Tactile, Olfactory, Gustatory, and Visual Imagery in The Road

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Tactile, Olfactory, Gustatory, and Visual Imagery in The Road by Mind Map: Tactile, Olfactory, Gustatory, and Visual Imagery in The Road

1. Tactile

1.1. nights are cold

1.1.1. “nights were long and dark and cold beyond anything they’d yet encountered. Cold to crack the stones. To take your life.” (14) McCarthy: wants to describe exactly how cold it is and wants to reader to feel it

1.2. fire has warmth

1.2.1. they make a fire when they are sure they are safe from being caught. sense of safety McCarthy: shows the fire as being a positive thing and it is warmth. "carrying the fire"

1.3. boy has warmth

1.3.1. “He sat up and felt around for the boy. He held his hand to the thin ribs. warmth and movement. heartbeat” (116) creates a sense of hope because he is all the man has McCarthy: shows how important the boy is to the man

1.4. the darkness was painful

1.4.1. “A blackness to hurt your ears with listening.” (15) McCarthy: show how dark and quiet it is

2. Olfactory

2.1. the smell of dead bodies creates a sense of fear and pain

2.1.1. “The inside of the trailer smelled of wet plywood and that sour smell he’d come to know.” (47) “He opened the door of a walk-in cooler but the sour rank smell of the dead washed out the darkness and he quickly closed it again.” (80) creates a sense of fear because they may believe they will end up being the last people on earth or they will end up just like them McCarthy: to show that there are decomposing bodies everywhere and it affects the characters in a way that decreases hope

2.2. can smell when rain is coming

2.2.1. “And it may rain How can you tell? I can smell it. What does it smell like? Wet ashes.” (232) McCarthy: the characters know when to get to safety. it rains so much they know what it smells like now.

2.3. most things smell bad

2.3.1. “Everything smelled of damp and rot.” (80) “Smell of mold and excrement.” (108) “A sour smell over everything.” (224) the rain is causing things to smell bad McCarthy: shows how much it rains. nothing is nice or good anymore.

2.4. there is a point where they do not smell the dead as they pass it

2.4.1. “The charred meat and bones under the damp ash might have been anonymous save for the shapes of the skulls. No longer any smell.” (150) either the stench has faded and aired out or they are getting used to the smell of the dead McCarthy: either shows how long the bodies have been there or shows how the character's have gotten so used to the smell

2.5. fresh water is a sign of hope

2.5.1. “Down there in the darkness was a cistern filled with water so sweet that he could smell it.” (122) McCarthy: wants to create hope and show how the fresh water means so much to the characters

2.6. when they get to the ocean, it does not smell like the ocean at all

2.6.1. “The wind coming off the water smelled faintly of iodine. There was no sea smell to it.” (221) this causes disappointment because they had worked so hard to get to this point to find that it is just like the rest of the world they have traveled McCarthy: shows that everything is the same and it shows the ending point for the father

3. Visual

3.1. dark and dreary atmosphere

3.1.1. “A colorless world of wire and crepe.” (116) McCarthy: by writing that nothing has color and everything is gray makes the mood and tone depressing. Makes there seem as though there is little to no hope.

3.2. scattered dead bodies

3.2.1. “The mummied dead everywhere. The flesh cloven along the bones, the ligaments dried to tug and taut as wires. their faces of boiled sheeting, the yellowed palings of their teeth.” (24) they knew if they looked at them, the imagine would be burned into their heads. they couldn't avoid looking though. as they passed through towns, there were burnt bodies lining the streets McCarthy: shows how many people are dead and how the ones lining the city streets shows how the cities burned and people couldn't get out so they burned too. decreases hope, makes it depressing.

3.3. nights are dark and light is gray

3.3.1. “Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before. Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world.” (1) There is no light at all. No moonlight. The only light there is at night is from the fires. The ash covers the sun so when it is daytime, it is still gray and cloudy. The sun not being able to get through causes the world to be cold all the time. McCarthy: we are not used to a world without moonlight or street lights or flashlights at night. It's hard to see and make your way around in this kind of darkness. Shows the amount of ash that covers to sky enough that not even the light can get through to provide light or warmth.

3.4. boy is the only thing with light

3.4.1. golden hair, the man looks at the son like he is a god McCarthy: shows that if the father didn't have his son then he would not be able to make it this far. The boy shows hope. the father would not be able to live without the child because the boy is all the man has. He already lost the world he used to live in and his wife. The boy was born into this world so he does not feel the loss and he knew his mother was going to leave him and knew that he could not stop her.

3.5. ash everywhere

3.5.1. “The only thing that moved in the streets was the blowing ash.” (24) ash covers the ground and the sky and its in the air they breathe McCarthy: the amount of ash shows how much has actually burned. The ash makes everything gray and dirty.

3.6. the man and the boy are skinny and dirty

3.6.1. “He [the boy] looked like something out of a deathcamp. Starved, exhausted, sick with fear.” (117) McCarthy: shows how little they are able to find to eat, how much they have to walk everyday with the little energy they have, and how scared they are everyday they live through.

3.7. nature is dead and dried out

3.7.1. “A dead swamp. Dead trees standing out of the gray water trailing gray and relic hagmoss.” (274) “He picked up one of the heavy leaves and crushed it in his hand to powder and let the powder sift through his fingers.” (196) McCarthy: nature being dead shows that there is no hope to be able to ever grow anything again. There isn't anything living in the bodies of water anymore because the water is so polluted. There isn't any fresh food and there won't be any.

4. Gustatory

4.1. food has no taste

4.1.1. food may not taste good because taste may not matter to them anymore; only eating the food matters McCarthy: survival is more important than what the food tastes like

4.2. can only taste ash

4.2.1. “the grainy air. the taste of it never left your mouth” this could be why they do not taste the food McCarthy: describes how much ash there really is and how even though they wear masks, they still breathe it in

4.3. man tastes blood when he coughs

4.3.1. this creates a sense of fear because he knows he is dying McCarthy: lets the reader infer what will happen to the father

4.4. fresh water tastes good

4.4.1. “He scooted forward and reached again and laved up a handful of it and smelled and tasted it and then drank. Nothing in his memory anywhere of anything so good.” (123) the water they have been drinking was from rivers so ashy it made the water black McCarthy: shows the importance of fresh water and how much better it is than the ashy water they have been drinking before