Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Teaching Cormac McCarthy

The Road by Cormac McCarthy was a summer reading choice for my students. The students who chose McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize winning novel are happy, happy readers. I haven't heard one complaint about the novel.

Today we had a great day. We have a lot of these. A student, for his presentation, put us into groups of four (I love presentations because I get to be a student). We had to leave the classroom for a bit while the student hid bags of food. Then, we took turns scavenging the classroom for the food, which of course was a bunch of candy. When it wasn't our turn to scavenge for food, we sat in the hallway and wrote in our writer's notebook about whether or not we would be a good guy or a bad guy as defined by McCarthy's novel.

The students who didn't choose The Road as a summer reading book are all headed to the library to get a copy. A movie was recently made and should be out in theaters at the end of this month. I am hoping to take the students on a field trip to see it. Viggo Mortenson will be playing the father.

For those of you who haven't read The Road, I suggest that you do. It is about a post-apocalyptic world where a man and his son travel along a road in hopes of finding some place that is not dead. The few humans left in this charred world are mostly cannibals. There is a line near the beginning of the book. I don't have the book with me, but the line says something like "If the words of the boy were not of God then God never spoke." It's a breathtaking book about the love of a father and son and the microscopic hint of hope that lingers in a cold and dead world.


Tobin F. Terry said...

Wow. Good choice. Very cool.

John said...

Sounds like your students are eating it up! Buddy of mine teaches that book at my school. I think it's an essential book. I actually think it's a lot less horrifying than his other books... a lot less existential than the others. Interested in your students' thoughts regarding The Road as allegory.

Jennifer Sullivan said...

It's definitely less violent than his other books.

Will post more response from kids regarding the book soon.

Field trip approved. I am so excited to take them to the movie.

Green Candy Paws said...

if you have any students who are veg, they should submit a story to us!