50 The Road Quotes With Page Numbers by Cormac McCarthy

Use these The Road Quotes with page numbers to help you find your favorite quotes.

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, occurs after an unknown apocalyptic event. A man and his young son travel toward the coast while avoiding the road where the “bad guys” will murder, rape, or eat you. They survive encounters with the “bad guys,” but they run out of food and ammo for the pistol. The man feels abandoned by God and the “good guys.” 

The man is dying and must prepare his son to keep going alone. The boy must take a chance. Should he trust a group watching him and his father from a distance? Are they the “good guys?”

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The Road Quotes With Page Numbers

“He knew only that his child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God God never spoke.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 5

 

“Each the others world entire.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 6

 

“Then they set out along the blacktop in the gunmetal light, shuffling through the ash, each the other’s world entire.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 6

 

“What would you do if I died?
If you died I would want to die too.
So you could be with me?
Yes. So I could be with you.
Okay.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 11

 

“He lay listening to the water drip in the woods. Bedrock, this. The cold and the silence. The ashes of the late world carried on the bleak and temporal winds to and fro in the void. Carried forth and scattered and carried forth again. Everything uncoupled from its shoring. Unsupported in the ashen air. Sustained by a breath, trembling and brief. If only my heart were stone.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 11

 

“He woke before dawn and watched the gray day break. Slow and half opaque. He rose while the boy slept and pulled on his shoes and wrapped in his blanket he walked out through the trees. He descended into a gryke in the stone and there he crouched coughing and he coughed for a long time. Then he just knelt in the ashes. He raised his face to the paling day. Are you there? he whispered. Will I see you at the last? Have you a neck by which to throttle you? Have you a heart? Damn you eternally have you a soul? Oh God, he whispered. Oh God.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Pages 11, 12

 

“You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 12

 

“Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever, he said. You might want to think about that.
You forget some things, dont you?
Yes. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 12

 

“You know that the things you put it your head stay there, right?’
‘Yeah. But you remember some things, don’t you?’
‘Yeah. You remember the things you want to forget and forget the things you want to remember.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 12

 

“He mistrusted all of that. He said the right dreams for a man in peril were dreams of peril and all else was the call of languor and of death. He slept little and he slept poorly. He dreamt of walking in a flowering wood where birds flew before them he and the child and the sky was aching blue but he was learning how to wake himself from just such siren worlds. Lying there in the dark with the uncanny taste of a peach from some phantom orchard fading in his mouth. He thought if he lived long enough the world at last would all be lost. Like the dying world the newly blind inhabit, all of it slowly fading from memory.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 18

 

“From daydreams on the road there was no waking. He plodded on. He could remember everything of her save her scent. Seated in a theatre with her beside him leaning forward listening to the music. Gold scrollwork and sconces and the tall columnar folds of the drapes at either side of the stage. She held his hand in her lap and he could feel the tops of her stockings through the thin stuff of her summer dress. Freeze this frame. Now call down your dark and your cold and be damned.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Pages 18, 19

 

“He turned and looked at the boy. Maybe he understood for the first time that to the boy he was himself an alien. A being from a planet that no longer existed. The tales of which were suspect. He could not construct for the child’s pleasure the world he’d lost without constructing the loss as well and he thought perhaps the child had known this better than he. He tried to remember the dream but he could not. All that was left was the feeling of it. He thought perhaps they’d come to warn him. Of what? That he could not enkindle in the heart of the child what was ashes in his own. Even now some part of him wished they’d never found this refuge. Some part of him always wished it to be over.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 26

 

“The frailty of everything revealed at last. Old and troubling issues resolved into nothingness and night. The last instance of a thing takes the class with it. Turns out the light and is gone. Look around you. Ever is a long time. But the boy knew what he knew. That ever is no time at all.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 28

 

“Query: How does the never to be differ from what never was?”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 32

 

“By day the banished sun circles the earth like a grieving mother with a lamp.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 32

 

“On this road there are no godspoke men. They are gone and I am left and they have taken with them the world.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 32

 

“In his dream she was sick and he cared for her. The dream bore the look of sacrifice but he thought differently. He did not take care of her and she died alone somewhere in the dark and there is no other dream nor other waking world and there is no other tale to tell.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 32

 

“If you break little promises, you’ll break big ones.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 34

 

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one’s heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 54

 

“Then don’t. I can’t help you. They say that women dream of danger to those in their care and men of danger to themselves. But I don’t dream at all. You say you can’t? Then don’t do it. That’s all. Because I am done with my own whorish heart and I have been for a long time. You talk about taking a stand but there is no stand to take. My heart was ripped out of me the night he was born so don’t ask for sorrow now. There is none. Maybe you’ll be good at this. I doubt it, but who knows. The one thing I can tell you is that you won’t survive for yourself. I know because I would have never have come this far. A person who had no one would be well advised to cobble together some passable ghost. Breathe it into being and coax it along with words of love. Offer it each phantom crumb and sheild it from harm with your body. As for me my only hope is for eternal nothingness and I hope it with all my heart.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 57

 

“He can give me what you cannot. Death is not a lover. Oh yes, he is.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 57

 

“Where you’ve nothing else construct ceremonies out of the air and breathe upon them.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 74

