And we realize, by the end, that it is the Kid who has been leading us through all along. He nodded toward the specimens he’d collected. Our, Often called “the Judge”, a totally bald, toweringly gigantic, supernaturally strong, demonically violent, and profoundly learned deputy in. Sepich, John Emil. An epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America's westward expansion, Blood Meridian brilliantly subverts the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the "wild west. They are the real dancers. Truly a great book, and a page turner at the end. Because he is a special kind of keeper. I am glad I found this site. And, he says, it is not important. BTW, get the Audiobook recording – listening to it read is a totally cool experience – and believe it or not – there is a ton of humourous scenes once you listen to it…. In a strange way it is Moby Dick’s inversion, in the desert instead of ocean, and I think the novels are properly studied together. Bears that dance, bears that dont. He would see it. Kill the Natives.Spread and impose his philosophy. ...rides and the men find in the desert a ring of eight human heads. Only that man who has offered up himself entire to the blood of war, who has been to the floor of the pit and seen horror in the round and learned at last that it speaks to his inmost heart, only that man can dance. The exceptionalist “petition[s] directly the chambers of the historical absolute”, thus demonstrating willingness “to forgo further argument as the triviality it in fact is” in favor of this higher authority. This suggests that America’s concern is above all with its identity, that its identity has not yet been firmly secured, and that America’s insecurity about its own identity (a problem not shared with European countries, whose identities are established through inheritance) instills in it an ongoing worry about its own mortality. For the first time. These people are not important except insofar as they are part of life’s pageant. He told her that he would convey her to a safe place… [but] she had been dead in that place for years.” P. 315. Holden displays a preternatural breadth of knowledge, including paleontology, archaeology, linguistics, law, technical drawing, geology, chemistry, prestidigitation, and philosophy. Hitler was too personal – he got too wrapped up in it personally – and therefore he failed. The judge wins, the kid sleeps, the judge dances. You, in your genius of this post revealed how captivating the Judge is. The politically incorrect western that tells the truth. The judge ‘never sleeps’ – why? Historical law subverts it at every turn. This somewhat resembles the film The Hitcher, where the antagonist’s plan is not to kill the main character but to transform him into a monster and therefore continue his legacy of evil. He sits with, ...they entrusted to his care. Bottom line is, the kid is 16 for most of the journey, the expriest tells about his first stumbling on the judge in the desert and he makes gunpowder on the volcano and that whole story. I don’t think it matters what happened to the Kid at the end because the Kid is collective humanity- us. At one point the Judge laughs at the others, saying that surely if God wanted to interfere in man’s degeneracy, he would have done so by now. Many other great hints have been covered, but this one struck me the most clearly when I read it. Look out. When they arrived he collected sulfur, then mixed that with the coal, urine, and other minerals, producing functional gunpowder. Additional Notice: This template is meant for admin maintenance only. I’m exhausted thinking about writing it again so I won’t. I’m actually really proud of this thread – people have been finding it for years and leaving AWESOME thought-provoking comments. And whom does he intend toward? “A third man” [not The Judge] is standing outside pissing. Is that not your real name? McCarthy’s language is unforgivably specific and ruggedly adamant in detail, I simply don’t see the invocation to doubt the kid and judge as separate entities. Since man’s life is the ultimate hazard, War is man’s highest calling. Oh, and the fact that he has inner peace and the other men are tormented drunken pillagers says a lot. When the sunlight doesn’t just hurt my face, but insults my own personal experience of misery. Reckon I’m due for a second read now with all the above in mind…. The last summary line of the last chapter is this: “Sie mussen schlafen aber ich muss tanzen”. ), the witness of the story is a killer. Are these men the witnesses? They have X-ed themselves from the world. At the age of 28, he finds an old woman. So the following is only for those who have read the book. It’s just what came into my head as I read it for the first time with no outside influence, exactly like the images I get when it describes the surroundings, or the appearance of certain characters. While I don’t ultimately agree that Holden and the Kid are the same person, I think that interpretation sheds a fascinating light on the novel. He can’t fuck the whore as his mind is on the little girl. Thus he IS the kid.. or at least one of the kid’s split personalities. Ishmael has disappeared. Satan even instructs his minions on how to make gunpowder. The Judge did not expose the preacher at the beginning of the book as a hypcrite. Finally the kid had lost his mercy, his conscious, he was at last worn down and actively made a decision to unnecessarily kill Elrod. arrest Owens’s murderer. Nor is English my mother tongue, nor is it my best language. Did the judge sense something in the kid that made him track him down, follow his footsteps, keep the kid always in his sights? I do not allow it. As a critique of morality, the Judge’s formulation is puerile. Carl Kandutsch ( holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University and currently owns and operates the Kandutsch Law Office ( in Plano, Texas. I don’t think of myself as a shallow person or as a person who needs happy endings. He knows too that the worth or merit of a game is not inherent in the game itself but rather in the value of that which is put at hazard. Yet there’s many a bloody tale of war inside it. THIS scared me the most. He may be philosophically “superior” for his time but he lacks the scientific education with which to truly know the universe (he is still a child in this regard). Amazing book and very well written comments. There. We all create our own truths and live by them. ...campfire while outside a storm rages. The Judge will not! Murder (including child murder)PedophiliaAnimal cruelty. