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Paul_Hochman
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Later Reading: The Sailboat (SPOILER WARNING)

[ Edited ]
What can we say about this scene? The boat's named the Pajaro de Esperanza which translates as Bird of Hope. A telling name, no?

Message Edited by PaulH on 04-16-200707:52 AM

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Mescorn
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Re: Later Reading: The Sailboat

I found it very interesting that the father and son always managed to find more food and supplies just as things were looking their bleakest. Here, we see the father and son set up camp and get comfortable once again, daring to extend thier stay and let their guards down. The father relaxs a bit and has fun with his son as they shoot off the flare. Also, This particular scene, I believe , is where the story was turning as well. Once we leave the boat, the father was becoming more like the boy, and the boy starting to show more fatherly characteristics. Once they leave the beach and boat behind, we see a more rapid deterioration of the fathers health, and the son shows more of a capability of survival. You'll notice the father doesnt worry so much anymore about leaving the boy on his own as he thinks about his own mortality and what will happen once he's gone. We have a more positive outlook for the boy here on out.
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bentley
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Re: Later Reading: The Sailboat



PaulH wrote:
What can we say about this scene? The boat's named the Pajaro de Esperanza which translates as Bird of Hope. A telling name, no?




The Holy Ghost..a dove of peace and hope probably the third person in the trinity..that you are referring to.

I think the most interesting scene on the boat was the scene with the beautiful sextant.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Later Reading: The Sailboat

It also brought to my mind Noah's Ark. The last human castaways struggling to maintain mankind. When the Ark finally beached on Mt. Ararat, Noah sent out birds to ascertain if the flood had yet ebbed. Birds of hope if you will.
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bentley
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Re: Later Reading: The Sailboat



PaulH wrote:
It also brought to my mind Noah's Ark. The last human castaways struggling to maintain mankind. When the Ark finally beached on Mt. Ararat, Noah sent out birds to ascertain if the flood had yet ebbed. Birds of hope if you will.




Interesting PaulH, had not looked at it that way.
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Erato
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Re: Later Reading: The Sailboat


PaulH wrote:
What can we say about this scene? The boat's named the Pajaro de Esperanza which translates as Bird of Hope. A telling name, no?





Yes it is, as a "bird of hope" appeared to Noah. A message that God kept his promise and that the flood waters would recede and never again would He destroy all life on earth......in this manner.

Thus, not the water, but "the fire next time"

A floating 'bird of hope' perhaps is meant signify that the fires and the 'nuclear winter' will soon be over, tying together the "hope" which seems evident in the final passages of the book.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Later Reading: The Sailboat

The boat's origin is the Canary Island of Tenerife, which is a volcanic island not unlike Krakatoa. Now I'm completely stretching but could have Tenerife suffered the similar fate as Krakatoa and caused a major global catastrophe (see quote below).

"The 1883 eruption ejected more than 25 cubic kilometres of rock, ash, and pumice, and generated the loudest sound historically reported: the cataclysmic explosion was distinctly heard as far away as Perth in Australia (approx. 1930 miles or 3100 km), and the island of Rodrigues near Mauritius (approx. 3000 miles or 4800 km). Atmospheric shock waves reverberated around the world seven times and were detectable for five days. Near Krakatoa, according to official records, 165 villages and towns were destroyed and 132 seriously damaged, at least 36,417 (official toll) people died, and many thousands were injured by the eruption, mostly from the tsunamis which followed the explosion."

Also see Simon Winchester's book on the disaster:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780060838591&itm=1
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bentley
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Re: Later Reading: The Sailboat

[ Edited ]

PaulH wrote:
The boat's origin is the Canary Island of Tenerife, which is a volcanic island not unlike Krakatoa. Now I'm completely stretching but could have Tenerife suffered the similar fate as Krakatoa and caused a major global catastrophe (see quote below).

