Friday, April 16, 2010

Blog for 04-15-10 Chapter 8

I didn't get off work till 9:00 last night so I'm doing this now.

"sociedaed de guerra. Contra los barbaros." You are a society of war. You are against the barbarians (apache).

Interesting way to put that. The group of men are described as a society rather than just a group, and I normally associate society with a town or city, not a group of 15 or so men.

The bartender "passes his hand before his face twice and kissed the ends of his fingers and looked up." This sounds like a ritual against evil spirits and my assumption is strengthened later when we find out that he did this in response to the man being stabbed. The old man that is talking to them sounds crazy, or maybe he's just drunk. That seems more likely, but he starts ranting about the blood of Gomez and the blood of thousands of people.

The imagery of McCarthy is again exhibited in this chapter:

"The shadow of an eagle that had set forth from those high and craggy fastnesses crossed the line of riders below and they looked up to mark it where it rode in that brittle blue and faultless void."


"About that fire were men whose eyes gave back the light like coals socketed hot in their skulls and men whose eyes did no, but the black man's eyes stood as corridors for the ferrying through of naked and unrectified night from what of it lay behind to what was yet to come.

The second quote is especially good, comparing the eyes of the men to burning coals and the black's eyes sounds like some time machine, a connection of the past torments that White Johnson put Black Johnson through to the present. It is clear that Blackie is angry, and is ready to take advantage of the white's drunken stupor, but he does it in a way that he cannot be at fault by the other men. He baits white to insult him before he kills him. Cool....

What does "chucked up" mean? I know that in our society, it means to vomit, but I don't think that Glanton vomited a horse.... Does it mean that he just made the horse move?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

When I think of Blog, the first word that comes to mind is Flog. Or smog. Either one.

Short chapter. Again I don't really know what happened. However, I can't wait to read the next chapter and I'll say why, a little bit yonder down this here blog.

"What have you got that a man could drink with just a minimum risk of blindness and death." This line really caught my attention. I'm pretty sure it's just for the sake of humor and might have been a common saying back in history times. Unfortunately, Mexican barman can't understand so the joke is a total bomb. I think we've all had this experience: Yeah man, this joke is great. I'm gonna nail 'em this time aaaannd they don't understand. Oh well. That's probably not relevant, but I thought it really brought the characters to life. Made them real.

The card game. Monte. Three Card Monte is the full name and it's not so much a game as it is just a con. It sounds like a bunch of gambling that I don't understand and apparently gullible people are cheated out of money (that's a new one).
I guess it's no surprise some fellow was stabbed during the game.

Mexican guy. He's talking to the fellas and I didn't really catch the end where apparently his son was stabbed, but he says "The blood of a thousand Christs." He's talking about how much death there is in Mexico. I don't understand why it's the blood of Christs though. Isn't there only one Christ, or is Christs just short for Christians? And then after that line, the Mexican says "nothing." I don't get it.

Part two of the chapter. The first line. He introduces it so well, in a way I've never seen before (and the first paragraph is in present tense for some reason.) "In the predawn dark the sounds about describe the scene to come." There's something about that line. It's so elusive and works perfectly.

And finally the Jacksons have had enough. I thought Whitey would've just shot him without thinking twice. Did he not even think Blackie could just as easily kill him? He was drunk, yes. Then the "two thick ropes of dark blood," spew like some geyser and whatnot. It's great that the cigarette stays in his fingers. And the other guys don't care, they leave him there. I guess they knew it was bound to happen soon enough. Guys are dropping like flies out there anyway. Death is just an everyday thing out there. It's still hard for me to grasp. It makes me think, would the kid even care if Toadvine were to die? Maybe we'll find out. I guess the best thing to do out there is be selfish, that way nothing bothers you.

And the last line is what keeps the book going. "They had not gone forth one hour upon that plain before they were ridden upon by the Apaches." Everybody wants to turn the page. We're ready for more genitals and viscera! It's lines placed like that which let authors get away with uneventful chapters.

Blogs and Hogs. I'll specify, it's chapter 7 I'm doing here.

Another one of those chapters. The kind that make me ask what happened and why did it matter. Most of the chapter was just the fellas sitting around. And the kid is disposed of again, save for two or three lines. I don't get it... Are we going to leave the kid now? Has everything we've read thus far been nothing more than an exposition? Let's find out.

Um, the black and white Jacksons? Anybody know what they're about? I realize they are mentioned a few times more throughout the chapter, but why? It's seemingly pointless. Like, "Then there's them two Jackson boys again. Same name, one black, on white." And that's pretty much it. Throughout the chapter. But then, the very last paragraph. I had no idea what happened. It was that there black Jackson boy, but what was even happening? He was naked. Yeah, um and some flames or torches, but I don't know what was happening.

The judge. What's his deal, man? He's a big big dude, no hair, and he's got some fascination with touching people. At at least two points in the chapter, this big freak was hugging or intimately touching some guy. We were talking about the movie 300 the other day. This guy reminds me of Xerxes (however his terrorist name is spelled). Big seven-foot-tall hairless freak who massages random guys. And people revere his intelligence, or anything he says. Every time he breaks into a monologue, people just stare and smile and use the restroom in their breeches (they probably don't actually use the restroom in their breeches). Big paragraph on page 85. He says a lot of... I don't have a clue what he even says... Let's talk about that one in class.

