Point: Identify rhetorical elements and introduce the effect on the reader
Explanation/Analysis: Pull out ideas about how the style of the quote is connected to the theme of the entire novel
McCarthy’s asserts that the post-apocalyptic world is both literally and figuratively hell on earth, in which evil threatens to overtake any remaining goodness in the world. He begins literally by vividly describing the entire country as being “looted, ransacked and ravaged. Rifled of every crumb” (McCarthy 129). McCarthy’s precise diction creates the picture of utter destitution, of a barren landscape that has been robbed by circumstance and humanity of its life-sustaining properties. Additionally, McCarthy’s metaphoric comparison of night to “casket black” suggests that the entire world is a tomb. The boy and the man are the occupants, struggling to push open the door of the casket in order to see light, to maintain hope. Finally, in crafting this picture of hell on earth, McCarthy draws the comparison, through simile, that the world is “like a dawn before the battle” (129). The word “battle” implies that the boy and dad must fight everyday to scavenge for scarce resources and to fight off would-be attackers. Yet, more importantly, this day’s battle, like the sun rising at “dawn,” is part of a larger symbolic war in which survival represents a triumph of humanity and perseverance in a world that has become a living hell.