"The 1883 eruption ejected more than 25 cubic kilometres of rock, ash, and pumice, and generated the loudest sound historically reported: the cataclysmic explosion was distinctly heard as far away as Perth in Australia (approx. 1930 miles or 3100 km), and the island of Rodrigues near Mauritius (approx. 3000 miles or 4800 km). Atmospheric shock waves reverberated around the world seven times and were detectable for five days. Near Krakatoa, according to official records, 165 villages and towns were destroyed and 132 seriously damaged, at least 36,417 (official toll) people died, and many thousands were injured by the eruption, mostly from the tsunamis which followed the explosion."

Also see Simon Winchester's book on the disaster:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780060838591&itm=1




PaulH..think you are stretching it..even the volcanic eruption which formed Yellowstone eons ago (exactly - the last one was 640,000 years ago and was a thousand times bigger than Mt St Helens) did not destroy the world although the destruction covered a wide area (that blast dumped as much as three feet of ash as far away as Kansas and Nebraska. This ash was not dust like, but was similar to finely crushed window glass and extremely abasive. The ash did circle the globe for months and could of contributed in part to an ice age but the crater it caused was thousands of feet and about 30 by 45 miles wide. The description of what happened in this novel with the rose glow, the clocks stopping but still able to walk the earth is more in line with another kind of man made disaster..and the godspoke man line leads us to believe otherwise, etc.

The largest of Yellowstones caldera eruptions occurred 2 million years ago and even Tambora which was the most devastating volcanic eruption in recorded human history pales in comparison. The one in Yellowstone (over two million years) also covered 600 cubic miles and effected about 13 states as we know them today (where they are located now). Tambora in 1815 covered only 36 cubic miles. In the Tambora blast it killed as many as 100,000 people instantly like Pompeii and there was a famine. Weather conditons were modified and the effect was global with North America having a year without a summer and in Europe there were food shortages because of the effect of the climate on growing food and there was a cholera epidemic but in terms of direct destruction it covered only 36 cubic miles and there in that area it was like scorched earth and it buried the area not unlike Pompeii.

I think what I see here which is so humorous and not unlike discussions on religion or politics..folks just get entrenched in what they believe. I include myself in that category..and of course we are stretching our theories anyways and that is lots of fun.

Can't wait for the Oprah interview (maybe she will ask the same questions we have). The Road is excellent no matter what the cause..it was the journey of the two major characters that had a profound impact on me; but made me very very uncomfortable and out of sorts.

Btw: I think the source you included looks very interesting but I do not think given the info above caused our characters' problems.

Message Edited by bentley on 04-13-200711:36 AM

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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Later Reading: The Sailboat



bentley wrote:

PaulH wrote:
The boat's origin is the Canary Island of Tenerife, which is a volcanic island not unlike Krakatoa. Now I'm completely stretching but could have Tenerife suffered the similar fate as Krakatoa and caused a major global catastrophe (see quote below).

"The 1883 eruption ejected more than 25 cubic kilometres of rock, ash, and pumice, and generated the loudest sound historically reported: the cataclysmic explosion was distinctly heard as far away as Perth in Australia (approx. 1930 miles or 3100 km), and the island of Rodrigues near Mauritius (approx. 3000 miles or 4800 km). Atmospheric shock waves reverberated around the world seven times and were detectable for five days. Near Krakatoa, according to official records, 165 villages and towns were destroyed and 132 seriously damaged, at least 36,417 (official toll) people died, and many thousands were injured by the eruption, mostly from the tsunamis which followed the explosion."

Also see Simon Winchester's book on the disaster:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780060838591&itm=1




PaulH..think you are stretching it..even the volcanic eruption which formed Yellowstone eons ago (exactly - the last one was 640,000 years ago and was a thousand times bigger than Mt St Helens) did not destroy the world although the destruction covered a wide area (that blast dumped as much as three feet of ash as far away as Kansas and Nebraska. This ash was not dust like, but was similar to finely crushed window glass and extremely abasive. The ash did circle the globe for months and could of contributed in part to an ice age but the crater it caused was thousands of feet and about 30 by 45 miles wide. The description of what happened in this novel with the rose glow, the clocks stopping but still able to walk the earth is more in line with another kind of man made disaster..and the godspoke man line leads us to believe otherwise, etc.