Just a little thingamadoo (I don't know the AP term for thingamadoo). Toadvine befriends a fellow named Bathcat. It is said that they became friends because they are fellow disfigured fugitives. What I thought was funny was that Toadvine was staring at Bathcat's necklace of ears. Since Toadvine doesn't have ears, I guess it's kind of funny. He envies the ear necklace. Let me say that again. Ear necklace. And that's not even a weird thing! Everybody was Jeffrey Dahmer/Ed Gein back then. Oh, another similarity is that they both have awesome names.

Drizzlin shits. Ha x 500.

So a little bit about similes. I noticed two that seemed... ineffective and frankly kind of meaningless. They both can be found within a page of one another and they are: "like the ossature of small apes at their place of murder," and "like supplicants at the skirts of some wild and irate goddess." Both of these seem like he's just saying... stuff. The first basically says "Human bones look like ape bones." Maybe he's trying to say the Apaches were like apes? Perhaps. And the second? It's pretty much just saying stuff that sounds kind of scary. The desert is a mad goddess. Okay...

At the end of the chapter we witness a scalping. The scalp is referred to as "[a] dripping trophy." It's called a trophy, even though it came off a hapless lady who sat in the middle of a town. I guess a scalp is a scalp, regardless of from whom it came, or how it was obtained. Money is money, that's all that matters.

Chapter 8

This chapter was pretty quick, and also slow, but it did go into detail of some of the characters.

Again, McCarthy refers to most of these new characters as the man or some generic noun. But the old man that walks to Toadvine and the others at the cantina is interesting. He seems like the guy that has done all this before and provides advice for the newcomers. He also seems like he's made a mistake or lost someone important, because he has a drunken and depressing feeling about him. He knows a little too much, and goes crazy a little bit, while another man was moaning off in the corner. A cool quote is where he's saying on page 102, "This Mexico. This is a thirsty country. The blood of a thousand Christs. Nothing." I think this means that no matter how many people die in Mexico, over all the different religions, doesn't mean anthing because Mexico is still thirsty for blood and the people that died are seem like nothing. It's weird that the guy in the corner is just moaning for being knifed, and he doesn't even go to the doctor, or the 1849 equivalent to one. It just goes to show how bad Mexico was, that a man would rather just remain in the place where they just got knifed.

Pretty weird that the veteran just took off like he did. I thought he'd at least let the kid know, but it wasn't surprising he left.

I thought the confrontation between Black Jackson and White Jackson was just awesome. I liked the thing that White Jack told Black Jack on page 106, "Here beyond men's judgements all covenants were brittle." A covenant pretty much an agreement to do or not do something specified. ( So it just means that if Black Jackson comes near him, their agreement will be over, and White Jackson will kill him. Look how that turned out. "Two thick ropes of dark blood and two slender rose like snakes from the stump of his neck and arched hissing into the fire." This is an amazing simile describing the fountainesque appearance of White Jackson's decapitated body. I suppose this could also be an example of personification since blood can't hiss. Even better, "The neck bubbled gently like a stew." I gotta say, McCarthy sure wants people to see this headless man, and even lose their lunch over it.

Blood Meridian Chapter 8

In this chapter, we learn a little more about the men in the group. Also, there is some interesting foreshadowing done in this chapter, especially by the Mexican bartender. McCarthy again provides several wonderful and descriptive similies and metaphors.

The bartender is a very interesting character. He is totally insane, yet he provides the group of men with warnings and stories, much like the Mennonite from chapter 3. One of his best lines is on page 102, where he says, "Blood. This country is give much blood. This Mexico. This is a thirsty country. The blood of a thousand Christs. Nothing." I think that this means that Mexico was a dangerous and ruthless country back in the 1800's where killings and maimings were ordinary (hence the blood). In order to live in Mexico and thrive, you must be able to fend for yourself, however, no significant amount of death or blood could ever change Mexico into something different. McCarthy includes this Mexican character to show a different type of intelligence; an intelligence that comes with living a very hard and challenging life. I also like Toadvine's response to the bartender. Toadvine says, "I pray to God for this country. I say that to you. I pray. I dont go in the church. What i need to talk to them dolls there? I talk here." This shows how Toadvine really enjoys the hard and murderous life as opposed to the safe and simple. It still surprises me that Toadvine prays. This is McCarthy's way of showing how religion can be misused in some ways.

There are several similies and metaphors used in this chapter. Two very good ones are on page 105. The first one states, "The sun to the west lay in a holocaust..." This one confused me a little. I think that McCarthy is refering to a nuclear type of holocaust in reference to the brightness and intensity of the setting sun. The other one says, "...glazed bed of a dry lake lay shimmering like the mare imbrium and herds of deer..." In this sentence, mare imbrium means: a dark plain in the second quadrant of the face of the moon ( Here is McCarthy's eye for detail at its finest. Not only is the lake very hazy and shimmery, it resembles the second quadrant of the face of the moon.

