The only women appearances in the novel are isolate and the characters are all whores that have no precise role in the story. Indians also make their appearance felt in the story, but none of them has a significant role.
Blood Meridian has nothing to do with being a revisionist western, as it does not attempt to present people with a revised picture of old westerns. It is purely anti-western, as none of the basic western concepts are being properly presented in the novel. After having read the book, one would most certainly feel guilty for accepting the fact that the writer is somewhat right in certain episodes.
Riders of the Purple Sage almost is the opposite of Blood Meridian, as the 1912 book has most ingredients needed to make a successful western-related book. In the Riders of the Purple Sage, writer Zane Grey has most characteristic factors to make a western. The book involves courageous heroes bound to make justice whereever they go and mother-like characters ready to be taken into the sunset by their heroes.
Blood Meridian is filled with gore, as McCarthy took advantage of every opportunity that the book provided in order to produce a horrific scene. The book presents all the horrible facts about the Manifest Destiny. Indeed, most readers would agree that white people have done terrible things in their so-called journey to civilize the wilderness.
While most authors that have chosen to write on western topics have had some historical accuracy in their writings, McCarthy has been reluctant to connect Blood Meridian to any kind of historical event. Hence, there is little to almost no amount of truth in Blood Meridian, the story being purely fictional.
I and my friends would often play games when we were little, and, while some of us were Cowboys, the others were Indians. We would inspire our play from the movies we saw on TV. As I now realize, westerns have been accessible for mostly anyone, regardless of the respective person's age or nationality.
In my opinion, westerns are reminders of ages long gone which are meant to present people with an image of the events that took place in the West until the early twentieth century. Actors like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood have wonderfully played roles that have made millions of people relating to themselves and to how they would ride freely through the wilderness on a wild horse.
In spite of their mainly artistic character, westerns are also responsible for giving people a lesson in American history. Most westerns have their action beginning somewhere subsequent to the American Civil War, where certain war veterans are being put to test by various villains wanting to take advantage of innocent town people. Historical accuracy is frequently present in westerns, as there are various scenes from the Civil War or from other episodes in American history such as the gold rush.
One of the most important things that I have learnt from westerns has been the fact that the west has been a land in which people could act according to their will. Authority has been of little importance in a land where virtually anyone could own a gun without being put on trial. If you were to be present in the west somewhere during the late nineteenth century, you would have to choose whether you want to fight on the side of the good boys or on the side of the bad boys. Being neutral during those times largely meant that you would have to accept being harassed by the bad guys without having revenge.
Westerns are basically historical films when we consider the fact that they all revolve around the same topic which has actually existed. Even though directors have added an artistic touch to their works, the movies still have within their plots certain events that have a historical accuracy. Westerns are mainly interested to watch for people that are not willing to deal with history manuals and want a clear picture of the U.S. during the late nineteenth century.
There are numerous western movies and books which can transmit false fact to the public. Most westerns have been done during a time when non-white people were still struggling to obtain equal rights to the whites. As a result, the movies had a somewhat racist character, with most non-white actors present in westerns displaying a behavior which damaged the way that they were seen by the worldwide public. Furthermore, what most ignorant people might believe after attending a western movie would be that Indians had actually been savages wanting to murder white innocent Christians.
After having watched a great deal of western movies, I have observed the fact that the later westerns have had more humor involved in them. While the westerns produced in the first half of the twentieth century simply displayed shootouts and crazy Indians, those that came later were done with more care and it had become obvious that film directors anticipated that the public would demand better movies.
The fact that the world evolved and racism had been a thing of the past had become clear through the fact that westerns now presented the main white character exactly as white people had been before the twentieth century. Instead of being the heroes that they once were, white gunfighters in western movies from the second half of the twentieth century were shown as having a dirty character and as oppressing good-willed Indians.
Because of the fact that I have had little connection to the wilderness (or with the countryside for that matter), western movies have really provided an insight of what life in the wild can be. Because of the good acting of the people in certain westerns, one can actually learn how to behave in a situation similar to a western. If it happens for me to encounter a bunch of cowboys armed with huge pistols around the street corner, I would impersonate Clint Eastwood and scare them with my look only. I admit that there are little chances of that ever happening, and, there are even smaller chances of them being scared by my look, but, at least I would have a chance of surviving in the wild civilized world. Western movies are meant to be a lesson for those watching, as people can actually learn something from seeing how people behaved when they didn't have the technology which exists today.
All things considered, the western genre will be remembered through history as being one of the most successful genres to exist. I will always enjoy watching a true western classic with my friends and some popcorn.
Softing, Inger-Anne. Desert Pandemonium: Cormac McCarthy's Apocalyptic "Western" in Blood Meridian. American Studies in Scandinavia, Vol.…