Analysis of Blood Meridian, Or, The Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy

Title: Blood Meridian, Or, The Evening Redness in the West

Author: Cormac McCarthy

Context: Blood Meredian (1985) is a post colonial novel by Cormac McCarthy. The novel focuses upon a kid.  Chapters in the novel are thematically introduced similar to the way a list of occurrences is introduced in an old narrative about the Kid’s travel. The novel turns into more than a historical novel.

Synopsis: After the U.S.-Mexico War of 1846 the Kid a fourteen-year-old Tennesseean who travels through Mexico and Texas as part of a voyage. However his travel proves to be a long wandering voyage inflicted by limitless and unimaginable violence. The Kid stumbles into a world that is nightmarish, with Indians being murdered and markets thriving for their scalps. This violence is exclusive to no specific race be it Mexican, Indians, indigenous, white or North American.

The prose of this novel is an achievement for the author which has been compared the near-biblical style found in Faulkner and Melville.

To help in imagining the squalid exchanges between the people who appear ghost cipher like on the horizons on the desert and the amoral scalp hunters gang, the author learns Spanish, especially for this novel.

A nefarious and nameless judge is also introduced as one of the devil-incarnate characters, in Blood Meridian. This judge with equally limitless evil and wisdom with great calm preaches chains of dictums including. ‘Your heart’s desire is to be told some mystery.  The mystery is that there is no mystery’ while he holds the great femur of a long extinct beast. In other words the negative side of the narrative of manifest destiny in America is sinisterly reminded by this judge.

This novel of moral corruption and violence that attended the westward expansion of America destabilizes mythology of the wild-west and the conventions of the Western novel in the most brilliant way.

Other works by the Author:

1965 – The Orchard Keeper

1968 – Outer Dark

1973 – Child of God

1979 – Suttree

1992 – All the Pretty Horses

1994 – The Crossing

1998 – Cities of the Plain

2005 – No Country for Old Men

2006 – The Road

2006 – The Sunset Limited

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