Saturday, November 7, 2009

Blood Meridian and American Culture

Blood Meridian  illustrates the underlying motifs in American Culture and explores the brutality with which Americans can go about pursuing their goals. For instance, during the set time period, the ideology of "manifest destiny" played a huge part in the American expansion to the West. This "obvious" destiny was that America would accrue more land until it went from the East coast to the West coast, while the consequences of such a pursuit would mean the loss of many lives in gruesome fashions. Every American wanted a part of this fabled land, and didn't mind killing for it.

In the beginning of the story, a character named judge (he's a priest) walks in on a sermon by a Reverend Green and accuses him of rape and usurpation of the position of minister. After the reverend is killed, he later admits when questioned that he never met the guy before that day. Everybody was silent at first, but then laughed and drank and completely did not care about what was done. In other words, as long as they weren't the ones in trouble, it didn't matter who was. This portrays America as a country where the just can be unjustly accused. Even though it remains to be seen whether or not the Reverend did rape an eleven-year-old girl or not (he acted slightly suspicious), the point is that anyone can accuse anyone else of anything and get away with it.

Clashes of emotion that lead to violence are a common occurrence in the book. Americans are known for their strong wills and appearance of strength when it comes to conflicts. When the Kid travels with an injured Sproule, Sproule states that his arm stinks. But when asked by the Kid if he wanted him to look at it, he says, "What for? You caint do nothin for it." The Kid tells him to suit his self, of which he replied, "I aim to." In other words, Sproule didn't want the Kid to do anything about it, he just wanted someone to notice and to express his sentiments about his injury. Sproule wished to assert that he would do what was best for him. Ironically, at times when he says he'd rather stay at one place or another, he ends up following the Kid.

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