This chapter was much easier to read than the first one. I'm starting to get used to the style and I have found it gets easier to read if you read the confusing parts out loud.
In the beginning, the story is pretty slow, but when the kid meets the hermit, things start to get more interesting. I like how this hermit is so nice and friendly toward the kid. After reading this, I feel that there are many misconceptions about hermits. Most of us would think of a hermit as an angry and dirty outcast, however, in chapter 2, the hermit is a nice and pleasantly kind fellow (unless you are an African American). The only thing that I don't like about the friendly hermit is that he is a little too friendly. The passage when the kid wakes to find the hermit standing over him reminds me of the teacher in "Catcher in the Rye." I think that McCarthy includes this hermit character to show another, slightly less hostile view of the west: a west of misunderstood, yet still very friendly and noble people.
Another show of friendship on the frontier is the part when the kid meets the cattle drivers. Although the kid uses their hospitality and goods as a sort of "free lunch,'' I feel that he greatly benefited in ways he will never know from this encounter. On page twenty, McCarthy writes, "Followed by packs of wolves, coyotes, indians...They asked him no questions, a ragged lot themselves." Besides from getting a free knife and some food, the kid learns the stories of some other troubled people, which may prove to be helpful later in the book. Maybe the kid will realize that there are people in the world suffering and that the west is a very volitile and crazy place. Possibly later in the book, fist fights will be the least of the kid's worries.
The passages wherein the kid sees the dead bodies (on the back of the wagon and in the church) are definitely used for symbolism and foreshadowing. The sights of the dead bodies in the back of the wagon foreshadow that something dangerous is going to happen in the town when the kid arrives. However, the sights of the dead people and animals in the church are definitely a symbol for the west in the 1800's. McCarthy uses this visualization to show how even the holiest of people either end up dead or are converted to hostile jerks. The bodies in the church are probably a sign that things arn't going to change from a wasteland of murderers to a happy and flowering meadow filled with unicorns overnight.
The fight scene in the cantina was funny to me. The funniest thing is that no one knew what was going on, espicially since the kid and the hispanics were speaking in different languages. It's no fun to be made fun of without knowing what the people making fun of you are saying. When the kid offered to sweep the floor for a drink, I knew that a fight was going to happen sooner or later. The kid doesn't strike me as the kind of person that would just sit there while he was made fun of, espicially by people he probably doesn't like in the first place. Also, I'm sensing a pattern with how people die in "Blood Meridian."Hopefully, the west has a bunch of eye doctors or a huge supply of pirate patches.
On another note, has anyone thought about the title of the book at all? I looked up the word meridian and got--a point or period of highest development, greatest prosperity, or the like (dictionary.com). Possibly this is a reference to the whole "regeneration through violence" thing. Maybe blood needs to be shed to reach a place of high prosperity and development? I'm not really sure...