Cormac McCarthy American Literature Analysis
An overview of McCarthy’s work shows the sure and steady development of the writer’s craft, a deepening of metaphysical content, and expansion of thematic interests. His first four novels are rooted in the geography and experience of East Tennessee, the region where McCarthy grew up, while his next four novels, beginning with Blood Meridian, are set in the American Southwest and Mexico.
Early in his career, following the publication of The Orchard Keeper, comparisons were drawn between the Tennessee writer and William Faulkner, his Mississippi predecessor. There is certainly ample ground for comparisons to be made. The fictional worlds of both writers are grounded in their southern experiences. Like Faulkner, McCarthy has been an innovator in language, capturing regional idioms and imbuing his prose with a luminous verbal quality. The narrative designs, not to mention the naturalistic burdens, of Outer Dark and Child of God often remind one of Faulkner, especially novels such as As I Lay Dying (1930) and Sanctuary (1931).
McCarthy’s work, however, is not derivative, and any comparison must emphasize his uniqueness. The social fabric of Faulkner’s world is generally much richer and more interlocking than that of McCarthy, with the possible exception of Suttree. Faulkner’s modernistic narrative technique allows for the expression of more of his characters’ thoughts and...
(The entire section is 7457 words.)
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