'All These Things He Saw and Did Not See'

Witnessing the End of the World in Cormac McCarthy's The Road

in Critical Survey
Author:
Hannah Stark University of Tasmania Hannah.Stark@utas.edu.au

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Cormac McCarthy's The Road can be read as part of the burgeoning field of climate fiction. This article examines the way that environmental anxiety manifests in this text not only through the vision of a future earth that has been devastated, but, as I will argue, at a more symbolic and allegorical level through the metaphoric place of vision, sight, and blindness. Interrogating the metaphor of vision is central to considering this text as climate fiction because it positions the human as the chosen witness to the end of the world. This article examines the anthropocentrism at the heart of McCarthy's text, and reflects on the place of the human in broader debates about anthropogenic climate change.

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