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Mariposa
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Re: Early Reading: Father & Son (SPOILER WARNING)

The father tries to protect the son the best way he knows how based on his understanding and experience. He sees them as the good guys and everyone else as bad guys. Bad because they are threatening their survival. The lightning man, although not agressive, was a threat to their survival because if they stopped to help him, they would lose time and perhaps food. The boy (if there was a boy there and not something the son thought he saw) was a threat because it is possible he was a lure and they would have been captured. Everyone is seen as a potential threat. The father's assumption is that people are dangerous.

The boy, on the other hand, is more trusting. He wants to help. He doesn't want to turn away from these people. Is it his childhood innocence that colors his vision or does he sees the possibility of building community while his father is blind to that idea?

Lizabeth
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Early Reading: Father & Son (SPOILER WARNING)



dianearbus wrote:
The father tries to protect the son the best way he knows how based on his understanding and experience. He sees them as the good guys and everyone else as bad guys. Bad because they are threatening their survival. The lightning man, although not agressive, was a threat to their survival because if they stopped to help him, they would lose time and perhaps food. The boy (if there was a boy there and not something the son thought he saw) was a threat because it is possible he was a lure and they would have been captured. Everyone is seen as a potential threat. The father's assumption is that people are dangerous.

The boy, on the other hand, is more trusting. He wants to help. He doesn't want to turn away from these people. Is it his childhood innocence that colors his vision or does he sees the possibility of building community while his father is blind to that idea?

Lizabeth




I see it as a classic example of innocence (son) vs. experience (father).
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vivico1
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Re: Early Reading: Father & Son


PaulH wrote:


svd wrote:
Was the father a good teacher?

It seems that the father, in some ways, was teaching the boy to assume that someone you meet is a bad guy. Be wary of others. Don't share your food with people. Don't trust people.

Ultimately, though, the boy learned to be genuinely good, to share, and to trust. So I suppose that the father then had to have been a good teacher.

I would love to hear people help me reconcile this paradox.

SVD




Hmmm. Good question, svd. My gut tells me that ultimately the father didn't teach his son these traits. Could he have been innately born with them? Which brings up the idea of divinity. At times, it seemed to me, that the boy transcends mere mortality?


I think goodness in innate in all of us. As children, we are not so jaded to the world and children do care about others almost unconditionally. Until the adult world screws that up that is. But also, I do think he learned a lot of this from his father. Not by his father actually teaching him to be good to other people but by being caring for him! His father loved him, he was his life. The boy knew his father protected him,did everything for him, cared for him, loved him. This he knew, he knew this was inside his father too because thats why he got so upset everytime he saw his father act angrily or indifferent to others. It wasnt just that the child felt for everyone on his own, but it upset him to see his father act differently towards them, then the father did to him. He learned good from his father. There was another post on here about the father was mainly concerned with their bodily needs, to just stay alive while the child was more about the soul. I read that and thought...maybe thats part of the message of their relationship too, that one WAS the body, the other WAS the soul and together they were whole. That does transcend mere mortality. The body and the soul together, the need to be together is a spiritual idea, not just physical reality. I do believe that children are close to divinity too and that yes thats part of why there is the "goodness" of children, not just innocence. I dont think we just started existing the minute we popped out of a womb, I believe we came from somewhere else and I believe that somewhere else was with God. So how close are babies and children to God, or godly feelings for others? They are still close to that veil, till age and the world rips it away.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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vivico1
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Re: Early Reading: Father & Son

With the talk on this thread about was the little boy he saw real or not and then the talk about the timing of the people at the end finding him right as his father dies and "goodness always finds the boy", heres something to ponder if your head isnt swirling enough lol. IF the little boy he saw before wasnt real but he believed it with all his heart for some reason, what if as soon as his father died, he sees just what he has wanted to find... the good guys, a man and a woman who hugs him and kids too! What if to stay sane, now, just at the moment of his fathers death, never before, now he doesnt even have to go on alone, he finds them in his head and believes it as strongly as he believes he saw that little boy??? lol ok, most likely not true, i dont believe it. I do believe he saw the little boy. I dont know why these people found him so quickly other than they were good guys who had been following them but were afraid to approach his father because for all his talk to the boy about they were the good guys, his actions had not shown it to anyone else thus far but they knew the man and boy were in trouble and needed help so were there. Thats the most likely reason...but with all the what about this, what about that, speculation on about everything in this book, just what if they appeared right then, because the boy needed them to in his head. :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Early Reading: Father & Son



