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Book Review
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Blood Meridian Or The Evening Redness In The West (Book Review Sample)


The critical review paper must be written in a proper academic style, in an organized manner, with an introduction which sets out what you want to argue, your “thesis” if you will, a body of paragraphs making up the major portion of the essay and a conclusion which summarizes and ties in the arguments you have made in the essay. You must use footnotes (NO endnotes!). You are encouraged to use direct quotes from the authors of the monographs but you must be careful not to overuse them. Remember, a single relevant quote can be very effective in giving weight to a major point you are trying to make. So use quotes sparingly. As a benchmark, if you use any more than 6 – 8 direct quotes in total the essay will be penalized. Be sure to cite the quotes clearly in your footnotes (SEE DOCUMENT ON FOOTNOTE CITATIONS). Do not use more than 2 or 3 long quotes, if you exceed these limits your paper will be penalized accordingly. Be specific in your essay; refer to specific names, events, places and issues. Do not assume the instructor “knows” which incident or event you are talking about; be absolutely clear to be on the safe side. Do not use a “conversational style” when writing the essay however you may use the first-person form in the conclusion when you are summarizing your arguments


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McCarthy presents a gruesome bloody past that related to the actual happenings of the Indigenous people in America. In the extremely graphical and merciless massacre, McCarthy describes the killing of the Indians by the Glanton gang. Led by Judge Holden, the Glanton gang was on a killing mission for bounty. McCarthy vividly describes the torture and suffering directed towards the Indigenous Indians who were found sleeping. Death came upon whoever on site; men, women, and children. Indians, Mexicans and Americans alike faced the wrath of the Glanton gang who killed initially for a bounty to recover scalp, but also gradually killing everyone in their path, for mere pleasure. The disturbing novel filled with violence resonates with the unfortunate fate of the Indigenous people throughout the history.[Cormac McCarthy,1985;48,49.]
The justification of the right to reclaim American land while killing everybody residing there can be traced in the Novel. Amid the confusion created by the wake of violence as witnessed by the “Kid”, Captain White reassures him that “We are to be the instruments of liberation in a dark and troubled land. That's right. We are to spearhead the drive. We have the tacit support of Governor Burnett of California”. The forceful eviction and killing of Mexicans along with the Indigenous Indians had taken a legal perspective. A perspective favoring expansion to the West. In the book Murder State, Lindsay, 2012 describes massive deaths of the California Native Americans following the invasion of the land by the Europeans in the 18th century.[Cormac McCarthy,1985;33.] [Brendan Lindsay, 2012;3.]
Additionally, Lindsay, 2012 notes that the 18th century was also marked by genocide after genocide particularly targeting the Indigenous Indian people. While men were killed by the white American citizenly, women were subjected to inhuman acts such as frequent raping. The government of the day disregarded these backward and inhuman acts. The white men considered it fun and entertaining to rape the women. The blatant killing of the Indian children as described by McCarthy, 1985 has also been recorded by Lindsay, 2012 and described to be a horrifying act designed to systematically reduce the number of the Indian population. Children, for instance, were kidnapped, tortured, and killed by the vigilante white groups.
Scalp and head bounties as featured by the McCarthy novel is also featured in the 18th and 19th-century genocides of the Indian people in the United States. Lindsay, 2012 vividly demonstrates the government’s hand in the horrendous and treacherous activities perpetrated by the white people in which the “local leaders and authorities petitioned the state for arms and money to kill Indians, set scalp and head bounties,..”. The mass murder subjected to the Indigenous people was also as a result of a scramble for their land. The Modoc War of 1873, for example, was a plan to eliminate the indigenous people and take over the land. Lindsay, 2012 argues that while the Modoc people were welcoming and kind to the white people, the response of the white people took them by surprise. In 1852, for instance, Ben Wright led a group of Vigilantes to massacre an entire village of the Modoc people. To the white people, the killing of the indigenous people was heroic.[Brendan Lindsay, 2012; 28.] [Brendan Lindsay, 2012;337.]
McCarthy, 1985 depicts the authorities as the accomplices to the senseless killing witnessed by various vigilantes such as the Glanton gang, then infamous scalp hunters. Lindsay, 2012 contend with the argument adding the role of the federal government in further alienating the position of the Indigenous Americans. The federal government, for example, is faulted for increasing the hostilities between the Modoc people and the Klamath People when the Modoc were forcefully relocated to the Klamath Reservation. Meanwhile, the white people occupy the land previously owned by the Modoc people. Similarly, this nation is captured in the novel by McCarthy when he indicates that land will be the prize given by Captain White in their conquest.[Brendan Lindsay, 2012;337] [Cormac McCarthy, 1985:33]
The degradation of the Indigenous communities is further exemplified by the outrageous actions of Captain White and his company. The treatment was so inhuman that some members of the gang were fabled. Some of the acts included locking their hands in shafts of their spears, parading them naked, as well as painting their bodies. The actions can be related to the treatment of the Indigenous communities in the Western Hemisphere. This is the period the Europeans arrive in the Americas. The Native American communities soon became their source of labor to power their expanding economies. Harsh treatment befell anyone who disagreed with the Europeans. Strange diseases were responsible for the death of numerous Native Americans. The 15th century is marked by the death of the Native Americans in mass scale. McCarthy, 1985 has also brought out incidences of death as a result of diseases similar to the 15th-century diseases. For example, Judge Holden uses his extraordinary knowledge and skills to describe the land that was filled with drought and diseases. The Judge describes the people of Anasazi who had to evacuate their land and wandered off to better places as a result of diseases and drought. The judge adds that most of them perished on the land too. McCarthy’s novel clearly depicts as well researched piece of work covering fictitious yet historically true events that took place in the United States.[Cormac McCarthy, 1985:37] [John Sepich, 2008:84.]
Violence is depicted as a recurrent theme throughout the novel. McCarthy’s novel explicitly describes violence in various forms including pure mankind cruelty, bloodshed, and animosity. The novel reveals the man a warlike creature. McCarthy introduces the novel by telling the story of the “kid” who was born in 1833 amid series of mindless violence. The “ Kid” witnesses firsthand this violence when Judge Holden falsely accuses a reverend of raping a young girl and goat. Filled with malice, one of the crusaders brandished his pistol and shot the reverend. The act of violence was simply perpetuated by an intelligent, well-educated man whose words were used as the ultimate decision to kill the reverend. Moreover, violence is further displayed by the gang led by Captain White who was on a mission to reclaim the land while killing Mexicans. For no reason, McCarthy narrates the sheer acts of violence unleashed by the Captain and his company. On their way, Mexicans, Indians as well as American soldiers met their death. Captain White believed that Mexico should become part of the United States territory. Through the support of their California governor, Captain White and his escapades unleashed a wave of violence that swept through the West to Mexico until his arrest and decapitation.[Cormac McCarthy, 1985:2.] [Cormac McCarthy, 1985:5.] [Cormac McCarthy, 1985:33.]
Further, John Glanton and his gang continue this steak of violence. Mexicans, the Indigenous Indians as well as other militants were not spared as the Glanton gang continues their agenda of scalp hunting. Anyone on their way is...
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