Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blood Meridian Chapter 6

This chapter was definately necessary in order to link the different characters and plots. In chapter 6, the kid is magically reunited with the Judge and Toadvine which should make for an interesting chapter 7. This chapter is full of figurative and descriptive language, including similies and metaphors.

The description of the prisoners and their torturer made me laugh. McCarthy writes, "They were half naked and they sucked their teeth and snuffled and stirred and picked themselves like apes (McCarthy 74)." This simile is funny because the original thought of the Americans was that the Mexicans were savages. Now, it seems like the prisoners are the savages. The description of the goldtoothed pervert was pretty funny. The fact that he was a pervert provided the first sense of humor but the rawhide quirt (A riding whip consisting of a short, stout stock and a lash of braided leather (dictionary.com) used to whip the prisoners really added to the pervert thing. I just had a vision of some strange hispanic guy forcing half-naked prisoners to pick up filth while whipping them; pretty weird stuff. McCarthy probably included this pervert to show how strange the Mexican town looked through the eyes of the prisoners, if the head in the jar and the bodies for sale in the bazaar didn't work before. Another suprising detail is that Toadvine prays so that the pervert doesn't die. From this, I suspect that Toadvine wishes to kill the goldtoothed man for his own personal gain. He probably hates the pervert for making him suffer, and therefore, will make the pervert suffer as well.

Grannyrat, the Kentuckian veteran, had some very intresting things to say. After describing his broken leg, he says, "... grew a low rumbling that (Grannyrat) took for thunder until a cannonball came around the corner trundling over the stones like a wayward bowl and went past and down the street and disappeared from sight." This simile made me think of the common idea of a spill in an over-crowded kitchen. Someone trips on their shoelace and pretty soon pots are flying through the air and large, wok-like bowls are innocently rumbling down the halls. McCarthy probably added the stories of the Kentuckian to show some seperate, yet equally strange and disturbing, views of the west. I researched some Native American torture techniques and found one where they would nail your intestines to a tree so that you either bled to death, ripped out your intestines attempting to escape, or died from several other complications (strolen.com). Also, Grannyrat's story about the man with his feet sliced was pretty intresting because the man crawled back to Fredericksburg, Virginia. This strikes a little closer to home than some people would have wanted. McCarthy included this detail to show that these grotesque punishments were happining all over the United States, instead of just in the west. He installed this into his story to add another level of fear into the characters and possibly the readers.

I like how Toadvine asks, "What do you reckon we could get for old Brassteeth's teeth?" This shows that Toadvine is always looking for ways to make money through the pain of others. He would make the perfect candidate for a scalp hunter. McCarthy again shows his attention to detail when he describes the Judge's posse. He includes details such as the massive weapons and the tack made of human parts to describe bounty hunters of that time and to install fear upon his characters and readers. I can remember hearing a story about mountain men when my family and I took a trip out west to Montana. Along the way, we stopped at an old trading post where I learned that the trappers used to kill Native Americans and cut a body part like an arm or leg off of them. They would tie this limb on the side of their saddle so that they had something to nibble on while they were making their journey to sell their products. Pretty sick stuff however not as strange as the scenes described in chapter 4 and 5. Another detail in the text was that we finally learn that the Judge's name is Glanton. This was a let down for me because I was expecting that he would have a really cool name, or no name at all. Also, it seems that the Judge likes to smile, or seems to anyway. This adds to the mystery of his character and makes McCarthy's audience want to learn more about him (the Judge).

I have one question. Why would the governor be so happy to let three prisoners out of jail just because they said they were going to kill Native Americans. So theoretically, if you were in jail, you would just have to promise to kill Indians and you would be set free? Seems like their legal system is a little flawed.

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