 

“This is my child, he said. I wash a dead man’s brains out of his hair. That is my job.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 74

 

“In the morning they came up out of the ravine and took to the road again. He’d carved the boy a flute from a piece of roadside cane and he took it from his coat and gave it to him. The boy took it wordlessly. After a while he fell back and after a while the man could hear him playing. A formless music for the age to come. Or perhaps the last music on earth called up from out of the ashes of its ruin. The man turned and looked back at him. He was lost in concentration. The man thought he seemed some sad and solitary changeling child announcing the arrival of a traveling spectacle in shire and village who does not know that behind him the players have all been carried off by wolves.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Pages 77, 78

 

“They lay listening. Can you do it? When the time comes? When the time comes there will be no time. Now is the time. Curse God and die. What if it doesn’t fire? It has to fire. What if it doesn’t fire? Could you crush that beloved skull with a rock? Is there such a being within you of which you know nothing? Can there be? Hold him in your arms. Just so. The soul is quick. Pull him toward you. Kiss him. Quickly.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 114

 

“Can you do it? When the time comes? When the time comes there will be no time. Now is the time. Curse God and die.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 114

 

“What he could bear in the waking world he could not by night and he sat awake for fear the dream would return.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 130

 

“He walked out in the gray light and stood and he saw for a brief moment the absolute truth of the world. The cold relentless circling of the intestate earth. Darkness implacable. The blind dogs of the sun in their running. The crushing black vacuum of the universe. And somewhere two hunted animals trembling like ground-foxes in their cover. Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 130

 

“He thought each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins. As in a party game. Say the words and pass it on. So be sparing. What you alter in the remembering has yet a reality, known or not.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 131

 

“Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 131

 

“If only my heart were stone.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 131

 

“Carry the fire.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 146

 

“You have to carry the fire.”
I don’t know how to.”
Yes, you do.”
Is the fire real? The fire?”
Yes it is.”
Where is it? I don’t know where it is.”
Yes you do. It’s inside you. It always was there. I can see it.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 146

 

“If trouble comes when you least expect it then maybe the thing to do is to always expect it.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 151

 

“He could not construct for the child’s pleasure the world he’d lost without constructing the loss as well and he thought perhaps the child had known this better than he.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 154

 

“Suppose you were the last one left? Suppose you did that to yourself?”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 169

 

“Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 169

 

“There is no God and we are his prophets.

I dont understand how you’re still alive. How do you eat?

I dont know.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 170

 

“When you die it’s the same as if everybody else did too.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 170

 

“Where men can’t live gods fare no better.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 172

 

“When we’re all gone at last then there’ll be nobody here but death and his days will be numbered too. He’ll be out in the road there with nothing to do and nobody to do it to. He’ll say: where did everybody go? And that’s how it will be. What’s wrong with that?”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 173

 

“Years later he’d stood in the charred ruins of a library where blackened books lay in pools of water. Shelves tipped over. Some rage at the lies arranged in their thousands row on row. He picked up one of the books and thumbed through the heavy bloated pages. He’d not have thought the value of the smallest thing predicated on a world to come. It surprised him. That the space which these things occupied was itself an expectation.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 187

 

“Listen to me, he said, when your dreams are of some world that never was or some world that never will be, and you’re happy again, then you’ll have given up. Do you understand? And you can’t give up, I won’t let you.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 189

 

“When he went back to the fire he knelt and smoothed her hair as she slept and he said if he were God he would have made the world just so and no different.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 219

 

“Lying under such a myriad of stars. The sea’s black horizon. He rose and walked out and stood barefoot in the sand and watched the pale surf appear all down the shore and roll and crash and darken again. When he went back to the fire he knelt and smoothed her hair as she slept and he said if he were God he would have made the world just so and no different.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 219

 

“Every day is a lie. But you are dying. That is not a lie. ”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 238

 

“He was just hungry, Papa. He’s going to die.
He’s going to die anyway.
He’s so scared, Papa.
The man squatted and looked at him. I’m scared, he said. Do you understand? I’m scared.
The boy didn’t answer. He just sat there with his head down, sobbing.
You’re not the one who has to worry about everything.
The boy said something but he couldn’t understand him. What? He said.
He looked up, his wet and grimy face. Yes I am, he said. I am the one.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 259

 

“What’s the bravest thing you ever did?
He spat in the road a bloody phlegm. Getting up this morning, he said.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 272

 

“Perhaps in the world’s destruction it would be possible at last to see how it was made. Oceans, mountains. The ponderous counterspectacle of things ceasing to be. The sweeping waste, hydroptic and coldly secular. The silence.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 274

 

“You have my whole heart. You always did.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Page 279

 

“Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”

~Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Pages 286, 287

The Road Summary

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, is a post-apocalyptic novel set in a dystopian America. It follows the journey of a father and son as they traverse an apocalyptic landscape filled with danger and destruction. Along the way, they battle starvation, despair, and hopelessness. They come across other survivors who have resorted to cannibalism to survive, and the father is determined to keep his son safe from the world’s evils.

Ultimately, the novel follows their search for a better life and hope in an otherwise bleak future. It is a story of love and resilience against all odds. The Road paints a picture of our society by showing us the possibilities if we continue down our current path.

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