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. Holden means “shallow valley”. However, I figured the Kid to be around 42 when he met the bone picking youngsters who enquired about the scapular of ears. Origin In war there is only victory, at all costs and without mercy. Not all good can be because of God and not all evil can be due to Satan. Even the judge grew silent and speculative. If the Kid has embraced the Judge, they are both spiritually and physically one at the end and the Judge dances. I came here looking to why the Kid went to the Judge at the end if it meant his death. This is a great review sheila. Remember, to them progress (and technology) seemed to hold the promise of answering every question, and its advances seemed inexorable, whether technological advances that were fast changing the industrial and sociological landscapes, or territorial advances over the lands of less “advanced” people. Ok, so I realize the original review here (which is brilliant) is over three years old, but I am really glad I found this. And so as I read the book, as I participated in the genocide, and followed the men westward, my experience of the judge, and how I put him together (because Cormac McCarthy doesn’t show his hand, not until the very end, although we do get clues along the way) was the conduit of dread and hope that, for me, makes up Blood Meridian. And why? I’ll also point people to this thread! In fact, after the judge accuses him of being run out of the previous town for all sorts of crimes, like violating an 11-year-old girl and screwing a goat, we catch up with him in the bar and he admits he had, “never laid eyes on the man before today. A voice straight from the pit, hon, as we’ve discussed MANY times. It can only be seen as something shameful by them? I really think I have figured this ending out, it seems fairly obvious to me. It scares me not just because it’s a scary sentiment, and if you ever met someone in real life who harbors such feelings, your best bet would be to run in the other direction as quickly as possible. To reflect on where his life has brought him, to finally see himself as he was and alway had inside. But he is like a unique butterfly. But then I realised The Judge is quite different because he doesn’t really act according to a codex of principles but rather out of lust and passion; traits of man. That would make no sense…. I just wanted more out of this book. Throughout most of the novel, we are restricted from the main character’s point of view. After I closed the book, I felt like I had completed a murder mystery rather than a western. Brown learns that, ...As the kid drinks, a shot is fired at him; he turns and sees, ...out in a foreign language. The Kid could have ended the encounter a number of ways. The selection of one man over another is a preference absolute and irrevocable and it is a dull man indeed who could reckon so profound a decision without agency or significance either one. The Judge’s only moral yardstick is War. As well ask men what they think of stone. He appears to be a curious man. Perhaps one reason the Judge killed kids was that they reminded him (or scared him) of true innocence. But I did have a gut feeling that the Judge was not human; he was a walking metaphor for the impulse for violence (and that as such he can’t be killed). But the judge is like Captain Ahab. There is mucho psychology here. And in my opinion, as stated in the film Adaptation, schizophrenia and multiple personalities are dead maneuvers in literature. Stalin comes to mind. Did that challenge cause him to write with such powerful language and imagery? As I said above – the writing was incredible – but, to me this wasn’t a story. This brings the bad thoughts back to his head and ‘the judge’ emerges in his character. He puts things together in his mind into a grand and terrible conspiracy. It has been phenomenal to see this conversation continue to flourish. All hell breaks loose. Change ). But though all suspected, no one charged him with the crime. Have not been as affected from a book since I read the road years ago. We are for the first time, after all of Blood Meridian’s intense and detailed instances of violence, wanting another episode to unfold before our eyes. It’s not just the book; it’s what the book did to me that I really want to discuss right now. He nodded toward the specimens he’d collected. The scalp hunters ride on. For existence has its own order and that no man’s mind can encompass, that mind itself being but a fact among others. Evil-doer You are other because you are separate from me, which seems an essential condition to our communicating, to our not being alone, each of us. His first act is to create a “truth” for this group of people that were, for two weeks, believing something completely opposite. Any smallest thing beneath yon rock out of men’s knowing. And he could tolerate silence, stillness, and waiting. Did they do whatever and then the Man rape the girl and killed her? I thought that Cormac McCarthy also did a brilliant job of describing a good and evil persona from a historically based story: Samuel Chamberlain’s My Confession. He knows what he is doing, he knows what the human race is doing, and he understands the reasons why. The judge, hairless, extremely tall (close to 7 feet) large domed man (which is constantly referenced). Blood Meridian Introduction + Context. The Nazi Einzatgruppen slaughtering their way across Russia, Pol Pot in cambodia, Rawanda, Stalin, Mao, etc. "[8], In his essay "Gravers False and True: Blood Meridian as Gnostic Tragedy", literature professor Leo Daugherty argued that McCarthy's Holden is—or at least embodies—a gnostic archon, a kind of demon.