Research Article

Experimental Narrative Structure and the Advent of New Humanism in Cormac McCarthy's The Road


  • Abdalhadi Nimer Abdalqader Abu Jweid Assistant Professor of English Literature, Faculty of Educational Sciences and Arts, UNRWA, Jordan
  • Omar Abdullah Al-HajEid Assistant Professor of Linguistics, Faculty of Educational Sciences and Arts, UNRWA, Jordan


This paper attempts to study the experimental narrative structure to explore postmodern new humanism in Cormac McCarthy's The Road. The study focuses on three inextricable narrative elements: the characters, narrative descriptions, and the novel's spatial setting. It will demonstrate how McCarthy's uses postmodern narrative experimentation to accentuate the necessity of halting the danger lurking behind the sustainable safety of the natural environment. Therefore, the study first examines the nameless characters of the novels as an exemplification of people who are devoid of their identity and sense of belonging due to natural catastrophes. Second, it identifies the narrative descriptions of the devastated environment ensuing gigantic disasters that obliterate the vast majority of the human civilisation. Third, it looks into the conditions of the remaining survivors as the embodiment of the remains of the human civilisation, and these survivors will be explored as the literary paradigm of new humanism living in a post-apocalyptic society leading a new primitive life from scratch. In this sense, the study gaps lie in exploring such new humanism as an archetype of postmodern civilisation surviving the destructive events and their related ethical dilemmas. As such, the study applies a qualitative methodology by following a textual analysis of the novel's characters, narrative descriptions, and spatial setting. Here, narratology will be applied as the theoretical background for interpreting these elements with regard to the post-apocalypse and its new humanistic insights. Thus, the study's main results are the exploration of the novel's apocalyptic events as narrative paradigms of new humanism and McCarthy's use of postmodern experimental narrative structure.

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

4 (12)





How to Cite

Abu Jweid, A. N. A., & Al-HajEid, O. A. (2021). Experimental Narrative Structure and the Advent of New Humanism in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 4(12), 99–107.



Environment, Experimentation, McCarthy, Narratology, New Humanism, Post-apocalypse, Post-modernism