War, Religion and Dance in Blood Meridian
In the novel Blood Meridian, written by Cormac McCarthy in 1985. McCarthy’s shows how he has gone through research on the history of the West before writing this book. McCarthy illustrates how gruesome the expansion to the west was. McCarthy describes a lawless group of men in the West as lesser people because of there ruthlessness on the landscape. McCarthy has recurring theme or war, religion and dance to show the life in the West.
Blood Meridian takes place in Tennessee where a runaway teenage boy who doesn’t have a name whos called “the kid” runs to New orleans where he fights and meets Judge Holden a mysterious violent man. This is where the theme of war plays a role in the novel. Holden and Glanton are leaders of their gang. They contorl their pack of nomadic criminals who rob, rape, torture, and kill across the borderlands between the United States and Mexico. McCarthy explores the era after the Mexican-American War. During this time, vigilante, mercenary gangs patrolled the Mexican/American border in pursuit of Apache Indians whose existence threatened the introduction of Western civilization. The novel has been celebrated for its historical accuracy as well as McCarthy’s literary style, which is evident in the densely poetic yet matter-of-fact language, the characters who straddle both gritty reality and familiar archetype, and its pervasively bleak and violent atmosphere. Blood Meridian is a tragic procession of bloody violent acts, from barroom brawls to great and terrible massacres on the plains; even the landscapes of the novel is indifferent forming traverse of life in them. Since McCarthy didn’t just stick to one theme in this book it expresses how he it’s a good author and how he does deserve to be on the best author list. Not only does he change the theme but in his books he puts in thought and research so there’s no missing parts. For example the theme of war wasn’t just about how McCarthy thought of war it’s about real life warriors felt.
McCarthy deconstructs the novel so readers are able to view how a dark move to the west was. By doing this it shows how culture was affected which caused different thoughts on American westward expansion because of the dark elements McCarthy uses in this novel. All of McCarthy’s books relate back to religion in belief of god. In the book Blood Meridian MaCarthy constantly asks where there a god watching them or not and if there is does he act upon the humans that are suffering. In Blood Meridian the character known as “the kid” is sleeping in a church causing them to show how no one cares to help others to express how christanity is starting to die off. In Blood Meridian, violence and hatred is expressed in the world, which shows there’s no way God could exist. If there was such a thing of “God” then the book would have a different theme. But seeing there isn’t a great outcome there is no God because of the way nonone cared about one another or their problems. For example in the beginning of the novel a Judge enters a tent at Reverend Green where there is Christian revival, causing him to slander the Reverend and quickly converts religions, However, the Judge acknowledges that there are “strange affinities” between priests and warriors, the novel connectects them by religion and war. Throughout the novel, an ironic comparison is implied between the rebirth of a soul into God through baptism with the rebirth of a warrior through the shedding of blood. This theme also helps the case on why McCarthy should be on the best authors list because he has facts it’s not opinion based. McCarthy reverses back to real time eras not just what’s happening in the moment of time.
Dance is another theme expresses thought the novel. The judge took a big role in dance becoming a theme. For example the Judge tells “the kid” in Fort Griffin to dance the ritual. This was to express how it is strictly ordered to participate in a role of personal despair. Judges characterizes warfare, as a deadly dance of fate and wills. In the novel it states ‘They must sleep, however I must dance.’ These lines are crucial to this theme because it shows how dancing also played a role. The Judge explains to “the Kid” only a true dancer who has seen war and horror will be able to dance. This shows how people did not dance unless they were apart of a fight. After awhile of dancing people started to leave first went the gangs then “the Kid”, and finally the last person dancing the Judge. The world of Blood Meridian has come to supplant the rituals of Christian worship causing many different types of dance to take place for example the black Jackson dance, the scalp hunters dance, and even the idiot dance were all dances that accommodated everyone because there was a different personality for the dances.
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