The trauma of 9/11 ushered in a new age of male-centered sentimentality. With its focus on a father's sacrificial love for his young son in a postapocalyptic setting, Cormac McCarthy's The Road reflects this shift to male-centered sentimentality. In The Road, McCarthy appropriates the sentimental novel as space for unembarrassed male tenderness by nullifying nation as a structuring force of masculinity, excluding the mother from the plot, and rendering sheltered domesticity as unheimlich. McCarthy's good-guy sentimental thereby undoes an implicitly matriarchal domestic power structure and confers upon the father the affective power traditionally ascribed to feminine or feminized sentimental subjects.
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