vivico1 wrote:
With the talk on this thread about was the little boy he saw real or not and then the talk about the timing of the people at the end finding him right as his father dies and "goodness always finds the boy", heres something to ponder if your head isnt swirling enough lol. IF the little boy he saw before wasnt real but he believed it with all his heart for some reason, what if as soon as his father died, he sees just what he has wanted to find... the good guys, a man and a woman who hugs him and kids too! What if to stay sane, now, just at the moment of his fathers death, never before, now he doesnt even have to go on alone, he finds them in his head and believes it as strongly as he believes he saw that little boy??? lol ok, most likely not true, i dont believe it. I do believe he saw the little boy. I dont know why these people found him so quickly other than they were good guys who had been following them but were afraid to approach his father because for all his talk to the boy about they were the good guys, his actions had not shown it to anyone else thus far but they knew the man and boy were in trouble and needed help so were there. Thats the most likely reason...but with all the what about this, what about that, speculation on about everything in this book, just what if they appeared right then, because the boy needed them to in his head. :smileywink:




As we've seen with this novel, anything is certainly possible. Sure, he could have imagined the good guys as a sort of mental defense mechanism. Although, I do think the man, women, and children are real and I think they've been following the father and son for quite awhile. I also feel that the father was aware of them and that's why he shot off the flare -- to narrow their location.

I really like vivico's following thought/line:

"that one WAS the body, the other WAS the soul and together they were whole"

It's an interesting contention which begs the question; when the man/body dies does the son/soul still exist?
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vivico1
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Re: Early Reading: Father & Son

The "fire" they were carrying inside, the hope , the faith, were things of the soul. The boy/soul would always exist. When the body dies, the soul goes on. And the father knew that, everything he found good in a religious sense , he saw in his son and he knew his son must go on, even when he (the body) died. The soul always attracts goodness and so yes, goodness would always find the boy too and he carried the fire.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PaulH wrote:
I really like vivico's following thought/line:

"that one WAS the body, the other WAS the soul and together they were whole"

It's an interesting contention which begs the question; when the man/body dies does the son/soul still exist?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Early Reading: Father & Son



vivico1 wrote:
The "fire" they were carrying inside, the hope , the faith, were things of the soul. The boy/soul would always exist. When the body dies, the soul goes on. And the father knew that, everything he found good in a religious sense , he saw in his son and he knew his son must go on, even when he (the body) died. The soul always attracts goodness and so yes, goodness would always find the boy too and he carried the fire.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------


So, the boy exists but not in a physical sense. When the man/body passes, the boy/soul acsends to somewhere else? Heaven for lack of another word?
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vivico1
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Re: Early Reading: Father & Son


PaulH wrote:


vivico1 wrote:
The "fire" they were carrying inside, the hope , the faith, were things of the soul. The boy/soul would always exist. When the body dies, the soul goes on. And the father knew that, everything he found good in a religious sense , he saw in his son and he knew his son must go on, even when he (the body) died. The soul always attracts goodness and so yes, goodness would always find the boy too and he carried the fire.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------


So, the boy exists but not in a physical sense. When the man/body passes, the boy/soul acsends to somewhere else? Heaven for lack of another word?



No no no, I mean metaphorically, they are the body and soul, but they are real and the boy is real, body and soul, but if they represent the two sides, he is the soul and we think of souls as eternal, just as the father wanted his son to go on, to exit and carry the hope on, regardless of what his wife wanted to do, regardless of the fact he was not going to be there to care for him. And so just as the soul attracts goodness, he said goodness always finds the boy, and they did, so he , the boy, goes on with the fire of hope of the soul. They to me, after reading some of the comments of people about the father worrying about the body and the son worrying more about things of the soul, metephorically represent the body and soul of humanity is all. Sorry, didnt mean to get so metaphysical that it sounded like i meant the boy went on to another existance :smileyhappy: Just meant he goes on, just as the soul does go on.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Fozzie
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Re: Early Reading: Father & Son - Body and Soul



vivico1 wrote:

I read that and thought...maybe thats part of the message of their relationship too, that one WAS the body, the other WAS the soul and together they were whole.



Very interesting thought... I am reminded of someone mentioning that he thought that the boy represented Jesus. I think the two thoughts could tie together into the Trinity somehow (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)...
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Early Reading: Father & Son - Body and Soul



Fozzie wrote:


vivico1 wrote:

I read that and thought...maybe thats part of the message of their relationship too, that one WAS the body, the other WAS the soul and together they were whole.