The part where white Jackson gets beheaded by black Jackson was pretty funny to me. First of all, the argument starts off about where the black Jackson could sit. This reminded me of the whole Rosa Parks scenario. But the funniest part is the visual of black Jackson coming out of the dark with two bowie knives and cuts white Jackson's head clean off. The longest bowie knife I found had a blade of 24 inches ( That's the size of a small sword! Now I could see how someone could cut another person's head off using just two knives. McCarthy includes the beheading detail to show the anger that existed between two of the group members. An anger so powerful, it drove a man to behead another must have been locked inside for a very long time. Black Jackson was probably waiting for the perfect time to attack his foe.

One more thing I noticed was that McCarthy includes a detail as the last sentence in the chapter to give an idea what is going to happen next. This is pretty unusual because he has not done this yet in the book. Sure it adds to the anticipation of the next chapter but I would have expected McCarthy to have the Apaches just pop out of nowhere instead of giving the reader a heads up.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chapter 7

I don't know about anyone else, but I thought this chapter was slow and confusing. All these 5 dollar words and insanely long sentences distract me from the story. But that's just my opinion. On to the analysis.

I thought the part of Glanton playing with his new Colt revolver was pretty cool. It's taking a stereotypical thing from a western, the awesome revolvers, and turning it into something twisted when Glanton just shoots anything that moves. I'm actually surprised he didn't just shoot that Speyer guy, because for a second there I thought he would've. The quote, "the explosion in the dead silence was enormous. The cat simply disappeared." just shows how powerful those guns are, and the fact that it uses a rifle's charge is pretty amazing.

I thought it was pretty interesting when the authorities came after Glanton shot up the place, that the judge was convincing them to let them go I suppose. I don't understand most of that part, but I think that is what happens. Reading that part makes me think that the judge and Glanton are doing a Good Cop, Bad Cop thing here.

I didn't understand the part at page 84 where it says, "He adduced for their consideration references to the children of Ham, the lost tribes of Israelites, certain passages from the Greek poets, anthropological speculations as to the propagation of the races..." I'm going to take a guess and say the judge uses language or philosophy from these various cultures to persuade the authorities, but I'm not positive.

A good simile I found was on page 86, " the sun whitehot and the moon a pale replica, as if they were the ends of a common bore beyond whose terminals burned worlds past all reckoning." I think this means that the sun and moon were exactly opposite each other, that it seemed like something could intersect the planet through the two.

The part where Toadvine befriended Bathcat was pretty cool, but what kind of nickname is Bathcat. Seriously? I want to know how these people get their nicknames. Toadvine? Bathcat? Why don't you add Nighthawk and Keymaster to the list and call it a day. But anyways, I thought it was interesting that these two people were betting on which Jackson would kill which. It seems that these Jackson characters don't really mean much to anybody in this company, which is explainable because everyone is out here for some scalps. It's not really day camp.

I have no idea what the Vandiemenland is so I looked it up. Here is where you can find it. Yeah, it's wikipedia, but it looks pretty reasonable so im going with it. Really it's just a fancy way of saying you're from the island of Tazmania off the Southern coast of Australia.

Blood Meridian Chapter 7

This chapter was pretty confusing to me, probably because of the multiple speakers. McCarthy probably included all of these characters to show the different ideas and opinions within the group of Indian killers. Although all of the hunters are chasing the same objective, they have very different views of eachother and of the people they encounter. It seems like Glanton is the short-tempered killer of the bunch while the Judge is the intellectual and the black Jackson is the universally hated and watched person.

I thought that black Jackson's expression after being talked to by the Judge (page 85) was pretty funny. McCarthy writes, "The black was sweating. A dark vein in his temple pulsed like a fuse." McCarthy adds this detail to show how strange and uncomfortable it was to have such a complicated and intellectual conversation in the 1800's, especially in the west. One of the things about education in the 1800's was the fact that most teachers were not trained or certified ( Another thing was that most people didn't make it past elementary school because they either didn't have the money to support them or because they had to work in order to live (ex. on a farm or to help support the family). A suprising thing I noticed was that Glanton was the leader instead of the Judge. This is shown on page 95 when the men are sitting around the fire getting their fortune's told. The Judge tells the gypsy to tell the fortune of "el jefe" (the boss, spanish-english dictionary) or Glanton. I thought that the Judge would have been the leader because of his size and intelligence however I have an idea why he chooses not to be. The Judge probably doesn't want to be the leader because he doesn't want to deal with the responsibility of punishment in case the posse gets caught. Also, I think that Glanton shot up the Mexican town in order to place fear into the population of the town, and with fear comes respect.

McCarthy creates the ulitmate duo when he shows that Glanton and the Judge are friends. They have totally different attitudes and egos (remember the Id and the Superego) which allows them to be stable. An example of this is on page 96 when Glanton is getting his fortune told. At this point, Glanton tries to kill the fortune teller yet the Judge stops him my hugging him (awww). This shows that Glanton's Id is balanced out by the Judge's ego or superego and vice-versa.

