The Kid is only fourteen, but thrust into an environment where literally anything goes (ex: burning a hotel on an impulse is nothing out of the ordinary). Perhaps the time period is a big factor in maturing, because when I was fourteen, I was scared to walk down the street, and much less pick fights with random strangers twice my age.
And then there's the introduction of the judge. The judge is just the ultimate man: tall, bald and can accuse a reverend of beastiality (sp?) with zero evidence. And he doesn't think twice about it. He just didn't like the fellow, so he had him killed.
It's really neither here nor there, and maybe demeaning to the brutality and seriousness of the book, but I managed to find a bit of satire in the chapter. After the Kid fights Toadvine, they are magically best pals. It made me chuckle when I thought of guys beating the crap out of each other then going out for tea (burning a building) afterwards. I don't know, it's probably just me.
And lastly I just want to emphasize this line: "Toadvine seized him about the neck and rode him to the floor and held him by the hair and began to pry out an eyeball with his thumb," (McCarthy 13). Yeah. That. Just. Happened. Pretty terrifying.