Neither in the air, nor on the road
Imagine you’re packing a backpack. Put everything you own in there. Everything. Start with small things, then throw in bigger ones, ending with car and house. How heavy will it be? That’s how much your possessions weigh you down. Let go. Learn to live without possessions. And you will be free.
That’s what the protagonist of Up in the Air says. He accumulates only one thing — frequent flyer points. And at the end, he lets go of even that.
The protagonist in The Road doesn’t have much. Everything he has is in his shopping trolley. And yet, he is not free in any sense of the word. For all its faults, modern capitalist society, with its material conforts, is worth preserving.
But it’s more complicated.
The protagonist in the Air says relationships are like possessions, let go and you will be free. He says, company is overrated —- when the time comes, everyone dies alone. And yet, he tries to find company, and isn’t happy when he fails. The man on the Road has no one but his boy, and he doesn’t die alone.
I don’t want to be either in the air or on the road.