Narie Jung
Pages 95-106


Cormac McCarthy’s The Road demonstrates the centrality of individualism to the unsustainability that defines consumer culture in the Anthropocene. His representation of cannibalism not only reflects the main problems of consumer culture but also sheds light on individualism as its driving force. While the cannibalistic world of The Road presents a struggle of individuals for autonomy, the novel’s unnamed boy protagonist shows that empathy can be a viable solution for that struggle. The novel suggests that making consumer culture sustainable means recognizing the violence of individualism and the significance of empathetic consciousness simultaneously. To exit the highway that leads to unsustainability means taking the road of empathy, for only this will potentially lead to sustainability in the Anthropocene.