How is the theme of morality represented by violence in Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian?

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Cormac McCarthy has seldom, if ever, shied away from the use of violence, graphically-portrayed, as a means of defining humanity.  His novels invariably include numerous, detailed descriptions of violent and dehumanizing acts perpetrated against his characters, often by some surrealistically philosophical villain.  In perhaps his most well-known novel, No Country for Old Men, that villainous creation took the person of Anton Chigurh.  In Blood Meridian, a Western set in 1840, it is Judge Holden, as with Chigurh the personification of pure evil.  Like Chigurh, Holden is philosophical: a philosophical, cold-blooded killer.  These characters do not, however, enjoy a monopoly on violence.  Blood Meridian is full of violent characters, including its main protagonist, “the kid.”  If anybody in this novel represents the lighter side morality, it is “the kid.”  How could a fourteen year old boy not be virtuous?  McCarthy provides an answer in the novel’s opening:

(The entire section contains 489 words.)

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