The largest of Yellowstones caldera eruptions occurred 2 million years ago and even Tambora which was the most devastating volcanic eruption in recorded human history pales in comparison. The one in Yellowstone (over two million years) also covered 600 cubic miles and effected about 13 states as we know them today (where they are located now). Tambora in 1815 covered only 36 cubic miles. In the Tambora blast it killed as many as 100,000 people instantly like Pompeii and there was a famine. Weather conditons were modified and the effect was global with North America having a year without a summer and in Europe there were food shortages because of the effect of the climate on growing food and there was a cholera epidemic but in terms of direct destruction it covered only 36 cubic miles and there in that area it was like scorched earth and it buried the area not unlike Pompeii.

I think what I see here which is so humorous and not unlike discussions on religion or politics..folks just get entrenched in what they believe. I include myself in that category..and of course we are stretching our theories anyways and that is lots of fun.

Can't wait for the Oprah interview (maybe she will ask the same questions we have). The Road is excellent no matter what the cause..it was the journey of the two major characters that had a profound impact on me; but made me very very uncomfortable and out of sorts.




It is fun to hypothesize though. I imagine the boat and its occupants out pleasure cruising only to return to a destroyed Tenerife and then, not unlike the father and son, setting course for more hospitable land.

The odd part about this scene is that it would appear that the father is the first person to scavenge the boat's contents. If there were survivors from the boat, why wouldn't they have hoarded their supplies?

The description of the bedding and the way it's situated to counteract the boat's tilt suggests someone was on the boat, in its present location, prior to the father's arrival.
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bentley
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Re: Later Reading: The Sailboat



PaulH wrote:


bentley wrote:

PaulH wrote:
The boat's origin is the Canary Island of Tenerife, which is a volcanic island not unlike Krakatoa. Now I'm completely stretching but could have Tenerife suffered the similar fate as Krakatoa and caused a major global catastrophe (see quote below).

"The 1883 eruption ejected more than 25 cubic kilometres of rock, ash, and pumice, and generated the loudest sound historically reported: the cataclysmic explosion was distinctly heard as far away as Perth in Australia (approx. 1930 miles or 3100 km), and the island of Rodrigues near Mauritius (approx. 3000 miles or 4800 km). Atmospheric shock waves reverberated around the world seven times and were detectable for five days. Near Krakatoa, according to official records, 165 villages and towns were destroyed and 132 seriously damaged, at least 36,417 (official toll) people died, and many thousands were injured by the eruption, mostly from the tsunamis which followed the explosion."

Also see Simon Winchester's book on the disaster:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780060838591&itm=1




PaulH..think you are stretching it..even the volcanic eruption which formed Yellowstone eons ago (exactly - the last one was 640,000 years ago and was a thousand times bigger than Mt St Helens) did not destroy the world although the destruction covered a wide area (that blast dumped as much as three feet of ash as far away as Kansas and Nebraska. This ash was not dust like, but was similar to finely crushed window glass and extremely abasive. The ash did circle the globe for months and could of contributed in part to an ice age but the crater it caused was thousands of feet and about 30 by 45 miles wide. The description of what happened in this novel with the rose glow, the clocks stopping but still able to walk the earth is more in line with another kind of man made disaster..and the godspoke man line leads us to believe otherwise, etc.

The largest of Yellowstones caldera eruptions occurred 2 million years ago and even Tambora which was the most devastating volcanic eruption in recorded human history pales in comparison. The one in Yellowstone (over two million years) also covered 600 cubic miles and effected about 13 states as we know them today (where they are located now). Tambora in 1815 covered only 36 cubic miles. In the Tambora blast it killed as many as 100,000 people instantly like Pompeii and there was a famine. Weather conditons were modified and the effect was global with North America having a year without a summer and in Europe there were food shortages because of the effect of the climate on growing food and there was a cholera epidemic but in terms of direct destruction it covered only 36 cubic miles and there in that area it was like scorched earth and it buried the area not unlike Pompeii.

I think what I see here which is so humorous and not unlike discussions on religion or politics..folks just get entrenched in what they believe. I include myself in that category..and of course we are stretching our theories anyways and that is lots of fun.

