"The Road," by Cormac McCarthy is a novel that addresses the fundamental rights of man and what it means to be human. So what is McCarthy trying to relay to his readers about the quality of being humane and the kindness and benevolence that human beings acquire? This novel tells a story about survival, and the constant fight between staying alive and maintaining a certain morality of a "good guy"." .
In the novel, the father tells his son that it is their job to "carry the fire"." The "fire" that the father passes on to his son to keep burning surely can be said to refer to hope in humanity, which is a hope that never dies throughout this excellent novel. It is interesting too that at various stages it is the boy that keeps his father from turning savage like the humans around them. It is his love and belief in others that prevents his father from losing his humanity. Thus I think another important message is how love and relationships keep us human and prevent us giving in to our darker, more savage and evil sides. In "The Road," being a "good guy"" is putting yourself before others, and maintaining your morals even in times of trouble. McCarthy provides his readers with a new point of view on humanity, and what it means to hold kindness in your heart during a difficult post-apocalyptic time of survival.
Jump back to present day. What does it mean to be the good in humanity in our society? Essentially you could say that no matter what time period, past present or future, the essence of humanity has yet to change. In a way, this statement is correct. "Carrying the fire" should be a series of selfless actions performed with the hope of being the change you wish to see in the world. Being humane is a lot of simple actions as well, such as putting others before yourself, providing for your community, and helping others in need.
There are many similarities and differences in what it means to be human in the context of the reality of "The Road" and our present day reality.