There is a lot of figurative languange and descriptions used in this chapter. One detail I noticed was that McCarthy focuses on comparing things to the parts of a gun, especially the bore. This is probably used to increase the intensity of he characters in the posse by comparing them to something they all have, a gun (and big ones also). Some good similies were on page 87 and on page 91. On page 87, McCarthy writes, "The necklace of human ears he wore looked like a string of dried black figs." I thought this was funny because Toadvine is wearing this necklace and he doesn't have ears. McCarthy uses this to show how Toadvine and the kid are evolving to the ways of the posse and their barbarian looks. On the other page, McCarthy writes, "...snapping cloth were towed mutely from sight beyond the reach of the firelight and into the howling desert like supplicants at the skirts of some wild and irate goddess." In this simile, McCarthy shows how amazed the men are about the strange actions of the gypsys.

This chapter was pretty cool because we got to learn more about the group of Indian scalpers. A few things that I thought were interesting were when Glanton shot the old woman in the head and the fact that they scalped her afterwards. I'm not really sure why Glanton shot the woman because she didn't really do anything to anger him. Maybe it was his Id talking instead of his actual ego.

04-14-10 Blog Chapter 7

The two Jackson men remind me of middle school boys bickering but with a level of "maturity" and understanding of men.

Who is this Mr. Riddle?

The encounter with the police sergeant and the judge impressed upon me the intelligence of the judge. First, he is fluent in Spanish, unlike any of the other men in their group.He speaks with the sergeant and no understands what he is saying, in particular, black Johnson. I looked up some of the things he said. He told him that the gun shots were "Negocios del Gobernador": Governor's business. Second, he was able to "sweet talk" the sergeant into making him feel important and leaving them alone. He speaks for a long time, "sketched for the sergeant a prblematic career of the man before them." This quote referring to Glanton after he spit at the sergeant and insulted him. He not only spoke for a long time, but also eloquently, quoting "greek poets" and other such edutational subjects that didn't really seem to have any bearing on the subject of Glanton's insulting manner. At the end of the introductions, the judge said this to blackie about what he was telling the sergeant:

"Words are things. The words he is in possession of, he cannot be deprived of. Their authority transcends his ignorance of their meaning."

In this, the judge explains that the sergeant feels privileged to be in "possession of," special information as well as feeling superior to be spoken to as if he understood all that the judge had told him. As such, the sergeant will be more lenient to them because he was flattered by the judge, and, indirectly, the judges group.

This quote caught my interest:

"...they were set forth in that company in the place of the three men slain in the desert."

The keyword that captures my attention is "slain". Why not killed instead? McCarthy's word choice makes me think that the men they are replacing were caught and shot personally and intentionally by the "enemy." I imagine the three of them lined up on their knees and shot in the back of the head rather than shot in the heat of battle.

In the next paragraph, I found an illustration that is now my favorite in the book:

"...the sun, when it rose, caught the moon in the west so that they lay opposed to each other across the earth, the sun whitehot and the moon a pale replica, as if they were the ends of a common bore beyond whose terminals burned worlds past all reckoning.

Wow... First of all, I can just imagine the sun and the moon at sunrise facing each other like this, creating this great imaginary cylinder across the surface of the earth. Then the last 8 words: "...beyond whose terminals burned worlds past all reckoning." What would that look like? The sun is like this round disc that's like a portal showing you this burning world that is unimaginable. Such imagery McCarthy uses here!

When again speaking to blackie, this time about his fortune that he doesn't understand, the judge says, "All will be known to you at last. To you as to every man." This is very ominous, and I think that he's referring to how one will die. The fact that they won't even tell him suggests to me that blackie's death won't be a pleasant one.

The meaning of siesta is a midday or afternoon nap.
Azoteas- roof
Campesinos- peasant or farmer
pirouette- dancing or spinning on one foot or on points of toes like in ballet
Sable- dark colored or black
joven- young one
jefe- cheif
carroza- float
La vi sin ruedas sobre un rio obscuro.- I saw no wheels on a dark river
perdida- lost
malabarista- juggler
un maleficio- a curse
Que viento tan maleante...- that wind so (thug, corrupt, or maurader)
maelstrom- large, violent, or powerful whirlpool
apposite- suitable, well adapted
abrogate- to put an end to
presidio- garrisoned fort or military outpost
dolmens- a tomb
paps- nipples, teats
aubergines- eggplants
pase- pass

fever+no internet+just got to school=no drop on grades?

Chapter 4
Just imagine, being in Mexico, it’s 1852, you’re on a horse with no name, rationed water, rationed food, no doc, no way to clean yourself, men dying from being sick, you can actually grow facial hair (for those of you still waiting to bloom) and shaving isn’t an option, on top of all that, you’re hunting Indians. I like how you can tell when Captain White is introduced that he isn’t going to last long; there are little clues that say he’s only important for a small portion of The Kid’s story. I don’t understand why the men let the wolves follow them, wouldn’t it make more sense to kill them for the meat instead of letting them scrape the unwanted items left behind by the men.
The majority of the chapter is dull, and only makes me thirsty. Then, then the climax, picture the intensity; arrows are flying, flutes are being played, the enemy is screaming barbaric gibberish, your comrades are being slain by the second, everyone on your side is being stripped of their clothes and some their innocents, sodomy…really?! Too much! Just too much. And the scalping is too Inglorious Bastards for my attention span; I had to watch it right after I read this chapter.
Have you noticed how long some of McCarthy’s sentences are? They’re ½ - ¾ of a page long.
His usage of the word ‘save’ drove me crazy; doing it a few times in your book is fine, 10 times in total. But it’s used at least 3 times per chapter; maybe it’s just me.

