After reading The Road, determine an aspect of the novel that interests you. For example, you might be interested in the father-son relationship, the boy’s cognitive development, the father’s motivation, or any number of other aspects. Then, find a theory that will help you to explain that aspect of the novel. A theory is a set of principles that has been tested, is widely accepted, and is used to explain or analyze something. You could use a theory from psychology, philosophy, sociology, theology, or even physics. For instance, an analysis of the father-son relationship could be conducted using Baumrind, Macoby, and Martin’s parenting theory, or an analysis of the power structure depicted in the novel could be conducted using a concept from sociological theory. You’re looking for a specific theory (not making up your own theory), something more than a cliché like “safety in numbers” or “love conquers all.” Ultimately, the theory will help you to develop your thesis.