History Main / BloodMeridian

7th Apr '13 3:34:25 PM Xtifr
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->''This is my claim, he said. And yet everywhere upon it are pockets of autonomous life. Autonomous. In order for it to be mine nothing must be permitted to occur upon it save by my dispensation.''

->''I dont see what that has to do with catchin' birds.''

->''The freedom of birds is an insult to me. I'd have them all in zoos.''

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_kxeatsrklJ1qar88i_4404.jpg
[[caption-width:330:[[CoversAlwaysLie It's not about plants.]]]]

Also known as ''Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West''. It is a 1985 novel, the masterpiece of {{Cormac McCarthy}}. An extremely dark and esoteric novel, it's a total deconstruction of the WildWest and InjunCountry, and its main theme, such as it is, could be reasonably argued to be the darkness and ugliness at the heart of the AmericanDream. It was controversial when it came out because of its relentless scenes of amoral violence. It was named by literary critic Harold Bloom as the greatest American novel by a living author.

The novel follows a teenage runaway, only known as [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname The Kid]], who by coincidence stumbles into the company of the Glanton Gang. This troupe of historical scalp-hunters and later outlaws are employed by the Mexican government at Chihuahua to exterminate the native tribes waging war against the settlements of the surrounding countryside. Needless to say, it's not positive reading.

