Book: The Road
Author :Cormac McCarthy
Publication Date: 2006
Line: “Then they set out along the blacktop in the gunmetal light, shuffling through the ash, each the other’s world entire.”
Analysis: Damn you Cormac!!!
Lesser writers, like myself, would have simply ended that line with “each other’s entire world” because I like clichés…I sigh at Hallmark cards and cry at Lifetime movies. By manipulating the structure of the cliché, McCarthy subtly creates the absolute exigency of the father and son relationship. The genius of the flipped cliché is that it manages to radiate through the surrounding bleak imagery — ” gunmetal,” “blacktop” and “ash” further fortifying the father and son bond as “they set out” into the madness of the world.
Got a great literary line? Please share. I may just feature your line in a future post.