examinations of human behavior in extreme circumstances; however, the claim that a proper analysis of humanity is the central purpose of the genre is only true in part, as a large portion of post-apocalyptic works do not consciously touch on the topics of gender or gender-specific behavior at all. In this paper, the author proposes that Cormac McCarthy's most recent novel, The Road, is remarkable not only for being a heartfelt and stylistically intriguing example of the post-apocalyptic genre, but for depicting the necessary evolution of our concept of gender in the wake of a world-changing disaster, and that nontraditional performances of gender are not only allowed for in The Road's new social setting, but required in order to survive with one's compassion and integrity intact.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Cormac McCarthy, post-apocalyptic novel, gender roles

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