Chapter 5
Of course he lives, this disaster is barely a fourth of the way through the book. No main character dies so early. What strikes my curiosity about The Kid is that he was stealthy enough to get up silently and without being noticed and make it a good distance but he didn’t know he was being followed, that killed almost every bit of awesome and hero thing he had going for him, very disappointing. He rebuilds his credit as he scavenges in the rocks for water.
Sproule, poor guy is all I have to say. The way you see his arm in your mind hen he takes his shirt off to filter the water is the same sensation when I walk into a nursing home, its smells of feces and old; buy amplify that by a good 6 times and you have Sproule’s arm minus the maggots. If I were The Kid I would have been constantly thinking of ways to put this guy out of his misery. But the thing I admired about Sproule was his drive; he was in poor health condition, his arm needed to be whacked off, and he hadn’t eaten very much and was dehydrated, but he still managed to keep up, he deserves a realistically damaged but still functional award.
The Kid is so apathetic its admirable. Everything that occurs is just one more step on his ladder of misfortune (don’t tell me that’s a cliché, I made it up). He gets captured, I think, or maybe arrested is the better term. Anyhow, Kid is so chill, he doesn’t complain, doesn’t ask god why this is happening to him, he takes it all in and does what it takes to survive, I like this guy, he’s got his mind right.
Toadvine, this is the sort of thing that you know just doesn’t happen, ever, and it happens only because it’s a story and that’s what convenient.
It was a good chapter; it was uneventful but you learned a lot about the resourcefulness of Kid, with the way King has described McCarthy’s writing and how every bit of it has a reason, I can’t help but think it’s going to have something to do with Kid in future bookness.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chapter 6

This chapter was a refreshing twist from the others. It was short and not too violent, which is a good break from last chapter.

When McCarthy mentioned the gold toothed pervert in the beginning of the chapter, I assumed there would be a confrontation between him and the kid or Toadvine, but there was none. I also didn't understand why he was a pervert, because McCarthy also did not really specify what makes him a pervert. All I could think of was that since he would use the quirt (which is a riding whip, I looked that up) and made them go down on their hands and knees gathering up the filth, I can kinda see that, but then again that could be their punishment. Though that seems a little too ridiculous, but hey it's Mexico.

An interesting quote that I found was on page 75,"the guards were going among the prisoners snatching the hats from the heads of the newcomers and pressing them into their infidel hands." I think this infers that the guards were better than the prisoners. Maybe because the prisoners didn't accept or belief in their faith, maybe it's because they're prisoners and McCarthy wanted to use a cool word.

A simile I found that was interesting to me was, "... See by its lantern the deadcart moving among them like a hearse from limbo." I don't know if this means anything important, but I thought it was weird that McCarthy used limbo in the sense that the soldiers died there, since limbo is typically the place between heaven or hell. So it could mean that the soldiers were in a sense of neutrality, neither in salvation or damnation. Just throwing ideas around.

I thought Old Bill was a weird character. He went and saved a bunch of Mexicans that they apparently met caged up or something. And when they stole things Bill hung them, which is pretty contradictory.

The Comanche is talked about in this chapter, with a pretty vivid scene, again. This veteran has seen some stuff. He's talking about this boy who came crawling into town naked, and when he was examined he had the bottoms of his feet cut off. I just want to know why these indians were so violent. I know their land was taken and all, but I don't see how that constitutes all this twisted, sadistic acts these Comanches have been doing.

I thought it was pretty interesting that within three days, the prisoners went from basic 1849 prisoners to heroes pretty much, because all the Mexican girls were throwing flowers and blowing kisses at them when they all left with Glanton and the governor. Sure most of them were for the latter, but some of them could have been for the prisoners.

I didn't understand the simile on page 78, "Itinerant degenerates bleeding westward like some heliotropic plague." It's describing the Goldseekers as traveling filth doing what they wish, like a plague would spread throughout its host. I'm sure there's more too this, and I wonder what it is.

Another quote I'm troubled with is, "They saw blackeyed young girls with painted faces." I don't understand the blackeyed part. Is the black eyes part of the girls makeup or is it a regular black eye that they got from a fight? I'm not sure on this.

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 ( 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 ( 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.

04-13-2010 Blog Chapter 6

short chapter... and kinda boring in comparison to the others.

The guard that oversees the prisoners was described as a pervert, but it doesn't explain how so. I'm wondering if the term in this context means the same way we use it today, a person who is sexually unmoral, or "a person who has been perverted, esp. to a religious belief regarded as erroneous" ( I think, as sophisticated as McCarthy seems to be, that the latter of the two definitions would make more sense both because of McCarthy's vocabulary and because there is no reference to Brassteeth doing anything that would label him as our definition would imply.

As I said before, McCarthy is sophisticated in his writing. He is so to the degree that he can describe the copulation of dogs while making it sound completely different. "...two dogs hung together in the street sidle and step." At you wouldn't imagine two dogs stuck together by their genitalia, perhaps you would imagine two dogs "hanging out" as the term is used today. Then he describes the dogs as "tail to tail" another seemingly innocent position for the dogs to be in.

