The Questors

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They are simply referred to as the man and the boy. The man extremely cautious to the point of paranoia. He is enveloped in memories and flashbacks of the past which haunt his dreams and memories.The boy is young and naive, but not as ignorant as one might expect.
We're the good guys.
pg 129

A Place to Go

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The man and boy are presumably traveling South to the coast, though it does not specify what or who they are running to or from. "Where are we going?
We're going south." pg 60

Stated Reason

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The winters in the mountains are most likely deadly, and one may expect there are more survivors in the South. They must continue moving to stay away from the bandits and keep in search of food and shelter.
"There'd be no surviving another winter here." pg 4

Challenges and Trials

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The weather, depletion of food, lack of restful sleep, safety, worn clothing, cannibals, and marauders are physical threats, however the man and boy are plagued by nasty dreams, depressing thoughts and memories and frightening scenes that slowly steal the boy's innocence and the outlook on survival.

The Real Reason

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The real reason is not justifiably stated, however the book is left open for analysis. Presumably, the man and boy may be the only hope for the survival of the world. It is a common theme that they are "carrying the fire" and therefore have a purpose of delivering this life to whomever may be waiting for it.


"They ate breakfast and by first light they were on the road wearing fresh masks cut from sheeting, the boy going ahead with a broom and clearing the way of sticks and branches and the man bent over the handle of the cart watching the road fall away before them." Pg. 156

"Mostly he worried about their shoes. That and food. always food." Pg. 17

"The pass at the watershed was five thousand feet and it was going to be very cold. He said that everything depended on reaching the coast, yet waking in the kninght he knew athat all of this was empty and no substance to it." Pg 29
"Where are we going?
We're going south." pg 60

"On this road there are no godspoke men. They are gone and I am left and they have taken with them the world."

"Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave."

In The Road the main charters are embarking on a quest in every since of the word. The questors, the man and the boy are tired, hungry and running for their lives but like any good questors they are pushing on and continue on their journey. Like all quests these companions have a place to go and a reason for going, the father and son are heading south in order to hopefully find better living conditions than where they are at the beginning of the book. Along the way the man and the boy face challenges and although their challenges are more human and elemental than mythical like any good questors they overcome other people and nature. Finally despite the stated intent the man and boy are going on this quest to carry the fire, to preserve humanity, attempt to remain human and not to give in to the primal need to survive at all costs including a loss of all morals and ethics.

1. Do you think that this story is a quest? If you do what is the real reason for journey? Retaining humanity, protecting the boy and through him the future, or is there any other reason besides survival?

2. What is the greatest dragon (challenge) that the questors have faced?

3. Do you think that the man actually believes that the south will be better? Or does he simply need a destination in order to give himself and the boy hope?

Boulevard Of Broken Dreams - Green Day

The Road - Elan