Explain in detail what the phrase “Carrying the Fire,” means in regards to the book.


  1. What did you take away from the ending of the novel? What do you think is the intended take away for the general audience? Is there a difference from what you got to what you think the author intended?

  2. Explain in detail what the phrase “Carrying the Fire,” means in regards to the book.

Sample paper

Question 1

From the ending of the novel, it is easy to tell that the boy’s attitude towards his father and the life, in general, was gradually changing.  He knew that they were living in a dangerous time where every man was for himself yet he wanted his father to help the needy. This is a clear indication that regardless of the situation in life, there is a need to remain positive and share the little is available with those who are worse.  I think the author wanted to show the importance or the need for comradeship, unity, and friendship in the society (Kerouac, Dillon, & Audible, Inc, 2016,). If only the man had a good heart, he would have helped the young man who had stolen from them regardless of his crime. Forgiveness was the key issue in this situation.   There is no great difference between what I got from the novel and what the author intended me to get.

Question 2

Carrying the fire in this scenario indicates the taking up of the mantle from the man whose health was deteriorating.  By carrying the fire, the boy would assume the duties and responsibilities of his father and hence lead him through the remaining part of the journey as well as protect him as he had done throughout the journey (Kerouac, Dillon, & Audible, Inc, 2016,). Despite the differences in ages and characters between the man and the son, the boy was supposed to finish what his father has started in the case he died or was too weak to do anything. Therefore, the boy would become the leader, with the responsibilities of making tough decisions that would largely determine their fate whether they would live or die out of hunger, thirst or attack from the bad people.


Kerouac, J., Dillon, M., & Audible, Inc. (2016). On the road.


Why doesn’t the man ultimately trust the four strangers they see, the three men and the pregnant woman?

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