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Paul_Hochman
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Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel

While McCarthy doesn’t say outright where the novel takes place, he does drop some substantial clues to its possible locale. Where do you think the father and son are and where are they traveling to?
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bentley
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel (Possible Spoiler)

[ Edited ]
Somewhere in Tennessee I suspect. The sign that said see Rock City probably referred to Lookout Mountain and the area around Chattanooga, Tennessee. Probably some autobiographical details included here of where the author himself once lived or familiar haunts where he went to school...being channeled through the father when he talks about his family's home and where his uncle lived.

Possibly some references to eastern mountains or the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee.

Maybe some references to the TVA (dam) and the gap (Cumberland Gap?.

This is all that I have been able to discern so far. They say that they are traveling to the coast

Message Edited by bentley on 03-30-200706:17 PM

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bentley
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel ( Possible Spoiler)

As I am reading further..they mention coast, south, etc..if they are traveling south and moving to a coast line (in reference to where I thought they were) then most likely they would be headed for the Gulf of Mexico...but they would have a long way to go. Not really sure yet.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel (Possible Spoiler)

I agree, Bentley. I'm definitely thinking Tennessee; especially based on McCarthy's earlier southern novels, which take place in this locale.
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bentley
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel (Possible Spoiler)



PaulH wrote:
I agree, Bentley. I'm definitely thinking Tennessee; especially based on McCarthy's earlier southern novels, which take place in this locale.




Paul, this is my first McCarthy novel so I am a novice..I was just looking for clues in what he said. But if he also set other novels in this locale..it then all makes sense.
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Skyler97
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel

See Rock City would place them definitely in the Knoxville/Ashville/Chattanooga area. I would think that Myrtle Beach or the outer banks would be a more likely destination than Mobile or Pensacola. They would be closer and easier to reach I would think.

If they are in East Tennessee, I would expect them to come across more tunnels through the mountains than they have on this road.
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bentley
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel - Possible Spoiler



Skyler97 wrote:
See Rock City would place them definitely in the Knoxville/Ashville/Chattanooga area. I would think that Myrtle Beach or the outer banks would be a more likely destination than Mobile or Pensacola. They would be closer and easier to reach I would think.

If they are in East Tennessee, I would expect them to come across more tunnels through the mountains than they have on this road.




Agree about the See Rock City locales and Chattanooga..but disagree that Myrtle Beach was their southern destination.

The man said many times that they were going south (warmer conditions)..it would appear that even though they are at the beach at one point almost at the end of the novel and had headed inland again (crossing the isthmus and the river)..the goal always was for them to move to the south and keep going in that direction.

Right up to the end of the novel on page 278, the man right before he died said "Keep going south. Do everything the way we did it."
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel

Is there a "main" road to the south from Tennessee area? Like 95 or 35? I kept picturing a small road but wouldn't it have to be a large freeway for them to keep finding the same road after trips inland looking for food? Unless they never traveled too far inland.

I know "the road" is a metaphor for the journey life is taking but what kind of physical road did you other readers envision? I can't remember them referring to a Burger King/Shell Station covered with ash so maybe it was a smaller country road. :smileyhappy:
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bentley
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel



solittletime wrote:
Is there a "main" road to the south from Tennessee area? Like 95 or 35? I kept picturing a small road but wouldn't it have to be a large freeway for them to keep finding the same road after trips inland looking for food? Unless they never traveled too far inland.

I know "the road" is a metaphor for the journey life is taking but what kind of physical road did you other readers envision? I can't remember them referring to a Burger King/Shell Station covered with ash so maybe it was a smaller country road. :smileyhappy:




Maybe they were on 75..there are quite a few roads in that area..but 75 goes south.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel

They could be traveling east on US 441 out of Knoxville -- where McCarthy grew up -- and onto the coast.
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bentley
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel

[ Edited ]

PaulH wrote:
They could be traveling east on US 441 out of Knoxville -- where McCarthy grew up -- and onto the coast.