Soon to be a film by Todd Field.
----
* AffablyEvil: Judge Holden is often an eloquent gentleman, who takes off his hat for ladies and whores alike.
** Toadvine and Tobin are also sympathetic for being scalp-hunters, and sometimes act as father figures to the Kid.
* AxeCrazy: John Joel Glanton, the leader of the mercenary gang, has killed so much he has gone insane. Many of his men are even more blood-crazed than he is, but ''not'' Judge Holden, who is the sanest man in the group.
* BadAss: Monsters as they are, all gang members are seriously badasses.
* BaldOfEvil: Judge Holden.
* BilingualBonus: The Glanton Gang operates on the border of Texas, and they speak Spanish with the natives.
** The prophecies of the traveling circus band are entirely in untranslated Spanish.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: And the gray is very, very dark.
* {{BFG}}: The judge during the Yuma massacre. [[spoiler:"When they entered the judge's quarters they found the idiot and a girl of perhaps twelve years cowering naked in the floor. Behind them also naked stood the judge. He was holding leveled at them the [[{{FreudWasRight}} bronze barrel of the howitzer]]."]]
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: The Judge. [[MindScrew Maybe.]]
* ConMan: The reader's introduction to Judge Holden. He convinces a crowd that their preacher is a child rapist and a wanted criminal in another town. The crowd is soon worked up into a rage until they riot and lynch the preacher. Judge Holden later admits he made it up, and got the preacher attacked simply ForTheEvulz. The men in the crowd are at first horrified, then laugh and buy Holden a drink.
* ContemplateOurNavels: Judge Holden is prone to discoursing on various esoteric or philosophical topics around the campfire, speaking with [[SophisticatedAsHell an odd eloquence]] his illiterate rapist companions obviously lack.
* CrapsackWorld: The desolate frontiers of the Old West.
* CurbStompBattle: The Comanches absolutely ''decimate'' the filibusters early on. The Indian tribe suffers no casualties and only a handful of survivors escape. The kid is the only one alive by the next day.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Compared to every other story set in the Old West, even the violent and profanity-laced ''{{Deadwood}}'', this one is by far the darkest of them all.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Of TheWestern genre and most cowboy tropes.
* DevilInDisguise: Strongly hinted at in Judge Holden's case.
* DownerEnding: Oh, God.
** Depends on your [[WildMassGuessing interpretation]] of the final page, that [[spoiler: seems to introduce a GoodCounterpart to the Judge.]]
* EvilAlbino: Judge Holden.
** Although, of course, not really albino, he fits the trope given that he's paler than anyone living in the Mexican desert has any right to be, and when he loses his hat he's variously described as burning and peeling skin.
* GainaxEnding
* GeniusBruiser: The judge, who is strong enough to kill a man with his bare hands, but is also eloquent and well-educated.
* {{Gorn}}: Most of the book consists of the Kid's travels through the deserts and prairies, intercut with sickening scenes of violence.
** Look through enough scholarly articles on this book. At some point the word "ultraviolence" ''will'' be used, and expect at least one or two journals to proclaim it the most violent book ever written. There's more bloodshed in the first 100 pages than in the rest of Cormac [=McCarthy's=] body of work, easily. And the goriest scenes haven't even arrived yet.
* HistoricalFiction: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Joel_Glanton John Joel Glanton]] was indeed a scalp-hunter who led the infamous Glanton Gang, and a lot of ''Blood Meridian'' is drawn from the account of one of his gang members. His employer, Charles Riddell ("Mr. Riddle" in the book) was also a real person.
** As was Judge Holden, scarily enough. He gets the HistoricalVillainUpgrade in this book.
*** Dear God let's hope it was HistoricalVillainUpgrade.
*** [[http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/HNS/Scalpin/heads.html Only barely.]]
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters
* HumanoidAbomination: It's difficult to walk away from the novel without suspecting the Judge to be this.
* InfantImmortality: Horrifically averted, most memorably with the tree of dead babies. In one scene Judge Holden takes a small Indian boy captive after a raid on a village. He keeps the boy with him for the night, then murders and scalps him the next morning, just after he is seen "dandling him on his knee."
** There's also the chapter where one of the scalphunters [[spoiler:grabs two babies by the ankles and swings them against a rock, spilling their brains on the ground.]]
* KarmaHoudini: Somewhat debatable. In a book which describes [[{{Gorn}} the slaughter of so many people in such detail]], the [[spoiler: Kid's "death" is notably absent.]] Also, since the book is a [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic ton of symbolism wrapped in three hundred pages]], [[spoiler:the Judge dancing at the end naked is somewhat suspect.]] Still, a majority of readers come off thinking [[spoiler:the Judge killed the Kid in the outhouse]], so the trope holds.
* KillEmAll: Welcome to the Old West.
* LeftHanging: Most readers come out [[spoiler:saying the Judge raped and murdered the Kid in the outhouse.]] See KarmaHoudini above.
* TheManBehindTheMan: The never-seen Mr. Riddle is initially this to the Glanton Gang, which he has unleashed upon the natives of the Texas-Mexico borderlands. However, Judge Holden also fits this trope.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast
* NietzscheWannabe: Judge Holden.
* NoNameGiven: The Kid.
* OmnidisciplinaryScientist: Yep, Judge Holden again.
* PetTheDog: At one stage, a small mexican child is found by the gang. Holden spents the evening innocently entertaining and conversing with it. [[spoiler: [[SubvertedTrope The child is found scalped the next morning.]]]]
* PrivateMilitaryContractors: Glanton is one.
* PsychoForHire: The Glanton Gang is on the payroll of the Texan state, until they go rabid in the wilderness and begin to rape and slaughter Mexican civilians and Indians alike.
** The Delaware Indians are this to the rest of the Glanton Gang.
* ReferenceOverdosed: The Bible, Melville, and Milton are just the three you're most likely to catch. Watch [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgyZ4ia25gg this for some more insight]].
* SceneryPorn
* SceneryGorn: The descriptions of the village massacres' aftermath, with mounds of burned limbs and carbonized skulls.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: Hey, it's a novel by {{Cormac McCarthy}}. What did you expect, TastesLikeDiabetes?
* SignatureStyle: [=McCarthy=] doesn't believe in punctuation and has actively declared war on it.
* SociopathicHero: The Kid, who is our protagonist. And by 'heroic', all that's meant is he doesn't positively derive pleasure from being evil.
* {{Ubermensch}}
* ViewersAreGeniuses: If you get the many references, it's RuleOfSymbolism instead of WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic: One reviewer of the book mentioned how, on almost every page, [=McCarthy=] has made a reference to something, including Antinomial Christianity, Gnosticism, and [[SpaghettiWestern Spaghetti Westerns]].
* ZergRush: The Comanches travel in a colossal herd of animals and swarms their targets, disorientating them and then rushing in to kill them in the chaos. Captain White's filibusters don't realize how screwed they are until it's too late.

to:

->''This is my claim, he said. And yet everywhere upon it are pockets of autonomous life. Autonomous. In order for it to be mine nothing must be permitted to occur upon it save by my dispensation.''