Very interesting thought... I am reminded of someone mentioning that he thought that the boy represented Jesus. I think the two thoughts could tie together into the Trinity somehow (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)...





Would that then make Ely the Holy Spirit? He had, what I think, is one of the most interesting lines in the whole book; "There is no God and we are his prophets." What does that mean?
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vivico1
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Re: Early Reading: Father & Son - Body and Soul

I kind of took that line to mean, in a world like this, there is no God, or there is no God if this could happen and we are his prophets....we are those left here to testify that there is no God here, not here. Hopelessness.
_________________________________________________________________

PaulH wrote:
Would that then make Ely the Holy Spirit? He had, what I think, is one of the most interesting lines in the whole book; "There is no God and we are his prophets." What does that mean?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Fozzie
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Re: Early Reading: Father & Son - Body and Soul



PaulH wrote:


Would that then make Ely the Holy Spirit? He had, what I think, is one of the most interesting lines in the whole book; "There is no God and we are his prophets." What does that mean?



I hadn't thought of Ely as the Holy Spirit. I think the father would be the Holy Spirit once he dies. The Trinity, the idea of three persons in one God, would be: the man as God the Father, the boy as the Son, Jesus, and the deceased father as the Holy Spirit. Because the boy is the son of the man, we could argue that they are one being.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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vivico1
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Re: Early Reading: Father & Son - Body and Soul


Fozzie wrote:


PaulH wrote:


Would that then make Ely the Holy Spirit? He had, what I think, is one of the most interesting lines in the whole book; "There is no God and we are his prophets." What does that mean?



I hadn't thought of Ely as the Holy Spirit. I think the father would be the Holy Spirit once he dies. The Trinity, the idea of three persons in one God, would be: the man as God the Father, the boy as the Son, Jesus, and the deceased father as the Holy Spirit. Because the boy is the son of the man, we could argue that they are one being.



hmmm. now you are getting into religious differences. Cause I dont believe the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all one, but three seperate entities, so if that were being portrayed in the book, Ely is as good as anyone for the role of the holy spirit. I am not sure I am with the holy trinity (or Godhead) idea in the book anyway. Man we do need Cormac lol, you can think this thing to death, rather than just go with all the feelings this book evokes in total. I was literally sobbing at the end and this book haunted me for days. I do think it does have a very spiritual message tho, dont get me wrong about that, its definately there.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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maxcat
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Re: Early Reading: Father & Son

I think the father and the boy have a good relationship. I can't guess as to how old the boy is, maybe 6-9, but he is at that age where the brain absorbs everything. Of course, he will make mistakes but the father sets back on course. The boy sulks a lot after the father does something that maybe in the boy's mind, he doesn't approve. But the father is teaching the basics of getting through this disaster the safest way he can
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Early Reading: Father & Son



maxcat wrote:
I think the father and the boy have a good relationship. I can't guess as to how old the boy is, maybe 6-9, but he is at that age where the brain absorbs everything. Of course, he will make mistakes but the father sets back on course. The boy sulks a lot after the father does something that maybe in the boy's mind, he doesn't approve. But the father is teaching the basics of getting through this disaster the safest way he can




I put the boy at around 10, but that's just a guess.
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Finns_dad
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Re: Early Reading: Father & Son

I find the most heartbreaking part of it is the boys desire to find other children, particularly after their encounter with the "cooked baby", the little boy in a later page speculates that if they had found the baby, it could have come with them. I find it difficult to think about that.
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bigkahuna
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Re: Early Reading: Father & Son

The Father is the guardian of not only the boy, but the fire. It seems hypcritical that the father seldom practices what he preaches, but that doen't diminish his lessons any. The boy is wonderous of all things as most young boys will be...and yet he carries the insightful perceptions that only the innocence of childhood can articulate. I am reminded that the impetus of this story occurs when CM stares out a hotel window while his young son slept and he wonders about the future. In this vision he "sees" the hillside raging with fires. I think CM intended to show the intrinsic goodness that resides in the boy (perhaps symbolic of man's future)  and how he tries to reconcile it with all the horror he is immersed in. The father does relent and give into the boy on more than one occasion ...he tells the boy that he cannot re-negotiate when they meet Ely and he goes back to the spot where they left the beach robber at the behest of the boy. I'm not sure what my point is, but I am not convinced of the Holy Trinity references made in previous postings. I concede that the father-son love are truly agape and it is this love that will ultimately bring back the trout.  bk

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