The Bad Guys: Existence & Motivation By:Celeste Cowan, Cheyenne Shaw, Steven Boehm, Ernesto Arevalo and Corey Hart.


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Quotes:
"They passed two hundred feet away, the grounds shuddering lightly. Tramping. Behind them came wagons drawn by slaves in harness and piled with goods of war and after that the women, perhaps a dozen in number, some of them pregnant, and lastly a supplementary consort of catamites illclothed against the cold and fitted in dogcollars.........Were they bad guys? Yes, they were the bad guys." Pg. 92

"If they find us they'll kill us, wont they Papa.
Shh. No more talking.
Wont they Papa.
Shh, Yes. Yes they will." Pg. 115

"Eyes collared in cups of grime and deeply sunk. Like an animal inside a skull looking out the eyeholes. He wore a beard that had been cut square across the bottom with shears and he had a tattoo of a bird on his neck done by someone with an illformed notion of their appearence." Pg. 63

"On the mattress lay a man with his legs gone to the hip and the stumps of them blackened and burnt (Pg. 110) ... In the night he heard hideous shrieks coming from the house and he tried to put his hands over the boys ears and after a while the screaming stopped." Pg. 115

"By then all stores of good had given out and murder was everywhere upon the land. The world soon to be largely populated by men who would eat your children in front of your eyes and the cities themselves held by cores of blackened looters who tunneled among the ruins and crawled from the rubble white of tooth and eye carrying charred and anonymous tins of food in nylon nets like shoppers in the commissaries of hell." Pg. 181

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Analysis:
Throughout this novel the "bad guys"' are repeatedly mentioned by the father and the son. The existence of these bad characters has a major importance in The Road. It is one of the main drives in the novel, in a sense it is what keeps the boy and the father going on their journey, These bad charachters exist mainly due to their desperation, they have taken the horrible things they do on as a survival tactic. Everyone in this world is starving and these people have crossed the line of morality by eating other people. The son and his father were also starving, having nothing to eat they did not resort to cannabalism, eating other human beings was not the only option despite the lack of food. This leads the other motivation of these "bad guys", greed, these men and women were too selfish to think about the humans that they were killing and only thinking about themselves. This theme funtions in the road in two major ways. One being the struggle it creates in the boy's mind about who is good and who is evil. The son is constantly asking the father who is bad, and what makes them "bad". Even when he is told that everyone could be bad the young boy insists on finding the good in people and helping others. this creates the last strand of innonce in reality. By the boy not being scared of ever person like the father is it allows the reader to relate with the boy's compassion and have hope that even in this somber world caring can still exist. The other major way this theme is incorporated into the novel is that the "bad guys" force the boy and the son not to stay in one place. The father and son are traveling down the road constantly worried that someone is following them so they prevail down the road further. For example, when they were in the bunker with all of the food and neccesities to survive they could have stopped and lived the duration of their lives in there, but the father was scared that someone would come and attack them. Without these characters there wouldn't be a reason for traveling the road, the story would probably not have the "quest" plot that it has now. We chose the quotes we did to support these ideas and support the horrible aspects of the bad characters in this novel. The bad characters leave the father and the son an object to overcome and the standard for teaching the boy what is morally right and what is not.

Discussion Questions:

What constitutes a “bad guy”?

What are the real world examples of the types of evils in the book?

How did they come to be?