In Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy describes a lawless and godless group of men ordained to cleanse the West of lesser people. This group wanders through the West leaving a trail of slaughtered people in their trail. The emptiness and ruthlessness of their hearts is reflected in the harsh and unforgiving landscape. McCarthy uses reoccurring themes of war, religion, and dance to paint a graphic picture of the savageness of life in the West.
As men ordained on a mission, Glanton's Gang is paid to seek out the scalps of Apaches and return them to the Mexican town of Chihuahua City. The gang quickly moves beyond the killing of Indians to include Mexicans, Americans, and whoever else crosses their path. The men are killing on their own
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When faced with killing Dick Shelby, the Kid leaves him alive to face Elias's men. The Kid has three opportunities to kill Holden but lets Holden live. Holden implies the Kid's behavior is mutinous. When imprisoned in San Diego, the Kid chooses to stay in jail and face execution instead of allowing Holden to get him out. By remaining in jail, the Kid accepts that death is more desirable than living life the same way the Judge lives his. This decision shows the Kid understands the evil behind Holden and makes a conscious choice to not follow the same path. Later, the Kid encounters the old withered grandmother in the desert among the massacred. The Kid reaches out to help the woman, only to find she has been dead for a long time. By reaching out to help, the Kid shows the weakness he exhibits when sparing Shelby and Holden's lives. What is considered a weakness by Holden, shows godliness in the Kid.
At Fort Griffin, as the Judge explains to the Kid, this godliness is a weakness. Judge Holden refers to the Kid and himself as the last of the true. God-like forces brought the pair together. After wandering for twenty years, it is not likely the Kid happened upon the Judge in this place by mere accident. Fate pairs these two men up consistently. From the chance meeting in Nacogdoches, to joining up with Glanton's Gang, the Kid is destined to find the Judge. These two men exist only because