Cormac McCarthy The Crossing
This story contains an almost equal balance of good and evil, though it also raises questions of what is truly good. It blurs the line between good and selfish or thoughtless. Characters’ actions sometimes appear impure, but in the long run, are good.
In this story Billy is faced with a wide range of undeserved punishments, but shows good through all of them with his strong will and determination. He accepts the things that happen to him in a levelheaded manner, which works to keep the story from becoming a tragedy. The first instance of undeserved punishment is the death of Billy’s family. Not only was he unable to help them in any way, there was no good reason for it to happen. While Billy could lose all hope, become depressed, and angry at the world or at God for this injustice, he instead sets out to right the wrong.
To begin his venture to right the wrong, Billy goes to get Boyd, who’s been staying at another home after his family’s death. Before they leave, Billy takes a shotgun, blanket, money, and other supplies from the house. Boyd comments, “Even a outlaw don’t rob them that’s took him in and befriended him.” In this instance it could be said that Billy’s actions are morally wrong. In this case however, the ends justify the means. Billy is committing a small wrong to serve the greater good, which reflects a higher prompting on Billy’s behalf.
Billy’s patience is also tried when he learns of his heart murmur. He is attempting to do an already noble thing by joining the army, but is disallowed due to his heart murmur. Billy, undeterred, decides to, “go try em in Albuquerque.” When receiving the same response, Billy replies, “You could pass me if...