"All lightly shimmering in the heat, these lifeforms, like wonders much reduced."

I am not sure what the subject of this quote is. I think it's about the prisoners because they would have been sweating while they work, causing them to "shimmer" in the fading sun. Also, as the chapter describes them, they are like apes rather than the men they once were, thus the "reduced" description.

I found a few similes that I liked:

"...the cannonballs were solid copper and came loping through the grass like runaway suns."
"...the deadcart moving among them (the dead and dieing) like a hearse from limbo."

The first quote just kinda sounded cool, nothing especially interesting about it or anything...

In the second quote McCarty uses the word "limbo". Limbo is defined by as oblivion or in state of being forgotten about . So, the hearse is coming from oblivion and the people it is taking, as I understand it, are forgotten. They fought this battle only to be forgotten about, exhibiting the futility and pointlessness of war.

On page 77 McCarthy reuses the word Chewed as he was illustrating the kid as he ate the bull meat. I think it was just to emphasize the toughness of the meat, but perhaps he was also trying to show that the kid was not paying attention to the veteran as he told the story, but it says "listen" so maybe not...

Lipan on page 77 refers to a group of Apache indians who lived east of the Rio Grande during this time. So the burial they found would have been their sacred burial ground. Page 78, the goldseekers were described as:

"Itinerant degenerates bleeding west like a heliotropic plague."

Itinerant refers to someone who travels often for business. Heliotropic means that something grows toward the light, the way plants grow toward the sun. So, these Goldseekers were traveling degenerates who simply went to wherever the gold took them, mined it till it was empty and then moved on again like a plague spreading across the West. The imagery that the simile is very vivid in my mind.

Blog rhymes with hog. There's no two ways around it.

Finally, a break from all the horror. I was able to read this without spilling my green tea all over the carpet. Let's go!

First off, before the chapter even starts, the preview of events. The third term, Los heréticos, puzzled me, because in my reading I never even came across this "Los heréticos." So I searched near and far on them internets, and I found only a collection of short stories. It translates to "The Heretics," (yeah, who would have guessed that) and the most appropriate definition here is: anyone who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle. Still, not really getting it... I just don't see it in the text.

The manual labor of prisoners is usually all but arbitrary, but these guys take it to the next level. Cleaning... excuse me, gathering up the filth in the gutters. From what we've heard this town is a cesspool of civilization, so why would gathering filth even be an option? I wouldn't think the guards or prison owner fellow would even think of that. Maybe it's all they could think of after the great toilet incident a few years back. Maybe they're down there, because it's a perpetual job; trash is constantly reappearing as soon as it's picked up, that way they never have to move on.

So the Veteran was in a battle at Mier. There's this big thing called the Mier Expeditions that has to do (kind of) with the times and place of the book. so here:
It was during the Mexican-American war and this may not be all that important, but it's got some neato/nifty pictures.

There was only a small dosage (teaspoonful at best) of gore in the chapter. It may not of gotten to anyone, but it got me. The three fellas are talking about the Commanche horde. Every new act of savagery tops the last. "[They] cut the bottoms of his feet off." It's something that I would never have thought of, but once you hear it, owwwww, man. I just can't wait to hear him top himself again.

The Lipan burial. Lipans are some form of Apache Indian, I guess it's kind of like the denominations of Christianity. Anyhow, why is it that Mexicans took the bodies to their houses? I would just guess it's for revenge and humiliation. The Mexicans thought that a burlesque of the Indian's bodies would serve to shame them in the afterlife. I don't know. Maybe that's the logic.

Okay, who am I to criticize a writer? Writing books is tough business and so far, McCarthy has done a wondrous job of avoiding cliché. But the "blackeyed girls, darkskinned girls waving their flowers." Oh it's just so trite. It's that same image all the time, every time. Jeebas. Everybody knows it. It's like, whenever a group of seven or more men leave a town, every girl is obliged to put on her Sunday dress and grab a bouquet to throw in the streets. Just... no.

But oh how great the writing is otherwise. "I'll guarangoddamntee ye." Perfect vernacular and kind of hilarious. I know I'm using it from now on. And I've noticed (and I'm sure everyone else has) that there is a load of terms in this book peculiar to the time and place. It serves to be a bit confusing and kind of a hassle, but it sets the mood of the book all the more. For one more comment on the writing, I think we talked about his joining of words the other day. I've been noticing those terms more and I think he does this in lieu of a hyphen.

Oh yeah. Judge is top dog wherever he goes, ahem, just saying. I'm looking forward to the scalping.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chapter 5

This chapter was probably darker than the ones before it, and the kid gets a new companion. A survivor of the chapter 4 massacre is a man named Sproule. He's a sickly fellow, that really didn't need to be mentioned because he dies pretty anti-climatically near the end of this chapter.

The first pretty disgusting thing in this chapter was the bush with hanging dead babies. The paragraph or two describing these dead babies was pretty graphic, and it adds to the ever so increasing lawlessness in this area. I think it's pretty amazing that neither the kid nor Sproule pay much attention to these babies as they walk by. I think that since McCarthy keeps adding these scenes it improves the "I'm a badass" feel of the kid. The Mexican town shortly after the babies is graphic too. Just having dead bodies murdered in various ways and all the animals are murdered brings about a sense of fear. Seeing all those people would make one think that they might be next.