Can't wait for the Oprah interview (maybe she will ask the same questions we have). The Road is excellent no matter what the cause..it was the journey of the two major characters that had a profound impact on me; but made me very very uncomfortable and out of sorts.




It is fun to hypothesize though. I imagine the boat and its occupants out pleasure cruising only to return to a destroyed Tenerife and then, not unlike the father and son, setting course for more hospitable land.

The odd part about this scene is that it would appear that the father is the first person to scavenge the boat's contents. If there were survivors from the boat, why wouldn't they have hoarded their supplies?

The description of the bedding and the way it's situated to counteract the boat's tilt suggests someone was on the boat, in its present location, prior to the father's arrival.




I agree there are a lot of convenient occurences in the novel..which can only be explained with divine intervention which is the interpretation of the trinity etc. and the boy being divine in some way. Yes, it does seem odd with all of the cannibals and scavengers around that the boat wasn't already empty (another convenient situation). Maybe divine intervention or what you suspected or the currents tilted it, etc..who really knows what happened to the occupants. The whole novel contributes to a series of wonderful questions and discussions however despite the vagueness in the details.

For instance, with the distinct clues that McCarthy gave as to what they were seeing on the road...you would have thought they were starting out or were in the Chattanooga/Lookout Mountain/Rock City location but the description of the father's home and the bridge description led you to think otherwise. The father specifically mentioned the mountains (I thought Smokey and that he had reached the Gap (which one) and that they were going south and should continue going south as they had been.

Also why then were they traveling east; when the father said they were traveling south..There are lot of inconsistencies and maybe McCarthy really did not want to deal with all of the actual details..he just wanted to tell a story of the journey. He may have when he wrote the novel never expected such a flurry of discussion or that Oprah would select his novel as her book club choice.

With all of the folks who may have been on the boat, I am fascinated by the section on the sextant.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Later Reading: The Sailboat



bentley wrote:


PaulH wrote:


bentley wrote:

PaulH wrote:
The boat's origin is the Canary Island of Tenerife, which is a volcanic island not unlike Krakatoa. Now I'm completely stretching but could have Tenerife suffered the similar fate as Krakatoa and caused a major global catastrophe (see quote below).

"The 1883 eruption ejected more than 25 cubic kilometres of rock, ash, and pumice, and generated the loudest sound historically reported: the cataclysmic explosion was distinctly heard as far away as Perth in Australia (approx. 1930 miles or 3100 km), and the island of Rodrigues near Mauritius (approx. 3000 miles or 4800 km). Atmospheric shock waves reverberated around the world seven times and were detectable for five days. Near Krakatoa, according to official records, 165 villages and towns were destroyed and 132 seriously damaged, at least 36,417 (official toll) people died, and many thousands were injured by the eruption, mostly from the tsunamis which followed the explosion."

Also see Simon Winchester's book on the disaster:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780060838591&itm=1




PaulH..think you are stretching it..even the volcanic eruption which formed Yellowstone eons ago (exactly - the last one was 640,000 years ago and was a thousand times bigger than Mt St Helens) did not destroy the world although the destruction covered a wide area (that blast dumped as much as three feet of ash as far away as Kansas and Nebraska. This ash was not dust like, but was similar to finely crushed window glass and extremely abasive. The ash did circle the globe for months and could of contributed in part to an ice age but the crater it caused was thousands of feet and about 30 by 45 miles wide. The description of what happened in this novel with the rose glow, the clocks stopping but still able to walk the earth is more in line with another kind of man made disaster..and the godspoke man line leads us to believe otherwise, etc.

The largest of Yellowstones caldera eruptions occurred 2 million years ago and even Tambora which was the most devastating volcanic eruption in recorded human history pales in comparison. The one in Yellowstone (over two million years) also covered 600 cubic miles and effected about 13 states as we know them today (where they are located now). Tambora in 1815 covered only 36 cubic miles. In the Tambora blast it killed as many as 100,000 people instantly like Pompeii and there was a famine. Weather conditons were modified and the effect was global with North America having a year without a summer and in Europe there were food shortages because of the effect of the climate on growing food and there was a cholera epidemic but in terms of direct destruction it covered only 36 cubic miles and there in that area it was like scorched earth and it buried the area not unlike Pompeii.

