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Cormac McCarthy has said that the biggest inspiration that he had for The Road came from a trip that he took in 2003 to El Paso with his youngest son where he envisioned what the world would look like in fifty to one hundred years in the future. He saw the hills of El Paso off in the distance burning, a rather extreme view of the future ( This extreme vision is most likely based on the rising public knowledge on climate change and how terrorism was a growing threat to the world. In 1985 the hole in the ozone layer was first discovered, and it was a very big deal. In the years leading up to the writing of this novel environmental protection became a huge deal, but it was not good enough because the hole continued to grow in the ozone ( Climate change became a real concern and in 2003, the year The Road was written, massive heatwaves in Europe confirmed everyone’s fears; 35,000 people died as a result of rising temperatures. In France alone, almost 15,000 people died because of the scorching weather ( This awful and devastating natural disaster is just one effect of climate change that scared the public and was a clear inspiration for the post-apocalyptic world found within McCarthy’s novel where ash is always falling from the sky and buildings everywhere have burned down. Also around this time, the effects of September eleventh were still acting on the American people. They were scared to their core of what the future would hold, some people even reported having a hard time sleeping because they were so shaken by the terrorist attacks ( In 2002 alone there were forty-three major terrorist attacks recorded across the world compared to the nineteen recorded in 2001 ( This fear is also translated quite clearly into almost every aspect the book. What’s funny is that the author himself said in an interview with Oprah that he’s really unsure of any major influences on the book beside his trip to El Paso and how being a father struggling for money at one point forced the worst of the world upon him (

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