Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chapter 18 + Chapter 19

These two chapters were pretty good. It took a twist, mention it later in the blog.

Spoiler Alert: Glanton dies.

18 starts with a good description of the various constellations, including the Cassiopeia. 256, "the constellation of Cassiopeia burned like a witch's signature on the black face of the firmament." Pretty cool simile about such constellation.

I thought it pretty funny that the women gathered around the idiot, and thought to bathe him and clothe him, and he goes and removes them later. Also, thought it a little interesting that the judge took a nude walk right at this time. To me it seemed as if it was too good that it happened like that.

The howitzer mentioned here is just amazing. The way that the company uses it to fight the invading Yumas is pretty smart, even if it uses most of their gunpowder in the process. Fear is a powerful thing, too bad it came to bite them in the long run. Who would've seen that coming?

I liked the line on page 260, "Glanton told him to his face that any man who trusted an indian was a fool." Pretty much a super D-bag move, but still good.

I thought it was strange that the company took the scalps off the Yumas, when they didn't have a contract for them. They weren't really getting money, and it wouldn't have been worth it because they had that chest in the ferry with thousands of dollars in it in different currencies. I think they did this because they just needed to kill, to satisfy the urge so to speak. Or maybe it's become somewhat of a habit that they did it instinctively, or maybe they did it so they can have some trophies to decorate their new place of business. I liked when the contents of the chest was described, they mentioned teeth last, as if it's some sort of treasure or currency. Sure they made be valuable gold or silver teeth, but just the way McCarthy wrote teeth appeared strange to me.

I didn't see it surprising when the company got control over the ferry, he steadily increased the price until it was literal robbery. It seemed to reflect real life operations, that appear at first to be helpful, but end up just robbing you blind. Also it shows how chaotic things can be once a change of power has taken place. Reflects corrupt organizations throughout history.

A line I thought was awesome is on page 262, "a vulture standing between the shoulderblades in clerical black, silent rider to the sea." Thought it was descriptive to see the wings of a vulture as clerical robes.

The Sonoran army was messed up with the hanging Judas. I wonder who this guy betrayed. It was pretty interesting to read that the guy blew up from the bomb. Did the Sonoran army place the bomb there, or did he already have it there?

The part where Brown tried to get his shotgun sawed was hilarious. When the owner got the soldier and he tried to act all tough, then he ran when Brown came over was once again, funny. I just like how everyone in this company seems either tough, scary or both. It was pretty insane that Brown lit that guy on fire like that in the bar. 268, "Brown poured a pitcher of aguardiente over a young soldier and set him afire with his cigar." That is a badass western move if I ever saw one. It also wasn't surprising that Brown got jailed for such an act or shot the guy that broke him out to cover his tracks.

This story is starting to follow some formula for the events, that they may not be entirely predictable, but aren't surprising when they happen. Sure the whole book isn't like this, but it's good to know these characters don't change out of nowhere.

When Glanton rode back from the village, I took note of an intresting line. 272, "the horseman rode on all contrary to the tide of refugees like some storied hero toward what beast of war or plague or famine with what set to his relentless jaw." This is a classic hero archetype that Glanton seems to fit.

The Yuma massacre scene at the end is just epic. An awesome way to end a chapter in my opinion. Just the fact that they really have no mercy is just great. I thought the Glanton death scene was a bit anti-climatic, but I've noticed in a lot of stories one of the main characters dies like that so it could be a new hero archetype to die in a pretty low way. Though it is pretty cool to get your head split open to the thrapple.

I have a question, did the judge know the Yuma were coming to massacre everyone? I mean, the Yuma were sneaking around like ninjas hacking people up, and here Judge sits with the howitzer acting like he's going to shoot them. Maybe he sold everyone out, and that could be why the Judas was mentioned, maybe a type of loose foreshadowing. Also I wonder why the kid and the others weren't mentioned in this massacre. I know they were there because the next chapter's summary says escape.

Aguardiente - Fire water

Thrapple - throat, or windpipe

1 comment:

  1. The Sonorans were a party of travelers from Sonora, Mexico, not an army. They burned an effigy of Judas as was tradition on Easter Sunday in many Catholic countries. This effigy was a figure made of clothes, stuffed with straw and fireworks, set on fire to punish the betrayer of Jesus. The child's hand that scrawled it represents the Mexican people's understanding of the world at large. Keep drinking amigos, there's always some other time...