The Dream

As our species has evolved, we have kept many traits, one of which is dreaming. Dreaming has always been an interesting subject of speculation since we do not truly know what it does for us. In the book The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, the author uses the repetition of dreams to show one way in which they may have helped us. An elderly father dreams start off very dark, which this main character believes is a good sign. Once we start dreaming of good things, he says, it signals the end. However, bad dreams mean we’re still fighting. Yet as the story progresses the father’s dreams start getting better, foreshadowing his death. Through a literary Darwinist lens, these evolutionary dreams show the progress of the father’s life. Some theorists believe that dreams help us store new information we receive throughout the day. Some also contend that we use dreams to get rid of undesirable connections and memories allowing us to evolve.   —found poem by Jonathan E. Hawxhurst, excerpted from The Road, by Cormac McCarthy (2006). New York: Vintage, pp. 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 276, 278, 282, 284. The Dream   In the dream The road was empty Barren, silent godless No sign of life   Read me a story Can’t you papa?   In the dream It’s raining They sat huddled together He lit the little lamp   On the far side of the river Trunks of trees charred and limbless Everything covered with ash Looking for anything of color   A burned house in the clearing He climbed the stairs He left the boy standing in the road   In the dream I’m scared No sign of life Would death call you?   What would you do if I die? Dreams of peril Call of languor and of death Lost among the house and days   You can talk to me Can’t you papa?   In the dream The child led him by the hand Looking for anything of color   In the dream His pale bride came to him So rich in color Her smile Her down turned eyes   In the dream We’re alright This has been a long time coming   Are you carrying the fire?   In the dream With the first gray light he rose He left the boy standing in the road There was no waking.  

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