I think what I see here which is so humorous and not unlike discussions on religion or politics..folks just get entrenched in what they believe. I include myself in that category..and of course we are stretching our theories anyways and that is lots of fun.

Can't wait for the Oprah interview (maybe she will ask the same questions we have). The Road is excellent no matter what the cause..it was the journey of the two major characters that had a profound impact on me; but made me very very uncomfortable and out of sorts.




It is fun to hypothesize though. I imagine the boat and its occupants out pleasure cruising only to return to a destroyed Tenerife and then, not unlike the father and son, setting course for more hospitable land.

The odd part about this scene is that it would appear that the father is the first person to scavenge the boat's contents. If there were survivors from the boat, why wouldn't they have hoarded their supplies?

The description of the bedding and the way it's situated to counteract the boat's tilt suggests someone was on the boat, in its present location, prior to the father's arrival.




I agree there are a lot of convenient occurences in the novel..which can only be explained with divine intervention which is the interpretation of the trinity etc. and the boy being divine in some way. Yes, it does seem odd with all of the cannibals and scavengers around that the boat wasn't already empty (another convenient situation). Maybe divine intervention or what you suspected or the currents tilted it, etc..who really knows what happened to the occupants. The whole novel contributes to a series of wonderful questions and discussions however despite the vagueness in the details.

For instance, with the distinct clues that McCarthy gave as to what they were seeing on the road...you would have thought they were starting out or were in the Chattanooga/Lookout Mountain/Rock City location but the description of the father's home and the bridge description led you to think otherwise. The father specifically mentioned the mountains (I thought Smokey and that he had reached the Gap (which one) and that they were going south and should continue going south as they had been.

Also why then were they traveling east; when the father said they were traveling south..There are lot of inconsistencies and maybe McCarthy really did not want to deal with all of the actual details..he just wanted to tell a story of the journey. He may have when he wrote the novel never expected such a flurry of discussion or that Oprah would select his novel as her book club choice.

With all of the folks who may have been on the boat, I am fascinated by the section on the sextant.




There's definitely something to the sextant section. It's described as "the first thing he'd seen in a long time that stirred him". I wonder why? What's so moving about it?
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PaulFrancis
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Re: Later Reading: The Sailboat

To PaulH May want to mark this as a spoiler

I'd look to symbolism again. A sextant is used to help navigators stay on course by looking at the heavens. But now it was useless until the skys cleared of dust. The father was helping his son "find his way" in the world, but was soon to lose this capability upon his death. Maybe the father felt he had become the sextant for his son. Also, the sextant could once again become useful if his son survived long enough. He later ponders the possibility that people might be alive across the ocean.

Since he seemed to know how to operate the device another possibility is that he used to sail, and perhaps it simply brought back memories of those days.

There appear to be many references to the sky and heavens in the journey. The father believes the sun, planets and stars are still in the sky, they just cannot be seen.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Later Reading: The Sailboat



PaulFrancis wrote:
To PaulH May want to mark this as a spoiler

I'd look to symbolism again. A sextant is used to help navigators stay on course by looking at the heavens. But now it was useless until the skys cleared of dust. The father was helping his son "find his way" in the world, but was soon to lose this capability upon his death. Maybe the father felt he had become the sextant for his son. Also, the sextant could once again become useful if his son survived long enough. He later ponders the possibility that people might be alive across the ocean.

Since he seemed to know how to operate the device another possibility is that he used to sail, and perhaps it simply brought back memories of those days.

There appear to be many references to the sky and heavens in the journey. The father believes the sun, planets and stars are still in the sky, they just cannot be seen.




