“Hang on to the words”: The Scarcity of Language in McCarthy’s The Road and Atwood’s Oryx and Crake


The consideration of scarcity as it is represented in literary texts can show us that the distinction of world and language is less stable than it might appear at first sight. Analyzing the scenarios of the future in two recent novels, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, this essay explores how scarcity could be understood as a far more comprehensive issue, which can include language and memory. It also examines how scarcity is aesthetically represented in both texts: What are the different rhetorical and narrative techniques used to deal with the phenomenon of scarcity?

DOI: doi.org/10.5282/rcc/7149