How do you know if you were the last man on earth? He said.
I don’t guess you would know it. You’d just be it. [pg180]
In Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, the end of the world begins with “A long shear of light and then a series of low percussions.” [p54] The details are vague and could be applicable to a number of post-apocalyptic scenarios, but maybe they are the words of a man who witnessed the after-effects of a super volcanic eruption. In The Road, a Nuclear Winter has descended on an unspecified region of America and everything is left covered in a thick layer of dust, the sunlight cannot penetrate the clouds and everyday is as grey as a cloudy winter’s morning. For the ‘Man’ and ‘Boy’, the greyness is perpetual and even time itself has fled from the world, “The clocks stopped at 1:17.” [pg54] Calendars are no longer kept, the Man doesn’t know how long they’ve been travelling the road and there are no seasons or lasting referents to our concept of modernity. Everything they touch is the same – broken or dead, the world smells of ash or the sour stink of rotting corpses and the food which they eat is tainted and rotting. Continue reading