The True Wild West: A Violent, Godless Wasteland Essay

The True Wild West: A Violent, Godless Wasteland Essay

Length: 1693 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The True Wild West: A Violent, Godless Wasteland
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...


... middle of paper ...


...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.


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Daisy Buchanan: the True Inhabitant of the Wasteland in "The Great Gatsby"

- Daisy it the true inhabitant of the wasteland because of the fact that even though she’s being betrayed by her husband and has been throughout their entire marriage she still stays with Tom even though Daisy has another man, Gatsby, that truly loves her and would be loyal to Daisy. The only reason why she doesn’t go to Gatsby is because Daisy wants to keep her social standing with “old money” even though Daisy might be unhappy having the last name of Buchanan and having the old money that comes with that last name means more to Daisy then being happy with Gatsby even though he has “New money”....   [tags: Daisy Buchanan, wasteland, Great Gatsby, Fitzgeral]

Powerful Essays
577 words (1.6 pages)

True West By Sam Shepard Essay

- The play True West, written by Sam Shepard in the 1980’s, is a play about sibling rivalry between two alienated brothers who are believed to be complete opposites. The play takes on a rather comical sense as the viewer sits through the antics of the two brothers, much like a sitcom. Nonetheless, the characters seem to have more depth, and this can be picked up when the viewer is able to read the play for themselves. Austin, the younger brother, is a screenwriter trying to make his name in Hollywood....   [tags: Sibling, Family]

Powerful Essays
1225 words (3.5 pages)

T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland Essay

- T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland Cooperation is the key to human survival, and over time humans have been known to group together to survive. This strategy has allowed humans to develop massive cities and countries of immense power. Without the natural instinct to cling to one another, humans would not be as advanced as they are today, and may not have even made it out of the caves. Many authors display our natural instinct to cooperate in their works, allowing the characters to become more real to the readers....   [tags: Eliot Wasteland Survival Essays]

Powerful Essays
1291 words (3.7 pages)

T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland Essay

- T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland Traditionally, authors begin their compositions at the beginning and then proceed to an end, creating a logical flow of information towards a conclusion. T.S. Eliot threw most traditional form out the window as he composed The Waste Land. The voice changes, the structure varies, his allusions are elusive, and the first section of the poem is entitled “The Burial of The Dead.” This of course does not speak to a beginning, but to the conclusion of what could be one or many lives....   [tags: Eliot Wasteland Essays]

Powerful Essays
1272 words (3.6 pages)

Gang Culture in the West Essay

- ... Which isn't necessarily true concerning a lot of other gangs aside from hate groups whose only binding agenda is the hatred of other races. Gang members use hand signs, graffiti, and tattoos to identify with their gang. They use this as a form of communication to show their gang affiliation to other gang members. Gangs have their own signs, signals, colors, and dress code for advertising their presence and marking territory in their town or city. The MS-13 may display the number “13” in different ways to disguise it here in the US....   [tags: violent, initiation, consequences]

Powerful Essays
730 words (2.1 pages)

The West : The True Nature Of People Essay

- The American Western era was a fascinating time in history. Though it is often associated with clashes between cowboys, duels, and ghost towns, this was not the entire reality. The west was a complex and important time in American history. The people and events would shape America into what it has become today. This era, while an important one, is too often exaggerated and falsified. The truth of this era, therefore is lost in translation. In Cather’s My Antonia several aspects of the west are explored, including the true nature of people, the cruelty of nature, and the frequent struggle to survive....   [tags: Native Americans in the United States]

Powerful Essays
738 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Solzhenitsyn's Warning to the West

- ... Why would the US support a horrible dictator like Mao Zedong. To prevent a collaboration of communist superpowers that could overrun the world overnight. And second, The Allies simply had no real proof of the atrocities being committed by Stalin during his reign. Solzhenitsyn does express the evils of his own nation clearly, which becomes eerie when looking through the same lens upon which we see our own nation slipping into. He makes remarks about the soviet government controlling everything....   [tags: how the West should learn from history]

Powerful Essays
695 words (2 pages)

Essay on T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland

- T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland In T.S. Eliot’s most famous poem The Wasteland, a bleak picture of post-war London civilization is illuminated. The inhabitants of Eliot’s wasteland are living in a morally bankrupt and spiritually lost society. Through fragmented narration, Eliot recalls tales of lost love, misplaced lust, forgone spirituality, fruitless pilgrimages, and the “living dead”- those who shuffle through life without a care. These tales are the personal attempts of each person to fulfill the desires which plague them, though none ever stop to consider that what they want may not be what they need, nor do they consider why it is they feel they must do these things....   [tags: T.S. Eliot Wasteland Essays]

Powerful Essays
3279 words (9.4 pages)

the wasteland Essay

- Throughout his presentation of London and its citizens, Eliot creates a tremendous and oppressive sense of inertia and stagnation. He evokes brilliantly both the literal wasteland which World War One left and also the profound spiritual dissatisfaction which many at that time felt, as well as the need for a rebirth or resurrection. The first words of this section; ‘Unreal City’ convey perfectly the sense of awe and even dread with which Eliot views London life. There is something incredibly intense and surreal about this opening, which leads fittingly on to images of hell, war and dissatisfaction....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
728 words (2.1 pages)

The American West Essay

- The story of the American West is still being told today even though most of historic events of the Wild West happened over more than a century ago. In movies, novels, television, and more ways stories of the old west are still being retold, reenacted, and replayed to relive the events of the once so wild and untamed land of the west that so many now fantasize about. After reading about the old west and watching early westerns it is amazing how much Hollywood still glorifies the history and myth of the old west....   [tags: US History West Western]

Free Essays
1215 words (3.5 pages)