Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian Essay

Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian Essay

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In the novel Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy, he illustrates how bloody and gruesome the expansion to the west really was. Deconstruction is defined as “a critique of the hierarchical oppositions that have structured western thought: inside/outside, mind/body, literal/metaphorical, speech/writing, presence/absence, nature/culture, form/meaning” (Culler 126). The author uses deconstruction so that the reader can see how dark the movement to the west was. As previously mentioned, deconstruction of a culture can take place in one’s mind, and by reading this book, the reader’s thoughts on American westward expansion changes because of the dark elements the author uses in his book. McCarthy does this in several ways such as using vivid details about the many battles and fights that happen on the Kid’s journey west, maintaining historical accuracy throughout, and the constant struggle between good and evil.
At the beginning of the novel, McCarthy introduces us to the Kid, who is pale and thin, and his parents. “His folks are known for hewers of wood and drawers of water but in truth his father has been a schoolmaster”, which is a fancy word for teacher (McCarthy 3). His “mother, dead these fourteen years, did incubate in her own bosom the creature who would carry her off” (McCarthy 3). The Kid can neither read nor write and he already has the taste for violence. When he is fourteen he decides to run away and heads west as far as Memphis with no knowledge of what to expect and no real survival skills.
As stated before, the Kid already had a taste for violence, and it is portrayed twice at the beginning of the novel. The first instance is when he runs into a drunken man outside of a bar because the Kid would not get out of the wa...


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... expansion, or the Judge, rolled through and conquered.
The exploration of the west was no walk in the park. There were some bloody and gruesome battles that took place. In Cormac McCarthy’s novel, Blood Meridian, he demonstrates how bloody and gruesome the expansion to the west really was. The author uses the literary theory of Deconstruction to show the reader how dark this era really was. McCarthy demonstrates this by using vivid detail during the fights and battles, while staying historically accurate, with the constant presence between good and evil throughout the novel.




Works Cited

Culler, Jonathan D. Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1997. Print
John Emil Sepich The Southern Literary Journal, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Fall, 1991), pp. 16-31
McCarthy, Cormac. Blood Meridian: In the Evening Redness in the West. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print

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