Blood Meridian Essay

1153 WordsDec 6, 20075 Pages
In Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy describes a lawless and godless group of men ordained to cleanse the West of lesser people. This group wanders through the West leaving a trail of slaughtered people in their trail. The emptiness and ruthlessness of their hearts is reflected in the harsh and unforgiving landscape. McCarthy uses reoccurring themes of war, religion, and dance to paint a graphic picture of the savageness of life in the West. As men ordained on a mission, Glanton's Gang is paid to seek out the scalps of Apaches and return them to the Mexican town of Chihuahua City. The gang quickly moves beyond the killing of Indians to include Mexicans, Americans, and whoever else crosses their path. The men are killing on their own…show more content…
Whatever Holden judges, it is not written law. It is an unwritten law, the law of death and evil. Judge Holden represents a demonic character, larger than life, with a cruel soul. The Imbecile, James Robert, exemplifies the Judge's god-like power. Once the Judge rescues James from drowning and after a sort of mock baptism, the once wild man becomes docile and shadows the Judge's every movement. Judge Holden leading the imbecile around on a leash is similar to a king being followed by his fool. The imbecile is another creature the Judge controls by allowing to exist. One reason he allows the imbecile to live, while killing so many others, may be as a way to show his superiority to Glanton. While Glanton has a mere dog as a pet, the Judge has an actual human as a pet. Another example of Judge Holden's god-like behavior occurs as he is pursuing the Kid and Tobin. Throughout the novel, whenever the Judge set out to accomplish a task, he succeeds. While the Kid is drinking water in the bone filled ravine, the Judge shoots at the Kid and misses. The Judge is an excellent marksman and has a clear shot. However, at this point, he allows the Kid to live. Instead of shooting to kill, the Judge's shot serves as a way to control the Kid; to maintain his suzerainty over the weakest member of the group. Judge Holden controls through destruction and pure evil, only he perseveres and triumphs, while others fail, including the Kid.
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