short chapter... and kinda boring in comparison to the others.
The guard that oversees the prisoners was described as a pervert, but it doesn't explain how so. I'm wondering if the term in this context means the same way we use it today, a person who is sexually unmoral, or "a person who has been perverted, esp. to a religious belief regarded as erroneous" (dictionary.com). I think, as sophisticated as McCarthy seems to be, that the latter of the two definitions would make more sense both because of McCarthy's vocabulary and because there is no reference to Brassteeth doing anything that would label him as our definition would imply.
As I said before, McCarthy is sophisticated in his writing. He is so to the degree that he can describe the copulation of dogs while making it sound completely different. "...two dogs hung together in the street sidle and step." At first...read... you wouldn't imagine two dogs stuck together by their genitalia, perhaps you would imagine two dogs "hanging out" as the term is used today. Then he describes the dogs as "tail to tail" another seemingly innocent position for the dogs to be in.
"All lightly shimmering in the heat, these lifeforms, like wonders much reduced."
I am not sure what the subject of this quote is. I think it's about the prisoners because they would have been sweating while they work, causing them to "shimmer" in the fading sun. Also, as the chapter describes them, they are like apes rather than the men they once were, thus the "reduced" description.
I found a few similes that I liked:
"...the cannonballs were solid copper and came loping through the grass like runaway suns."
"...the deadcart moving among them (the dead and dieing) like a hearse from limbo."
The first quote just kinda sounded cool, nothing especially interesting about it or anything...
In the second quote McCarty uses the word "limbo". Limbo is defined by dictionary.com as oblivion or in state of being forgotten about . So, the hearse is coming from oblivion and the people it is taking, as I understand it, are forgotten. They fought this battle only to be forgotten about, exhibiting the futility and pointlessness of war.
On page 77 McCarthy reuses the word Chewed as he was illustrating the kid as he ate the bull meat. I think it was just to emphasize the toughness of the meat, but perhaps he was also trying to show that the kid was not paying attention to the veteran as he told the story, but it says "listen" so maybe not...
Lipan on page 77 refers to a group of Apache indians who lived east of the Rio Grande during this time. So the burial they found would have been their sacred burial ground. Page 78, the goldseekers were described as:
"Itinerant degenerates bleeding west like a heliotropic plague."
Itinerant refers to someone who travels often for business. Heliotropic means that something grows toward the light, the way plants grow toward the sun. So, these Goldseekers were traveling degenerates who simply went to wherever the gold took them, mined it till it was empty and then moved on again like a plague spreading across the West. The imagery that the simile is very vivid in my mind.