The Road Critical Essay

The Road Critical Essay-9
as an actual attack on the cultural coordinates of the new capitalism, because, in another sense, the novel seems to thoroughly remain within the confines of the neoliberal imagination. (22-23) Among other things, what is striking about this passage is how the Coke, as maybe the last of its kind, is elevated here from an everyday product of mass consumer culture to a singular item, a rare artifact surrounded by a mystical aura.Along these lines, I now seek to discuss to what extent A useful way of approaching this theme would be through the conceptual lens of Mark Fisher’s notion of capitalist realism. It’s because I wont ever get to drink another one, isnt it? On the one hand, one can thus detect “a gesture of nostalgic reminiscence” (Donnelly 70) here, or even more so, the fetishization of an iconic consumer item.that creates the precarious status of refugees on the move; it is rather the earth itself, which seems to be in a state of complete decay, having lost most of its resources and potentials.

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In this respect, my way of analyzing is to some extent inspired by Slavoj Žižek’s and Fredric Jameson’s famous claim “that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of capitalism” (Fisher 2)—a theme to which I will return a number of times throughout the essay.

Throughout American history, positive images and symbols of mobility constitute a key aspect of cultural discourse, ranging from the most conservative national mythology to the desire for radical alternatives.

By placing the novel in the context of the new capitalism, the article explores the ways in which Mc Carthy’s treatment of mobility deviates from previous American road narratives, which typically celebrate the pleasures and possibilities of movement and flight.

Concentrating on the novel’s dystopian “catastrophism,” the essay will further investigate its relation to temporality, history, and the future.

In his novel from 2006, Cormac Mc Carthy explicitly picks up on the road motif, but does so in a totally different way and context.

In the novel’s post-apocalyptic setting, mobility has lost all implications of transgression, discovery, and the pleasures of flight, manifesting itself instead as a means of sheer survival.People on both ends of the spectrum, however, are marked by a certain “becoming-animal” (Deleuze and Guattari 257), that is, a mode of existence in which the classic opposition between nature and culture has largely disappeared.Certainly, with respect to the boy’s and his father’s self-identification as those who “carry the fire,” there is a desire to maintain certain “forms” and “ceremonies” that might help to at least uphold the of civilized life9—a task, however, which becomes increasingly difficult to accomplish, for, as the narrator explains, the “names of things [are] slowly following those things into oblivion” (Mc Carthy 93)., and hardly a sense of freedom, health, or individual choice.Here, the road is evidently not a symbol for possibility or the pleasures of adventure and uncertainty experienced by a strong-minded and physically able individual.Hence, from Frederick Jackson Turner’s “frontier thesis” to the countercultural imagination of (1969), various forms and styles of mobility are evoked as revitalizing forces able to counter tendencies of cultural apathy, stasis, and conformity.Along these lines, the motif of the road has a long history in American literary discourse, exemplified by classic texts such as Walt Whitman’s poem “Song of the Open Road,” Jack London’s hobo memoir (1957).In this regard, one can see a number of parallels between (2003) (both of which have been turned into movies by David Cronenberg).For, in a sense, all of these works, in their very different methods, can be read as revisionary reflections on the status of mobility in the context of modern-day capitalism.In this regard, the context of Mc Carthy’s apocalyptic scenario appears to be ontological or geo-philosophical rather than immediately political.10 Consequently, the reader finds out hardly anything about the catastrophic event that occurred in the past, being left with almost nothing but the brutal reality of “Mc Carthy’s blighted landscape,” which “offers only death” (Steven 69).Insofar as the novel’s setting is a post-political territory, then, in which the divisions are not anymore those between the included and the excluded, the sovereign power and bare life, or citizens and refugees, but rather those between (equally animalized) cannibals and their prey, the analogy to the contemporary refugee question has its limits.


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