Cormac McCarthy's second book in The Border Trilogy offers an impressive array of worldviews all competing together in the larger narrative framework of the novel. These are not only expressed through the life of the protagonist Billy Parham and his brother Boyd, but also in the narratives of the many people they encounter on their horseback journeys through the hot desert sands of Mexico. Critic Robert L. Jarrett, associate professor of English at the University of Houston-Downtown, suggests the same in Cormac McCarthy, noting that "Despite the claims of the ex-priest [in The Crossing] that all men's tales are one, such visions or tales are individual, highly particularized, hence the necessity for the interpolated tales, each containing a unique vision of the world" (147). He goes on to suggest that "The McCarthy novel is not only stylistically divided in its narration and in its inclusion of regional and professional dialects, but it is also divided among contradictory ideological, philosophical, and ethical visions that resist easy integration into a unified ideology by readers or critics" (Jarrett, 147). In my own reading of The Crossing, however, I propose that a compelling case can be built for an overarching view of existentialism-if not its marriage to the dark-skinned nihilism-under the watchful and perhaps complacent eye of God as the Unknowable, Impersonal Absolute: the "wholly" Other.
The minute the word nihilism is introduced into the topic of discussion, visions of actively participating in the tearing down of creeds and the intentional destruction of all moral, philosophical, and religious values present themselves to the mind. Nihilism to many ...
... middle of paper ...
...pp. 31-41. DISCovering Authors. Gale Group, 1999. Reproduced in Discovering Collection. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale Group. October, 2001. Accessed: July 27, 2003. http://www.galenet.com/servlet/DC/.
Jarrett, Robert L. Cormac McCarthy. New York: Twain Publishers, 1997.
McCarthy, Cormac. The Crossing. New York, Knopf: 1994.
Pratt, Alan. "Nihilism." The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Accessed: July 27, 2003. http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/n/nihilism.htm.
Priola, Marty. "The Textual McCarthy I: 'Christian' readings of the novels." The Cormac McCarthy Home Pages. Accessed: July 27, 2003. http://www.cormacmccarthy.com/archives/textual.htm. (Note: Link no longer valid as of January 06, 2004.)
Wyatt, Christopher Scott. "Existentialism: An Introduction." Christopher Scott Wyatt. Accessed: July 27, 2003. http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist/exist.html.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Regarding the literary successes of The Road and No Country for Old Men and the research of various critical essays about the author, Cormac McCarthy, it is evident that McCarthy’s barren outlook of humanity and his blunt, economic use of words and scarcity of punctuation are the most notable aspects regarding the success of his novels. McCarthy’s position is primarily influenced by the historical and social concerns of his time. His unique form, lack of punctuation and his simplistic use of grammar and rhetoric all hold a significant role.... [tags: Cormac McCarthy Research Paper]
2511 words (7.2 pages)
- A father and a son survives a cataclysmic event; the destruction of the world. They become homeless scavengers, hunting for food, looking for shelter, and following the one and only road to the coast where there might be a sign of hope. Cormac McCarthy tells us a post-apocalyptic epic. This breathtaking novel is a love story of a father and a son, which also depicts the human nature and how people can react in desperate times. The world is covered in ash. Even the sea turned grey. It’s a dull, freezing, bleak, ashen-skied wasteland in which human beings are trying to survive.... [tags: Cormac McCarthy, Road, ]
614 words (1.8 pages)
- Imagine being alone in a dark and gloomy world, trying to survive in a place with no food, no shelter and cannibals waiting for you to cross their paths. Cormac McCarthy confronts these fears in his novel, The Road. Released in September 26, 2006, this novel has been opening reader’s eyes to the reality of survival. An unexplained catastrophe has reduced the world to burnt, sparse land, home to few humans, dogs, and burnt plants. Ash and toxic particles fill the air, never letting the sun fully shine through.... [tags: Road, Cormac McCarthy, fear, ]
950 words (2.7 pages)
- Repetition, Diction, and Simile in Cormac McCarthy’s The Crossing In Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Crossing, there is a dramatic sequence described by the narrator. The author uses many different techniques to convey the impact of the experience on the narrator. Some of these such techniques are: repetition, diction, and simile. Of the aforementioned techniques, the most obvious is repetition. The author uses the word “and” a total of thirty-three times. However, the simple usage of the word is not what is to be noticed. It is the placement of the word that is interesting. In sentences in which there is mention of the wolf, the word “and” is used twen... [tags: Cormac McCarthy Crossing Essays]
644 words (1.8 pages)
- Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses In All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy reveals the limitations of a romantic ideology in the real world. Through his protagonist, John Grady Cole, the author offers three main examples of a man’s attempt to live a romantic life in the face of hostile reality: a failed relationship with an unattainable woman; a romantic and outdated relationship with nature; and an idealistic decision to live as an old-fashioned cowboy in an increasingly modern world. In his compassionate description of John Grady, McCarthy seems to endorse these romantic ideals.... [tags: All Pretty Horses Cormac McCarthy Essays]
1407 words (4 pages)
- Development of Character in Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses In a journey across the vast untamed country of Mexico, Cormac McCarthy introduces All the Pretty Horses, a bittersweet and profoundly moving tale of love, hate, disappointments, joy, and redemption. John Grady sets out on horseback to Mexico with his best friend Lacey Rawlins in search of the cowboy lifestyle. His journey leaves John wiser but saddened, yet out of this heartbreak comes the resilience of a man who has claimed his place in the world as a true cowboy.... [tags: Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses]
1358 words (3.9 pages)
- Suffering in Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses In All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy tells the tale of John Grady Cole’s quest to capture the ideal qualities of a cowboy as he sees them: laid-back, unfettered, nomadic and carefree attitudes. These qualities soon clash, however, with the reality of darkness, suffering and mystery that seems to follow him. Reality constantly subverts his ideal dream. Time and time again, John Grady Cole works to be this fantasy, but through reality’s constant rejection of his fantasy, he lives the dream.... [tags: Cormac McCarthy Pretty Horses Essays]
1402 words (4 pages)
- The Role of Dreams in Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses Works Cited Missing Cormac McCarthy All the Pretty Horses depicts the American romanticized view of the west. John Grady, emerging from a dilapidated family ventures out on a journey in pursuit of his dream of the cowboy lifestyle. Through out the novel there is a constant tension between John Grady destiny or fate and the nature of his dreams. Dreams keep the dreamer from reality and because they are unreal, they paralyze the dreamer’s reality.... [tags: Cormac McCarthy All Pretty Horses]
1665 words (4.8 pages)
- ... Kiss him. Quickly. (172.1 The Road, Cormac McCarthy). This quote explains how he wants to save his son from all the things that can harm him that is more dangerous than death. McCarthy’s language emphasizes how the father is trying to protect the son from all the odd things that are coming on the road. Existentialism Is a philosophical application that has been used to describe how the father supports the son with immense love and support not because of anything else but just because of the selfless relationship they share between themselves.... [tags: darkness, inhumanity, struggle]
2356 words (6.7 pages)
- Flight in Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses In an enticingly realistic novel, contemporary western writer Cormac McCarthy tells the coming-of-age story of a young John Grady Cole whose life begins and, in a sense, ends in rustic San Angelo. Page by page, McCarthy sends his protagonist character creation on a Mexican adventure, complete with barriers, brawls, and beauties. The events which bring about John Grady’s adventure and the reasons behind his decision to flight familiarity are the most intriguing aspects of the novel.... [tags: McCarthy All Pretty Horses Essays]
1841 words (5.3 pages)