Thursday, April 8, 2010

Blood Meridian Chapter 3

Unlike my fellow classmates, I enjoyed this chapter. I feel that McCarthy used this chapter as a sort of build-up for a very interesting chapter 4 and 5. Also, McCarthy provides us with more information about the kid and his character. Now we know that, not only is the kid a ruthless murderer, but he is also a compulsive liar; sounds like a good combination to me.

I love the introduction of the recuiter. He's the typical soldier: religious, regal, and respectful. He offers riches, the experience of a lifetime, and an excuse to legally kill people in any means necessary, which is exactly what the kid was looking for. I also like the author's idea of a western General. He seems to be like an arrogant jerk, like a General Custer character (remember Custer's Last Stand, the huge massacre of American soldiers by the Native Americans, but only after Custer's men murdered hundreds of Native Americans in their search for gold?). I could definately see Capain White slashing through Mexican soldiers with his sword while leading a charge on an innocent spanish town. I espically like the statement the captain made on page 33, "The Apaches wont even shoot them. Did you know that? They kill them with rocks." In this sentence, Captain White shows his dislike for Mexicans while making fun of them in the process. I also think that it is funny how the kid doesn't really have a choice when asked to join the Army, the captain just tells the corporal to "sign him up."

Another small detail I noticed about McCarthy is that he doesn't describe any of the women at all! Usually, a typical western focuses on at least one girl as either a rouge or a damsel in distress. However, in chapter 3, the only description of any girl at all is on page thirty-nine, on which McCarthy writes, "They pass in a doorway a young girl whose beauty becomes the flowers about." That's it! Nothing more! It's like he either can't think of any other descriptive words or he feels that women are not important to the story. I'm not sure, but maybe women will be more influential as the story progresses.

The end of the chapter is fairly epic. The Mennonite is a sort of grim reaper character. First he tells the soldiers that they will suffer great consequences if they invade Mexico. Then in the end, suddenly appears when one of the soldiers is killed and utters a sort of "I told you so" statement. After that, he just casually walks off as if nothing ever happended. Talk about foreshadowing...

1 comment: