As defined by Edgar Roberts setting is “the natural, manufactured, political, cultural, and temporal environment including everything that the characters own. Characters may be either helped or hurt by their surroundings and they nay fight about possessions or goals” (Roberts 109). In Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West, this setting is the focal point. Every natural event or decision made by the characters is unique to the wild platform on which it takes place. The setting of the West, including the mindless violence within this setting and the merciless desert that it holds, shapes the story and characters therein on a magnitude so great that the characters have no control over it.
Though it is traditionally thought of as being the Wild West with gun-slinging cowboys and treacherous bandits, this is not an accurate picture of the West. In McCarthy’s West, the just cowboys do not save the day because they do not even exist. The West that seems too terrible to be real was real. McCarthy depicts, with minimal embellishment, the actual life lived out by real men along the Mexican-American border at that time. The violence was real (Sanderson 48). The blood-soaked Southwest of McCarthy was one of the first of its time, creating much controversy. He shows it to be as it truly was, not, as other writers had done before, to show it as the fun cowboy land that it simply was not (Handley 341). It is only treacherous bandits opposing other treacherous bandits, fighting for turf and spilling blood all the while.
Early on the American government dressed up the culture and opportunities that lay in the West to get more westward expansion. The tr...
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...s, Edgar V. Writing about Literature. 11th ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2006. Print.
Sanderson, Jim. "Hell on horses and women: Stillwell, Beasley, Porter, and McCarthy on Texas maleness." Southwestern American Literature 35.2 (2010): 38+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.
Shaviro, Steven. ""The Very Life of the Darkness": A Reading of Blood Meridian." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.
Spurgeon, Sara L. "Foundation of Empire: The Sacred Hunter and the Eucharist of the Wilderness in Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Wegner, John. ""Wars and Rumors of Wars" in Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 11 Apr. 2014.
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