->''I dont see what that has to do with catchin' birds.''

->''The freedom of birds is an insult to me. I'd have them all in zoos.''

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_kxeatsrklJ1qar88i_4404.jpg
[[caption-width:330:[[CoversAlwaysLie It's not about plants.]]]]

Also known as ''Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West''. It is a 1985 novel, the masterpiece of {{Cormac McCarthy}}. An extremely dark and esoteric novel, it's a total deconstruction of the WildWest and InjunCountry, and its main theme, such as it is, could be reasonably argued to be the darkness and ugliness at the heart of the AmericanDream. It was controversial when it came out because of its relentless scenes of amoral violence. It was named by literary critic Harold Bloom as the greatest American novel by a living author.

The novel follows a teenage runaway, only known as [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname The Kid]], who by coincidence stumbles into the company of the Glanton Gang. This troupe of historical scalp-hunters and later outlaws are employed by the Mexican government at Chihuahua to exterminate the native tribes waging war against the settlements of the surrounding countryside. Needless to say, it's not positive reading.

Soon to be a film by Todd Field.
----
* AffablyEvil: Judge Holden is often an eloquent gentleman, who takes off his hat for ladies and whores alike.
** Toadvine and Tobin are also sympathetic for being scalp-hunters, and sometimes act as father figures to the Kid.
* AxeCrazy: John Joel Glanton, the leader of the mercenary gang, has killed so much he has gone insane. Many of his men are even more blood-crazed than he is, but ''not'' Judge Holden, who is the sanest man in the group.
* BadAss: Monsters as they are, all gang members are seriously badasses.
* BaldOfEvil: Judge Holden.
* BilingualBonus: The Glanton Gang operates on the border of Texas, and they speak Spanish with the natives.
** The prophecies of the traveling circus band are entirely in untranslated Spanish.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: And the gray is very, very dark.
* {{BFG}}: The judge during the Yuma massacre. [[spoiler:"When they entered the judge's quarters they found the idiot and a girl of perhaps twelve years cowering naked in the floor. Behind them also naked stood the judge. He was holding leveled at them the [[{{FreudWasRight}} bronze barrel of the howitzer]]."]]
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: The Judge. [[MindScrew Maybe.]]
* ConMan: The reader's introduction to Judge Holden. He convinces a crowd that their preacher is a child rapist and a wanted criminal in another town. The crowd is soon worked up into a rage until they riot and lynch the preacher. Judge Holden later admits he made it up, and got the preacher attacked simply ForTheEvulz. The men in the crowd are at first horrified, then laugh and buy Holden a drink.
* ContemplateOurNavels: Judge Holden is prone to discoursing on various esoteric or philosophical topics around the campfire, speaking with [[SophisticatedAsHell an odd eloquence]] his illiterate rapist companions obviously lack.
* CrapsackWorld: The desolate frontiers of the Old West.
* CurbStompBattle: The Comanches absolutely ''decimate'' the filibusters early on. The Indian tribe suffers no casualties and only a handful of survivors escape. The kid is the only one alive by the next day.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Compared to every other story set in the Old West, even the violent and profanity-laced ''{{Deadwood}}'', this one is by far the darkest of them all.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Of TheWestern genre and most cowboy tropes.
* DevilInDisguise: Strongly hinted at in Judge Holden's case.
* DownerEnding: Oh, God.
** Depends on your [[WildMassGuessing interpretation]] of the final page, that [[spoiler: seems to introduce a GoodCounterpart to the Judge.]]
* EvilAlbino: Judge Holden.
** Although, of course, not really albino, he fits the trope given that he's paler than anyone living in the Mexican desert has any right to be, and when he loses his hat he's variously described as burning and peeling skin.
* GainaxEnding
* GeniusBruiser: The judge, who is strong enough to kill a man with his bare hands, but is also eloquent and well-educated.
* {{Gorn}}: Most of the book consists of the Kid's travels through the deserts and prairies, intercut with sickening scenes of violence.
