How did John Grady know that his father had died?

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  • 26 Jan 2014 at 6:57 am #4994

    Glass
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    To briefly followup, I wonder if the Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance might be useful when considering the moral psychology of the boy in The Road. He is, as one of the memorable passages in the novel attests, one of the good guys and always will be. The boy is good but how did he get that way? Was it, in the Aristotelian sense, the result of his upbringing? Was the boy going to be good no matter the circumstances of his life? What if he were brought up by cannibals? Assuming his parents hadn’t eaten him, would he still be the good guy we know him to be? Having his goodness so indelibly etched into my imagination, I resist the idea that he could be any other way than what he is. But has his goodness been fixed for life as his father claims — “You’re the best guy. You always were.” Or is his goodness, and the other qualities that make him who he is, mutable? I really don’t know but it seems McCarthy wants us to believe there is a fixedness and immutability about the boy’s moral psychology and that the child was predestined for goodness. The author did a good job of that for it’s difficult for me to imagine the boy to be any other way, though I think that he could be different, bad even, as time goes on because I don’t believe our constitutions are set in stone. Nevertheless, I can’t really unsee the boy as good. Maybe I’m pushing up against the wall of imaginative resistance. As the father tells his son “Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever.”


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