Cormac McCarthy's novel The Road contains at least one heretofore unrecognized likely allusion to Joyce's Ulysses: the father's description of his son as a “firedrake,” which recalls Stephen Dedalus's appellation for a bright celestial body that he (misleadingly) claims appeared in the sky at Shakespeare's birth in the ninth episode of the novel, “Scylla and Charybdis,” an event that his “adopted” father Leopold Bloom attempts to describe in pseudoscientific language in the seventeenth episode of the novel, “Ithaca.” McCarthy has the boy's father use this archaic word, which traditionally has meant “dragon,” to describe his son because he recognizes that his son is a spiritual shooting star and a potential future author who can narrate events morally as did Shakespeare and Joyce and even Stephen himself. Through apprehending his allusion to Joyce's novel, we gain a sense of both the boy's light-filled immanence in a line of sons going back to the original Son, Christ, and his emerging facility with narrative as author-in-the-making.

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