I like your comparison of the man to the sextant. Maybe his reverent handling of it, and eventually returning it to its original locale, symbolically foreshadows his own death. Both the sextant and the man are done as guiding instruments.
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vivico1
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Re: Later Reading: The Sailboat

...and maybe the sextant is beautiful, just because they are beautiful instruments, and this one tho dull, still had its brass look, something in itself would be beautiful in this now colorless world. I think it moved him because it was as he said, still in perfect shape and reminded him of happier times when he may have used just such an instrument to view the stars, that now could not even been seen. I dont see something ethereal in everything in the book. I often find that things of the past long gone, help take us out of the survival mode of the book for moments of tender rememberances, which actually make the book that much more emotionally appealing yet hard to handle at times. If everything was about what they were living now, or only the future, you could get desensitized to the emotions of the book of what this journey is all about and the relationships that have to make up for all these memories "little pictures" of a wonderful past now gone.
I live in tornado alley. When a home is destroyed and a family barely survives and is rummaging through the debri, just one picture, torn or water stained will mean the world to the people who find it. This sextant was his picture in the debri and our reminder of the past too. Its poignant.
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: Later Reading: The Sailboat (SPOILER WARNING)

Ah, the bird of hope; hope that things get better, that the man and the boy will survive after all. Hope is a very strong signal and as someone said a turning point in the book. The man does think about his own mortality and now thinks he won't make it. The boy is maturing and doing more things as father watches. I did like the scene with the sextant; it was the only bright object in that bleak world and I think the father had remembrances of better days as he admired it. The sailboat was a blessing to the man and boy as they were about out of food, etc. Maybe this ties in with the name of the boat,"The Bird of Hope".
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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Finns_dad
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Re: Later Reading: The Sailboat (SPOILER WARNING)

I think that the crew of the boat was probably lost in the apocalypse and the boat broke its moorings and set off by itself, as previous posters have mentioned, they would have presumably have taken their supplies with them if they had willingly left the boat, if they had been over-run by pirates the boat would have been gutted and if they had abandoned ship, they would have required their rubber raft, which the father spent a few paragraphs finding. A couple of inferences might also be gained from this section of the book.
1) The source of the boat, self sufficent island chain on the other side of the atlantic. This leads us to believe that the scope of the disaster is indeed global, and even one of those places one might expect to fare better is also devastated.
2) The actual boat itself, one might expect that if news of a forthcoming disaster was to reach us, if we had the money or wherwithal, one of the best options would be to set sail on a well appointed sail boat to sail south or into the far oceans safe from the doom to follow. Perhaps that even the fate of these people indicates that there is no safe hiding place from the disaster (same message as the well stocked bunker) perhaps bringing back the biblical element of the apocalypse?
3) Thirdly, one might have thought it might have dawned on the father to take the supplies and the rubber boat and try and set sail for a more hospitable destination to the south, quicker than walking, and they had the provisions and tools to do it, but he doesnt even consider it.

Ho hum. Obviously his impending death was causing him to take leave of his faculites.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Later Reading: The Sailboat (SPOILER WARNING)

Also, his impending death may have steered him clear of actually sailing the boat, as the young boy probably wouldn't have the knowledge to sail the boat alone. And, the father may not have a clue how to sail either.




Finns_dad wrote:
I think that the crew of the boat was probably lost in the apocalypse and the boat broke its moorings and set off by itself, as previous posters have mentioned, they would have presumably have taken their supplies with them if they had willingly left the boat, if they had been over-run by pirates the boat would have been gutted and if they had abandoned ship, they would have required their rubber raft, which the father spent a few paragraphs finding. A couple of inferences might also be gained from this section of the book.
1) The source of the boat, self sufficent island chain on the other side of the atlantic. This leads us to believe that the scope of the disaster is indeed global, and even one of those places one might expect to fare better is also devastated.
2) The actual boat itself, one might expect that if news of a forthcoming disaster was to reach us, if we had the money or wherwithal, one of the best options would be to set sail on a well appointed sail boat to sail south or into the far oceans safe from the doom to follow. Perhaps that even the fate of these people indicates that there is no safe hiding place from the disaster (same message as the well stocked bunker) perhaps bringing back the biblical element of the apocalypse?
3) Thirdly, one might have thought it might have dawned on the father to take the supplies and the rubber boat and try and set sail for a more hospitable destination to the south, quicker than walking, and they had the provisions and tools to do it, but he doesnt even consider it.

Ho hum. Obviously his impending death was causing him to take leave of his faculites.


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