Yes, there are quite a few roads but I was looking for a road that would go through Chattanooga (that area for sure they were in - remember some of the clues we already discussed) and would be headed south or southeast. I am still trying to figure out what beach they were at in the final scenes before heading inland across the isthmus and the river. I suspect they had traveled out of Tennessee by that point and Chattanooga sits on the state line. And the father kept telling the boy to do as they had done and to continue to go South. I thought about the fact that McCarthy had grown up in Tennessee and had gone to school there but I also figured that he would have visited various parts of Tennessee being a native and would also be familiar with Chattanooga and other Tennesseean locations. And that he may not necessarily be talking about the one segment that he grew up in. Were there any clues that indicated that he had started at Knoxville etc or clues concerning attractions or locations on that road (441). You may be much more familiar with 441 than I am.

Message Edited by bentley on 04-09-200709:22 AM

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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel



bentley wrote:

PaulH wrote:
They could be traveling east on US 441 out of Knoxville -- where McCarthy grew up -- and onto the coast.




Yes, there are quite a few roads but I was looking for a road that would go through Chattanooga (that area for sure they were in - remember some of the clues we already discussed) and would be headed south or southeast. I am still trying to figure out what beach they were at in the final scenes before heading inland across the isthmus and the river. I suspect they had traveled out of Tennessee by that point and Chattanooga sits on the state line. And the father kept telling the boy to do as they had done and to continue to go South. I thought about the fact that McCarthy had grown up in Tennessee and had gone to school there but I also figured that he would have visited various parts of Tennessee being a native and would also be familiar with Chattanooga and other Tennesseean locations. And that he may not necessarily be talking about the one segment that he grew up in. Were there any clues that indicated that he had started at Knoxville etc or clues concerning attractions or locations on that road (441). You may be much more familiar with 441 than I am.

Message Edited by bentley on 04-09-200709:22 AM






"They crossed the high concrete bridge over the river. A dock below. Small pleasure boats half sunken in the gray water."

I'm guessing this is the Henley Street Bridge in Knoxville which is part of 441. To me, it would be feasible for McCarthy to start the journey there, as he's so familiar with the setting. Also, if we point to nuclear war as the cause of the catastrophe, Knoxville could well be a target.
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bentley
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel


PaulH wrote:


bentley wrote:

PaulH wrote:
They could be traveling east on US 441 out of Knoxville -- where McCarthy grew up -- and onto the coast.




Yes, there are quite a few roads but I was looking for a road that would go through Chattanooga (that area for sure they were in - remember some of the clues we already discussed) and would be headed south or southeast. I am still trying to figure out what beach they were at in the final scenes before heading inland across the isthmus and the river. I suspect they had traveled out of Tennessee by that point and Chattanooga sits on the state line. And the father kept telling the boy to do as they had done and to continue to go South. I thought about the fact that McCarthy had grown up in Tennessee and had gone to school there but I also figured that he would have visited various parts of Tennessee being a native and would also be familiar with Chattanooga and other Tennesseean locations. And that he may not necessarily be talking about the one segment that he grew up in. Were there any clues that indicated that he had started at Knoxville etc or clues concerning attractions or locations on that road (441). You may be much more familiar with 441 than I am.

Message Edited by bentley on 04-09-200709:22 AM






"They crossed the high concrete bridge over the river. A dock below. Small pleasure boats half sunken in the gray water."

I'm guessing this is the Henley Street Bridge in Knoxville which is part of 441. To me, it would be feasible for McCarthy to start the journey there, as he's so familiar with the setting. Also, if we point to nuclear war as the cause of the catastrophe, Knoxville could well be a target.




Let us say that he took 441 and the gap he is referring to is let us say Newfound Gap on the border of NC..where was he when he saw everything else (Lookout Mountain, See Rock City, etc.) and how was he going South as the father said they were and should continue to do. Also, how did they get to the ocean then and where were they when they went back inland and crossed the isthmus and river...from your viewpoint. I was picturing him moving south through Tennessee starting in Chattanooga lets say...and going that route. However, it seems McCarthy likes to write about areas where he has been or lived so hypothetically can you pinpoint any of the above? I am curious.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel

A colleague of mine speculated that the following passage (pg. 21 of the hardcover) where the man says he grew up could actually be McCarthy's own childhood home.

