Alas, we have arrived to a happy and upbeat portion of the book. The armada has finally crossed into Mexico for a fun-filled adventure at Camp Gruesome. There, the army encounters many fun and exciting adventures like: dying of Cholera and other complications, watching your horses and other livestock waste away to nothing, witnessing your Captain show off his awesome shooting skills by killing several different types of prairie animals, taking in and feeding the local wolf population, sitting around a campfire at night praying for rain, crossing several and equally deadly wastelands full of carcasses, conversing with the town folk (the crazy guy), and finally being scalped, killed, gouged, and raped by the local population of Native Americans. If you made it out of this exciting experience alive, you will surely remember the time when you signed up for the army!
All joking aside, this chapter really caught me off guard. It started off pretty boring, however in the last two pages, I witnessed the goriest and sickest book I have ever read. Now I know why some people (not me) can't read this book. The beginning of the chapter was pretty confusing, probably because I don't know where any of the places mentioned are. I liked how McCarthy backed our initial thoughts of the Captain by having him shoot the wild game and use the Mexican scout like a tool. The field of pumice was a pretty intresting segment as well. One of my favorite lines was on page 46 on which McCarthy writes, "The white noon saw them through the waste like a ghost army, so pale they were with dust, like shades of figures erased upon a board." All I can say is wow; McCarthy sure has a knack for descriptive and deep sentences. One part I didn't understand was on page 47 which states, "...pale blue light came to perch in the ears of the horses and in the beards of men." Is this a luminous insect, UFO's, lightening? Not really sure. I also like the prayer for rain, "Almighty God, if it aint too far out of the way of things in your eternal plan do you reckon we could have a little rain down here." This just seems like a funny thing to say while praying.
The ending was very disturbing. The whole killing, scalping and sodomizing thing really seemed a little unnecissary. Did McCarthy really have to make it that graphic? Sure it wouldn't have been that awesome and revolutionary of a book if it was a repeat of the typical western, but sodomizing? Seriously McCarthy, a little too much. Violence is okay but not to the point of just really wrong circumstances.
Also, where is the kid during this whole thing? Did he just hide or was he the guy in the corner stomping jaws in while stabbing Native Americans in the eye? A little confusing, however very attention-grabbing. I wonder what chapter 5 will bring?