Analyzing Cormac Mccarthy's 'Blood Meridian'

Words: 2020
Pages: 9

Adham Rashwan

Ryanson Alessandro Ku

Writing 39B

November 1 2015

Education and decision making: an analysis of the Old West

In the western novel, Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy presents a story that is set in the west where violence is often used. The novel challenges the western genre by introducing characters that challenge the roles of traditional western hero and villain. McCarthy contrasts the Kid and the Judge in terms of their differing levels of education. He shows how education is important whereas it can teach you how to strive to be a leader, how to compose yourself when something goes wrong instead of using violence, and how to survive on your own.

In the first sentence of the novel, “See the child” we are introduced to
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If the Judge was not educated, I think he would have been in the same “boat” as the Kid. He would have been just going with the flow when joining a gang and not striving to improve from the lessons he’s been taught throughout fights, injuries, and joining different gangs. Education plays a big role in the Judge’s way of thinking because it portrays him to use words more often than his physical strength. He knows how to remain calm and collected opposed to the kid who would always use violence as the solution without thinking or questioning himself. The real question of should he listen to the order he’s been given or not is something he should have thought about. The kid not being educated caused him the problem he has been facing and made his character an unconventional western hero. The judge is also an unconventional western hero but has a lot of characteristics that would make him a western hero if he were striving for it. But because he was educated and knew how to think when he was facing a conflict he was able to navigate his way around conflicts. Compared to someone who took orders and was manipulated like the Kid.
McCarthy shows the audience how the old west used a lot of violence in order to survive. He does that by talking about two characters one as an antagonist the Judge, and the other as a protagonist the kid. He shows how the Judge can become a western hero because he has a lot of characteristics
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It can open your mind up to a wider sphere of thinking. Even though the Judge used his education in a bad way to get what he wants and make people believe that he is right. If the kid were educated he would have been wiser and probably not become as violent as he is throughout the novel. If anything is taken away from this analysis it should be the importance of education and logic in a good leader. By simple analysis we can attribute all of the kid’s issues to his inability to engage in critical thinking. We can also see how the judge’s success is attributed to his logical thought process, and his restriction to use violence so willingly. A good leader is not always against violence, especially in the old west, but a good leader can differentiate when you need to use brains or