As in almost every post-apocalyptic world, hope plays a large role in the story. In Cormack McCarthey's, The Road, it is shown that in times of desperation, people often view hope in different perspectives. The boy sees "carrying the fire" as the good in humanity. However, the father views his son's future life as a symbol for hope in civilization. The author uses these two characters' journey to demonstrate that even in dire situations, there is hope to be had.
The boy sees "carrying the fire" as his hope for the future. When the boy is first introduced to the idea of "carrying the fire", he immediately interpreted it as good guys v.s bad guys. Good guys carry it, bad guys do not. This shows that he directly links it to the good in people and even further, the good in humanity as a whole. We see this when he asks his father, "nothing bad is going to happen to us", "because we're carrying the fire" (McCarthey 83). He really believes in what his father told him and now connects it to most situations. The whole concept of "carrying the fire" is probably the best portrayed in his life. He is very young and still has a long time to live and must carry on the flame of humanity and hope for the future world. The main idea of the concept is that the good in humanity carries on, even in the post apocalyptic world that they live in. Towards the end of the novel, as the father is slowly dying of sickness, the boy tells him, "I want to be with you". The father responds, "you can't", "you must carry the fire" (McCarthey 278). This shows that the concept of "carrying the fire" is not just important to the boy, but the father as well. Even when encountered by another family at the last section of the story, the most important question he asks the father is if they're "carrying the fire". To sum up, the boy views his hope in something that is important to him and helps him see hope in a different perspective.