Faith This is the case with a prophet-like

Faith and Fervor In this scene from The Road (2006) by Cormac McCarthy, the apocalypse survivors express their lack of religious faith. In a dying world, they are left to fend for themselves with only their wits keeping them alive. Thus, years of primitive survival have worn down their belief in anything good or holy. This scene reveals that when faced with suffering, people lose their faith in God, which demonstrates how one’s sense of purpose and direction is reflective of the hardships encountered during their lifetime. Without the influence of religion, people are left to develop their own moral compass. The survivors no longer believe in God, therefore they have lost the one source distinguishing the right and wrong in their lives. Papa explains that on “this road” there are “no godspoke men” (McCarthy 32).  The latter represents the individuals who followed and spread the word of God before the apocalypse. With their death, the survivors have lost divine inspiration and, as a result, are left to develop their own ethical standards. Referring to the godspoke men, Papa says that “they are gone” and have “taken with them the world.” The post-apocalyptic earth is desolate, and the survivors live in religious ambiguity. With no spiritual leaders or belief system, it is up to each individual to decide what makes their life worth living. Consequently, they must decide whether to follow the moral guidelines of their past, or leave such aspects of their life behind. In the novel, the universal idea of life is portrayed through the “road.” By saying that there are no godspoke men on “this road”, Papa is describing the differences in life before and after the apocalypse. The suffering inflicted upon the survivors has altered their perspective of God. For this reason, they no longer live through religious faith, but rather establish their own set of moral codes.People lose hope without a higher power to look to for guidance. This is the case with a prophet-like figure named Ely, who Papa and the boy meet in the middle of the novel. Ely declares that “where men can’t live gods fare no better” (McCarthy 172). For instance, he adopts a pessimistic attitude, saying that it is “better to be alone.” The old man’s cynical language suggests that he has lost all belief in divine intervention. In other words, Ely says that it is a person’s inner faith that enables the gods’ survival. The gods may live only as long as humans remain moral and good. As they live on the remnants of civilization, the survivors struggle to find a purpose for their existence on earth. Ely says that “to be on the road with the last gods would be a terrible thing.” Thus, the old man addresses the dilemma faced by many survivors: whether death would be better than continuing to live in such an abysmal state. He believes that it is useless to live in the false hope that their situation will improve. Ely believes that as long as one is hopeful for divine salvation, their suffering will never cease. Ultimately, the survivors’ religious fervor parallels the hope they have for the future.As can be seen, suffering and hardship poses a threat to one’s faith in God. Such calamity may affect an individual’s will to live, and it is up to each person to find a purpose and direction in their life. In times of religious ambiguity, one must develop their own moral standards and find hope in a world without God.