Friday, July 17, 2009
The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
Yes, I finally read Cormac McCarthy. I don't know what took me so long.
What makes us human?
There's a million answers. And almost none of them satisfactory, definitely none of them comprehensive.
The better question might be, what makes you, as an individual, human? When you strip away all these things surrounding you, and not just the pesky things like cars and Nintendo and ethnic cuisine, but the big things like society and higher purpose, when those are eaten away like the grime on an old penny, what is left? What is there that makes us human when most of the things we use to define our humanity are no more?
Like a penny, are we completely pointless without civilization?
I don't know as The Road settles what we are when we have almost nothing left. But despite being absolutely post-apocalyptic in almost the scariest of ways, it gave me hope that there is something more to us than our strength in numbers. Hope that humanity is something intrinsic, something that still exists even when we no longer remember or care about our names, as long as we are willing to hold onto it.
Humanity will exist as long as there is an individual who refuses to let it go.