I don't really understand the quote, "...the great sleeping God of the Mexicans routed from his golden cup," on page 60. I know it obviously has something to do with religion, but I'm not quite sure what McCarthy was going for here. Also on this page I thought an interesting quote was, "The murdered lay in a great pool of their communal blood."

I didn't really understand the part where the soldiers take the kid on page 69. Was the soldiers Mexican soldiers or Indians, because I don't think it said for sure. At first I thought it was Indians, but later on when they talked they talked in Spanish. Unless the people talking were other prisoners. Anyway, I wonder why McCarthy just killed Captain White off, without an epic death scene. All that McCarthy wrote was that he was beheaded. That's pretty lame for a Captain. Also, I thought it was somehow ironic that the kid survived that battle in chapter 4 and managed to live and all, and the Captain ends up dying although he definitely had more experience than the kid. I know the kid is the protagonist and all, but he wasn't even wounded.

All in all this chapter was really good. For all the lack of violence in the last couple of chapters, it was definitely made back up here.

Take the word Blog. Simply remove the B and you magically have the word log. Now you try!

Oh man. I'm really blown away and just mesmerized by this stuff. This is the most graphic and haunting book I've ever read. Dead babies hanging in trees, shriveling dead people eyes in a hardened burgundy ceramic of blood. This is just, wow.

The kid is back and he finds a fugitive pal. These chapter-long pals are like those really hopeful TV shows that last about two episodes. It shows that in the time and place, you have nobody. And it won't help to get attached to anyone, because they could succumb to anything anytime.

The most disturbing part for me was: "Bush that was hung with dead babies." Apart from the obvious "Oh my god, oh my god, the babies are dead, it's so sad," I'm not really sure if this means anything deeper. Even if it doesn't, the description is just nightmarish.

The church scene was almost equally bad. "A dead christ in a glass bier." There is no God in Mexico, for he is dead. In the church, along with the forty-so others. Sad, sad stuff.

I figured Terra damnata just meant damned earth, since terra is latin for earth. I learned that on an episode of the obvious. (This wasn't all that important, but I figured I should toss it in here.)

Um, the vampire. Anybody? Sproule starts yelling at the kid if I read correctly. I guess he's just insane, or terrified beyond cogency. But hey, if I was attacked by a blood-draining bat in the night, I would do the same. (I would go into a Twilight allusion, but I won't, in fear of getting a point off this again.)

Is it ironic that the very men the army set out to kill, the mexicans, were the ones who saved the kid from otherwise inevitable death? Interesting, yesh.

And so we'll see what next chapter has in store. Hopefully no more dead babies. I've had enough of those.

Blood Meridian Chapter 5

This chapter was just as dark and depressing as the one before it. McCarthy uses these graphic and disgusting scenes to prove that not all westerns have to do with guys in white hats and shootouts in bars. Hopefully most of the scenes depicted by McCarthy are fictional. If McCarthy uses alot of true and factual information, how did he get records of killed babies, Indian hordes that leave paths of destruction, and the part about the city? However, no matter the scene, McCarthy finds some way to make incredibly intense details that make his book even more intresting. Also, he uses symbolism in several of his descriptive sentences.

The most depressing parts of this chapter were descriptions of the small Mexican town, the tree draped with babies, and the glass jar with the Captain's head in it. The Mexican town was pretty scary. The visuals of swollen, grotesque, and mamed bodies littering the streets and the church imply that no one is safe from the Indian horde. The fact that they would tear apart the church to get the survivors inside shows the determination of the horde to kill everyone they find. At this point, I'm not sure what the motivation behind this is but this will hopefully be addressed later in the book. The babies hung from the tree are difinately a symbol of lifestyle in the west. No matter whether you are young or old, good or evil, you will somehow be affected by the lawlessness and the destruction. This is another reference to the "regeneration through violence" thing. For a civilization to thrive, the savages must first be killed in order to create a peaceful foundation (hence the Blood Meridian also). The Captain's head in the jar is a symbol of how even the mightiest and strongest of the bunch may fall in the end. This may be McCarthy's view of a large and powerful government, a political power, or a leader of sorts.

No matter the situation, McCarthy makes the most of a chance to be descriptive. McCarthy writes, "In the afternoon they came upon a carreta in the trace, tilted on its tongue, the great wheels cut from rounds of a cottonwood trunk and pinned to the axletrees with tenons." This is the long and intricate way to say he found a wagon on the road. He also has a specific way of teaching life lessons. While describing the Mexican group of cowboys, McCarthy writes, "When the lambs is lost in the mountain, he said. They is cry. Sometime come the mother. Sometime the wolf." It takes a special kind of author to make such a powerful statement using the worst grammar.

Finally, how the heck did Toadvine end up in Mexico? Was he following the army or was it just by chance? Another question, what kind of name is Sproule (maybe a last name)?

12-04-10 Blog Chapter 5

Good chapter, long chapter.
Mr. King said not to reiterate what happened in the chapter I think, so I'll focus on things that really caught my attention and discuss that.

