The Thief Incident

In the thief incident in The Road, the father and son who are traveling Post-Apocalyptic America have their shoping cart, which is filled with supplies of all kinds, stolen from them while they are walking on the beach. Just before this happens, the father has gotten all sorts of supplies out of a boat, and so they are in a good mood. Also, they found a flare gun, which they shot off as a kind of celebration, although at first the father was reluctant to do this because he thought it would attract people whose intentions were not good.
Once they find the thief, the father and son react in very different ways. The father is furious, as the thief steals everything, even their shoes, which are essential in the world theyre living in. This act has pretty much sentenced them to die. However, the thing the father is most upset about is probably that he let down his guard and allowed this to happen, when he really should know better. He is not so much worried about his own life, as by this point he knows he is really sick and will die soon. He is just angry because the boy is now probably going to starve and die. The son, on the other hand, is more shocked than angry. He pleads with his father not to kill the thief when they do find him, and that is the only reason he is let go. This shows how much more innocent and essentially good he is than the father.
The father-son relationship that has until now been trusting and very honest becomes a little strained. Although the father says he wasnt planning on killing the thief, the boy does not really believe him. As he notes, by taking everything from him, including his clothes, they have basically killed him anyway.