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CIVILIZATION AND THE PHYSICAL WASTELAND
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Quotes (Texual Evidence)



"The grainy air. The taste of it never left your mouth. They stood in the rich dust like farm animals. Then they went on, holding the tarp over them in the dull drizzle. Thier feet were wet and cold and thier shoes were being ruined. On the hillsides old crops dead and flattened. The barren ridgeline trees raw and blacks in the rain." -Pg. 20-21


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"The new snow lay in the skifts all through the woods, along the limbs, and cupped in the leaves, all of it already gray with ash." -Pg. 76

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"The country was looted, ransacked, ravaged. Rifled of every crumb. The long reach of the morning had a terrible silence to it. Like a dawn before battle. The boy's candle colored skin was but translucent." -Pg. 129


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"Along the the interstate in the distance long lines of charred and rusting cars. The raw rims of the wheels sitting in a stiff gray sludge of melted rubber, in blackened rings of wire. The incinerate corpes shrunk to the size of a child and propped on the bare springs of the seats. Ten thousand dreams ensepulchred within their crozzled hearts. They went on. Treading the dead world under like rats on a wheel. The nights dead still and deader black. So cold." -Pg. 273



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Analysis
The theme of civilization and the physical wasteland plays an enormous role in The Road, due to its importance in facilitating all the tragic situations and hardships for the characters. The destroyed world is more than a plot device and it is far more than a setting. The extremity of a destroyed world void of civilization as we know it appropriately displays how humans react when they have no direction or ulterior motives and are simply trying to survive. It brings out the best and worst in people and teaches us, as readers, a great deal about human nature. In a world full of mystery that is only conducive to the dead, the boy and his father find a way to get through day by day because they have each other. Perhaps we cannot survive in a destroyed world without someone or something to live for. Perhaps living for ourselves is not enough. The physical wasteland provides a backdrop to answer these questions. The fact that we are unsure of what exactly causes the apocolyptic event which basically destroys life on earth makes the setting of the physical wasteland even more powerful. It adds to the element of the mysterious unknown which makes us so uncomfortable. The lack of civilization also makes us uneasy, but provides another opportunity to observe human nature. The quotes that we chose embody the sense of despair and defeat which the physical wasteland imposes upon the characters. The pictures are a powerful resource in relating to the wasteland in the novel as well as understanding it. Lastly, our video is a musical journey down The Road as well as down memory lane to a beloved pop song of the 90's.



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Discussion questions
How is the extreme severity of the physical wasteland reflected in the characters actions?

Are there any examples of a physcial wasteland in today's world that is comparable to that in The Road?











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When the World Ends
Dave Matthew's Band

When the world ends
Collect your things
Youre coming with me
When the world ends
You tuckle up yourself with me
Watch it as the stars disappear to nothing
The day the world is over
Well be lying in bed

Im gonna rock you like a baby when the cities fall
We will rise as the buildings crumble
Float there and watch it all
Amidst the burning, well be churning
You know, love will be our wings
The passion rises up from the ashes
When the world ends

When the world ends
Youre gonna come with me
Were going to be crazy
Like a river bends
Were going to float
Through the criss cross of the mountains
Watch them fade to nothing
When the world ends
You know thats whats happening now
Im going to be there with you somehow, oh...

Im going to tie you up like a baby in a carriage car
Your legs wont work cause you want me so
You just lie spread to the wall
The love you got is surely
All the love that I would ever need
Im going to take you by my side
And love you tall, til the world ends

Oh, but dont you worry about a thing
No, cause I got you here with me
Dont you worry about a
Just you and me
Floating through the empty, empty
Just you and me
Oh, graces
Oh, grace

Oh, when the world ends
Well be burning one
When the world ends
Well be sweet makin love
Oh, you know when the world ends
Im going to take you aside and say
Lets watch it fade away, fade away
And the worlds done
Ours just begun
Its done
Ours just begun

Were gonna dive into the emptiness
Well be swimming
Im going to walk you through the pathless roads
Im going to take you to the top of the mountain thats no longer there
Im going to take you to bed and love you, I swear
Like the end is here

Im going to take you up to
Im going to take you down on you
Im going to hold you like an angel, angel

Im going to love you
Im going to love you
When the world ends
Im going to hold you
When the world is over
Well just be beginning...



Taylor Stockstad, Sophia Krieg, Alice Langrall, Sivan Levine