The whole chapter was really disgusting. Why did McCarthy decide to include the hanging of babies by their chins on hooks from a tree or the condition the kid found himself the night after the massacre? Was it to simply be descriptive? or another example of making his story "not like other westerns"? I could be wrong, but I don't think other western books or movies were so outrageously sickening. A lot of this chapter is something I would expect to see included in a Marilyn Manson video. I thought the authors word choice on page 60 was interesting. The kid walked into the church and saw a pile of dead bodies. McCarthy describes the bodies in this way:

"The murdered lay in a great pool of their communal blood."

"Communal" Blood. This part being in a church, this seemed significant to me because, when I think of communal, I think of communion, the partaking of the body and blood of Christ.

The mirage must have been an interesting sight for the two men. The next morning, Sproule asks why he doesn't see it anymore. The kid replies, "People see what they want to see." what they wanted to see, most obviously, was water, but what about the other things in the mirage? The mountains, the hawk, the city, the hills, the trees? The natural things; the mountains, the hawk, the hills, and the trees; aren't generally found in the desert, except maybe the mountain (obviously since they had just "Crested the mountain"). The city, I think, is also something they haven't seen in a long time, but also, a place where there are the things they enjoy: alcohol and women, and simple luxuries they haven't had since entering the desert: beds, food, water, etc.

So, how did the police find the kid at the family's house? Did the family call them?

For the capitol of a country, Chihuahua City was described very, as with the theme of the chapter, disgustingly.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chapter 4

This chapter was alright, though it read fairly slow for me. I thought the only interesting part was the Indian attack at the end. I also noticed there was a lot of run-on sentences in this chapter, not sure if it's been like that for the entire book and I'm just slow to notice it, but it stands out this chapter. Some of those sentences lasts for 1/4 of the page, and like a few lines on the next. It's not too annoying or anything, I just thought I'd share it.

I think the reason most of this chapter was slow for me was because the kid was barely mentioned, and most of the things mentioned about the Captain's troops were pretty boring. I did think that those soldiers that died with cholera was interesting. I'm surprised they just stuck their sick with their food and supplies though. It kind of defeats the purpose of separating the sick when the sick can cough and bleed on the food, thereby infecting others. I did think it was pretty honorable that they buried everyone that died.

Alex, I did notice the phallus. I read that part and had to re-read it to confirm what it said because I was not expecting that. I wonder why McCarthy used that term, because it still meant what it means now back then.

I thought the Indian invasion part was pretty sick and twisted. If the scalping and dismemberment didn't satisfy any sadists out there, then the obscene sodomizing definitely does and then some. I don't understand why someone would do that, but I guess there are sick people out there.

Blood Meridian Chapter 4

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?

Blood meridian chapter 4

Blog. It rhymes with many other words, but the main one is frog.

This chapter didn't talk about the kid, save for a line or two in the last paragraph. This chapter was all about the army. I think the author focused on the group as a whole to emphasize their oneness and solidarity.

Throughout the chapter, the phrase "they rode on," is reiterated several times. Simple, blatant statements like this really do it for me. It says so much with just three (count 'em) words. They're riding. They're still riding. Shucks they might as well ride on forever.

Since King mentioned McCarthy's use of similes, I kept an eye out for those through the chapter. My personal favorite: "Their mounts advanced elongate before them like strands of the night from which they'd ridden, like tentacles to bind them to the darkness yet to come." It's bloody perfect. Tentacles to bind them. And to add, it's pretty obvious foreshadowing.

Patty, Drewski. I know you guys saw this one. "The head of a great red phallus." Oh man. He just said it. That is worthy of two guffaws, three chuckles, and four snickers. And let's not stop with the red phallus. "[the red phallus] sat squat and pulsing (PULSING!) and malevolent behind them." Wow. Homo-erotic nightmare.

And so the chapter drags on. Everything is terrible as they fellas ride across the wretched desert. Then came the injuns (can I say that in AP?). Vivid images. The clown faces, the funhouse figures. He describes them perfectly. There is nothing in the world worse than these savages. And: "holding up great handfuls of viscera, genitals." Ew, ew, get it off my hands. Yes, that's nasty. I really don't know who won this battle though. Did everybody kill each other and roll around in the slop? I don't know. It's up for discussion (unless of course there was a clear winner and I overlooked it. In which case I'll look like someone who doesn't look like a good someone).

Blog 11-04-10 Chapter 4

This chapter was very disturbing. From the beginning, it became gradually darker and depressing as they ventured through the Mexican desert. I found the detail about the "staining" of the food sacks by the dieing soldiers in the wagon sickening. Why did they put dead people in their food? There was a reference to a spirit level. We talked about this last semester, I think, during Of Mice and Men? I can just imagine a little guy following the army across that desert. I wonder what happened to him...When they came upon the abandoned house with the crazy guy, the Captain told someone to look for forage, the soldier replied, repeating "forage" as a question. The captain repeated himself. What was the significance in this? I thought the soldier was acting uncertain, as if there was no "forage" to find. What happened to Candelario during the attack?
The attack was, by far, the worst thing that has happened thus far in the book. Scalping, disfiguring, castrating, and, above all, sodomizing the killed bodies!? Wow...