** Look through enough scholarly articles on this book. At some point the word "ultraviolence" ''will'' be used, and expect at least one or two journals to proclaim it the most violent book ever written. There's more bloodshed in the first 100 pages than in the rest of Cormac [=McCarthy's=] body of work, easily. And the goriest scenes haven't even arrived yet.
* HistoricalFiction: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Joel_Glanton John Joel Glanton]] was indeed a scalp-hunter who led the infamous Glanton Gang, and a lot of ''Blood Meridian'' is drawn from the account of one of his gang members. His employer, Charles Riddell ("Mr. Riddle" in the book) was also a real person.
** As was Judge Holden, scarily enough. He gets the HistoricalVillainUpgrade in this book.
*** Dear God let's hope it was HistoricalVillainUpgrade.
*** [[http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/HNS/Scalpin/heads.html Only barely.]]
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters
* HumanoidAbomination: It's difficult to walk away from the novel without suspecting the Judge to be this.
* InfantImmortality: Horrifically averted, most memorably with the tree of dead babies. In one scene Judge Holden takes a small Indian boy captive after a raid on a village. He keeps the boy with him for the night, then murders and scalps him the next morning, just after he is seen "dandling him on his knee."
** There's also the chapter where one of the scalphunters [[spoiler:grabs two babies by the ankles and swings them against a rock, spilling their brains on the ground.]]
* KarmaHoudini: Somewhat debatable. In a book which describes [[{{Gorn}} the slaughter of so many people in such detail]], the [[spoiler: Kid's "death" is notably absent.]] Also, since the book is a [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic ton of symbolism wrapped in three hundred pages]], [[spoiler:the Judge dancing at the end naked is somewhat suspect.]] Still, a majority of readers come off thinking [[spoiler:the Judge killed the Kid in the outhouse]], so the trope holds.
* KillEmAll: Welcome to the Old West.
* LeftHanging: Most readers come out [[spoiler:saying the Judge raped and murdered the Kid in the outhouse.]] See KarmaHoudini above.
* TheManBehindTheMan: The never-seen Mr. Riddle is initially this to the Glanton Gang, which he has unleashed upon the natives of the Texas-Mexico borderlands. However, Judge Holden also fits this trope.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast
* NietzscheWannabe: Judge Holden.
* NoNameGiven: The Kid.
* OmnidisciplinaryScientist: Yep, Judge Holden again.
* PetTheDog: At one stage, a small mexican child is found by the gang. Holden spents the evening innocently entertaining and conversing with it. [[spoiler: [[SubvertedTrope The child is found scalped the next morning.]]]]
* PrivateMilitaryContractors: Glanton is one.
* PsychoForHire: The Glanton Gang is on the payroll of the Texan state, until they go rabid in the wilderness and begin to rape and slaughter Mexican civilians and Indians alike.
** The Delaware Indians are this to the rest of the Glanton Gang.
* ReferenceOverdosed: The Bible, Melville, and Milton are just the three you're most likely to catch. Watch [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgyZ4ia25gg this for some more insight]].
* SceneryPorn
* SceneryGorn: The descriptions of the village massacres' aftermath, with mounds of burned limbs and carbonized skulls.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: Hey, it's a novel by {{Cormac McCarthy}}. What did you expect, TastesLikeDiabetes?
* SignatureStyle: [=McCarthy=] doesn't believe in punctuation and has actively declared war on it.
* SociopathicHero: The Kid, who is our protagonist. And by 'heroic', all that's meant is he doesn't positively derive pleasure from being evil.
* {{Ubermensch}}
* ViewersAreGeniuses: If you get the many references, it's RuleOfSymbolism instead of WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic: One reviewer of the book mentioned how, on almost every page, [=McCarthy=] has made a reference to something, including Antinomial Christianity, Gnosticism, and [[SpaghettiWestern Spaghetti Westerns]].
* ZergRush: The Comanches travel in a colossal herd of animals and swarms their targets, disorientating them and then rushing in to kill them in the chaos. Captain White's filibusters don't realize how screwed they are until it's too late.
[[redirect:Literature/BloodMeridian]]
4th Apr '13 2:26:43 AM tuliojulio
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* GeniusBruiser: The judge, who is strong enough to kill a man with his bare hands, but is also eloquent and well educated.
* {{Gorn}}: Most of the book consists of the Kid's travels through the deserts and prairies, intercut with sickening scenes of violence.

