April 23, 2012

Scene: The man and the boy have confronted the thief who had stolen their cart. The man orders the thief to take all his clothes off distressing the boy, who begins to cry. The man forces the boy to leave the thief behind, yelling at him that he is trying to teach him to be strong because he won’t be there for him forever. Later, on the beach, the boy, still upset, tells his father that the thief had only done so, because, “He’s just hungry.” The father reacts angrily, saying, I’m scared. Do you understand? I am scared! You’re not the one who has to worry about everything.” The boy quietly responds, “I am. […] I am the one who has to worry.” This statement causes the father to agree to leave the thief’s clothes and some food behind for him.

This exchange depicts the strife in differentiating wrong from right when under the dire circumstances of a post-apocalyptic world. The man, in these circumstances, is the moral compass for the boy, as he teaches the boy what is right for them as the “good guys” in this world. The man’s actions in dealing with the thief trouble the boy as they go against what he views as the “good guys” would do. This scene, along with others in the film, reveals the boy’s struggle to identify his father as a hero, while still being able to survive in the world of the film. The man’s actions against the thief, who can be clearly defined as a villain, cause the boy to feel as if his father is acting in a villain-like manner. In this scenario, the boy with his moral qualms, becomes the hero in contrast to his father. He reveals the just like his father, he also worries, yet is still able to abide by the principles his father has taught him in order for them both to remain the “good guys.”


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