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Analysis of manifest destiny as depicted in Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

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Analysis of manifest destiny as depicted in Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Violence has always been part of society. A cursory glance at the evolutionary periods to the classical ages up to the modern time shows that many breakthroughs were made after violent upheavals to either remedy the wrongs in society or to ensure survival of one group against the other. Such instances include the wars for territory where one group was faced by extinction if they didn’t rise up in arms such as the regular French-Germanic wars. In church wars the argument was warfare was justified when performed in services and defense of the church and the faith and this was further supported by absolution for those who died in the war, (Riley-Smith). However, one of the most germane debates on violence and its justification has to do with manifest destiny. This paper will ground its study of the belief by analyzing the master piece by Cormac McCarthy named Blood Meridian. The argument herein is that manifest destiny is a misguided notion that is exploited for self-aggrandizement by both individuals and states.
The debate over manifest destiny has not at anytime taken place without the issue of place of violence taking the centre stage. Manifest destiny as a belief was propagated by the Democrats in the 1840s and asserted the United State’s expansion over Mexico and the western frontier was apparent and inexorable. As such, the argument posited that there was nothing that could come between this belief and its realization. Though the expansion policy was older, the term manifest destiny was first used in 1845 by John O’Sullivan in a newspaper review, (Adams). The idea was not only expansionist in the territorial sense but in spreading of a world ba...


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Fornieri, Joseph. Lincoln's Reflective Patriotism," Perspectives on Political Science,
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Joshua Masters. Witness to the Uttermost Edge of the World’: Judge Holden’s Textual Enterprise in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian." Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 40.1 25-37. Fall 1998
Riley-Smith, J. The Oxford History of the Crusades New York. Cambridge:
Oxford University Press. (199).
Shaviro, Steven. The Very Life of Darkness’: A Reading of Blood Meridian. Perspectives on
Cormac McCarthy. Edwin T. Arnold and Dianne C. Luce (eds). Jackson: U P of Mississippi. 143-56. 1993
Heidler Jeanne, T. Manifest Destiny. Greenwood Press. 2003.



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