Great Lines in Literature- “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy

the road

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.

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