to:

* GeniusBruiser: The judge, who is strong enough to kill a man with his bare hands, but is also eloquent and well educated.
well-educated.
* {{Gorn}}: Most of the book consists of the Kid's travels through the deserts and prairies, intercut with sickening scenes of violence.
30th Jan '13 6:11:01 PM Jhimmibhob
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Added DiffLines:

* DevilInDisguise: Strongly hinted at in Judge Holden's case.
4th Dec '12 8:15:10 AM TheAlmightyBacon
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** Look through enough scholarly articles on this book. At some point the word "ultraviolence" ''will'' be used, and expect at least one or two journals to proclaim it the most violent book ever written. There's more bloodshed in the first 100 pages than in the rest of Cormac McCarthy's body of work, easily. And the goriest scenes haven't even arrived yet.

to:

** Look through enough scholarly articles on this book. At some point the word "ultraviolence" ''will'' be used, and expect at least one or two journals to proclaim it the most violent book ever written. There's more bloodshed in the first 100 pages than in the rest of Cormac McCarthy's [=McCarthy's=] body of work, easily. And the goriest scenes haven't even arrived yet.
4th Dec '12 8:11:14 AM TheAlmightyBacon
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Added DiffLines:

** Look through enough scholarly articles on this book. At some point the word "ultraviolence" ''will'' be used, and expect at least one or two journals to proclaim it the most violent book ever written. There's more bloodshed in the first 100 pages than in the rest of Cormac McCarthy's body of work, easily. And the goriest scenes haven't even arrived yet.
17th Oct '12 4:14:45 AM Hoffmann
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Added DiffLines:

* BadAss: Monsters as they are, all gang members are seriously badasses.
30th Sep '12 8:46:32 AM coolfool
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Added DiffLines:

* GeniusBruiser: The judge, who is strong enough to kill a man with his bare hands, but is also eloquent and well educated.
25th Sep '12 1:44:17 PM Zmister517
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Added DiffLines:

* CurbStompBattle: The Comanches absolutely ''decimate'' the filibusters early on. The Indian tribe suffers no casualties and only a handful of survivors escape. The kid is the only one alive by the next day.


Added DiffLines:

* ZergRush: The Comanches travel in a colossal herd of animals and swarms their targets, disorientating them and then rushing in to kill them in the chaos. Captain White's filibusters don't realize how screwed they are until it's too late.
19th Sep '12 8:10:55 AM Hoffmann
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Added DiffLines:

* BaldOfEvil: Judge Holden.
6th Sep '12 3:47:31 AM Foamer
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->''I dont see what that has to do with catchin birds.''

->''The freedom of birds is an insult to me. Id have them all in zoos.''

to:

->''I dont see what that has to do with catchin catchin' birds.''

->''The freedom of birds is an insult to me. Id I'd have them all in zoos.''
This list shows the last 10 events of 47. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.BloodMeridian