Sunday, November 8, 2009

Character Study

The Kid is a Tennesseean who cannot read nor write and is described as, "not big but he has big wrists, big hands. His shoulders are set close. The child's face is curiously untouched behind the scars, the eyes oddly innocent." Later in the book I would be surprised if his eyes were half so innocent, but it makes no reference to them. His mother died in childbirth, he never met his sister, and he left his father when he was fourteen.  Also, within the kid, "broods already a taste for mindless violence." Throughout the book, the Kid's response to a conflict is always brute force (That's why there isn't much talking).

Judge Holden (aka the judge) is a priest that stands almost seven feet tall and is completely bald. He is an oddball and very hard to read. He is often described as "pale" with a "childlike" face and small hands. There are a few references to him being the devil: by the Reverend Green (a minor character), whom he got killed; in one part, he walked through a campfire, "like a great ponderous if he were in some way native to their element." Later, when Tobin reminisces about the judge's first appearance, they go through a "malpais," or bad country of volcanic rock. Here, there are numerous references to him making some "terrible covenant" with Glanton, and "little devils" and "devil's batter."

Louis Toadvine is an older friend of the Kid's and, in the beginning, burns down a hotel with him (for no apparent reason). They go their separate ways but meet up again when the judge and Glanton recruit them for scalping Indians. There, he talks with Bathcat (a minor character) about hunting the Indians and later accompanies the Kid to a Mexican Cantina. He is described once as "a man with long hair," and, "His head was strangely narrow and his hair was plastered up with mud in a bizarre and primitive coiffure." He also had the letters H and T burned onto his forehead and an F in between his eyebrows.

Captain White is a white supremacist who thinks that all Mexicans are "degenerates" with no government. He believes that it is his job to "come in to govern for them." When confronting and scalping a hoard of Indians, in which Sproule (a minor character) and the Kid are the only ones to escape, the captain is taken. It is later found out that he was beheaded and his head pickled.

John Glanton is a professional Indian hunter who gets money for their scalps. He is in charge of a group of, "...
viciouslooking humans mounted on unshod Indian ponies...." He once tested out a gun on a cat that, "just vanished", two birds that, "exploded in a cloud of feathers", and a goat that, "fell stone dead," for fun. He also shot a defeated looking women that had, "neither courage nor heartsink in those old eyes." After "A fistsized hole erupted out of the far side of the woman's head in a great vomit of gore...," he calmly asked for, "the receipt." (the scalp)

Benjamin Tobin, also called "the expriest," is a member if Glanton's gang and tells the story of how the judge and Glanton met and formed their alliance. Being an ex-priest, he is aware of the judge's philosophical nature and disagrees with him on a number of things. I would rank him as the third most educated in the book behind the judge and then Glanton, with Captain White as fourth.

John Jackson is a name shared by a black and a white. The black kills the white when tensions are roused and received the fool tarot card by the jugglers, which entails embarking on a journey with optimism. The judge and Glanton often keep information from him, although there doesn't seem to be a reason other than him being black.