"old frame house with chimneys and gables and a stone wall"

He's seen the building and says that it is an apt description.
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bentley
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel



PaulH wrote:
A colleague of mine speculated that the following passage (pg. 21 of the hardcover) where the man says he grew up could actually be McCarthy's own childhood home.

"old frame house with chimneys and gables and a stone wall"

He's seen the building and says that it is an apt description.




That is fascinating. Could McCarthy simply though have lifted the description of the house and placed it somewhere else? And was that in Knoxville or somewhere else in Tennessee.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel



bentley wrote:


PaulH wrote:
A colleague of mine speculated that the following passage (pg. 21 of the hardcover) where the man says he grew up could actually be McCarthy's own childhood home.

"old frame house with chimneys and gables and a stone wall"

He's seen the building and says that it is an apt description.




That is fascinating. Could McCarthy simply though have lifted the description of the house and placed it somewhere else? And was that in Knoxville or somewhere else in Tennessee.




McCarthy's childhood home is located about 5 miles from downtown Knoxville. So, after they cross the Henley Street bridge into town they then come upon the house.
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bentley
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel



PaulH wrote:


bentley wrote:


PaulH wrote:
A colleague of mine speculated that the following passage (pg. 21 of the hardcover) where the man says he grew up could actually be McCarthy's own childhood home.

"old frame house with chimneys and gables and a stone wall"

He's seen the building and says that it is an apt description.




That is fascinating. Could McCarthy simply though have lifted the description of the house and placed it somewhere else? And was that in Knoxville or somewhere else in Tennessee.




McCarthy's childhood home is located about 5 miles from downtown Knoxville. So, after they cross the Henley Street bridge into town they then come upon the house.




With the above scenario, how do they go south and what beach were they at at
the end of the novel. I cannot figure that one out with the above scenario. If they were on 75 coming out of Chattanooga..I could get them there. I wonder if he just used landmarks that he remembered in a loose way..placing them in chosen spots not necessaily where they actually are. It makes you wonder.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel



bentley wrote:


PaulH wrote:


bentley wrote:


PaulH wrote:
A colleague of mine speculated that the following passage (pg. 21 of the hardcover) where the man says he grew up could actually be McCarthy's own childhood home.

"old frame house with chimneys and gables and a stone wall"

He's seen the building and says that it is an apt description.




That is fascinating. Could McCarthy simply though have lifted the description of the house and placed it somewhere else? And was that in Knoxville or somewhere else in Tennessee.




McCarthy's childhood home is located about 5 miles from downtown Knoxville. So, after they cross the Henley Street bridge into town they then come upon the house.




With the above scenario, how do they go south and what beach were they at at
the end of the novel. I cannot figure that one out with the above scenario. If they were on 75 coming out of Chattanooga..I could get them there. I wonder if he just used landmarks that he remembered in a loose way..placing them in chosen spots not necessaily where they actually are. It makes you wonder.




My guess, and it's only a guess, is that they head East out of Knoxville, cross into North Carolina, and then continue in a South-Easterly direction. Maybe they ended up in Charleston or there abouts?
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel - Small Road


solittletime wrote:
I kept picturing a small road but wouldn't it have to be a large freeway for them to keep finding the same road after trips inland looking for food?



There is a passage where they look at their map (which is in pieces). The man tells the boy they are taking a state road.
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PaulFrancis
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Re: Early Reading: The Setting of the Novel - Small Road



Fozzie wrote:

solittletime wrote:
I kept picturing a small road but wouldn't it have to be a large freeway for them to keep finding the same road after trips inland looking for food?



There is a passage where they look at their map (which is in pieces). The man tells the boy they are taking a state road.




I mostly envisioned state (two lane) roads because they came upon towns right beside the road. Also, it would generally take much longer to get out of sight and hide along an interstate.

Do you believe there is significance to the fact that the original intention is to travel south and they appear ultimately to head more east than south?

Paul
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