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I djurens ställe: En undersökning av kannibalismens roll och tematisering i Cormac McCarthys The Road
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
In Place of the Animals : A study of the role and thematisation of cannibalism in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (English)
Abstract [en]

In this essay I’m exploring the novel The Road (2006) by the American author Cormac McCarthy. My main subject of interest is the thematic presence of consumption in general and meat consumption in particular in the text, and how this theme takes on an extreme form in the described and implied acts of cannibalism. Throughout the history of the Western World cannibalistic acts have been most commonly condemned and the cannibal has been, in a wide range of discourses, a cultural symbol of opposition to the idea of – and identification with – the ”civilized (Western) self”. Within the frames of popular culture cannibalism is generally portrayed along these lines as an expression of primitivism, animalistic behavior, depravity and monstrosity. As a reader of The Road, one may classify this story as a part of this tradition in its depiction of cannibalism. However, my goal is to illustrate how the subject can be viewed in a more diverse way, which potentially leads the reader to recognize the cannibal: Not in the form of the Other but as a part of the Self; not as a telling agent of evil times but as a critical mirror image of our own. I do this by shedding light on how cannibalism can be said to connect with other discourses throughout McCarthy’s text: Meat consumption as mentioned earlier is one of them and by following that trail my reasoning also comes to include industrialized meat and cultural consumerism. The conclusion of this essay is that the occurring cannibalism in The Road can be, and in my opinion should be, read as criticism of our contemporary society and its exploitive relationship to animals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 75 p.
Keyword [en]
McCarthy, The Road, cannibalism, meat consumption, industrialized meat, animals, consumerism
Keyword [sv]
McCarthy, The Road, Vägen, kannibalism, köttkonsumtion, industrialiserat kött, djur, konsumism
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-30509OAI: diva2:943463
Subject / course
Comparative Literature
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2016-06-28 Created: 2016-06-27 Last updated: 2016-06-28Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

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