The Judge And Pervasive Lack Of Morality In Blood Meridian

639 words - 3 pages

Within the first few pages of the novel, McCarthy already introduces the reader to the bleak and uninviting world in Blood Meridian. The maliciousness of the judge’s speech about the reverend in the opening scene and the surprising lack of response from the crowd once the judge reveals his deceitfulness both establish the atmosphere of the novel and exposes the cruel and mysterious nature of the judge.
At the beginning of the opening scene, Reverend Green captivates his audience with a powerful sermon. Nonetheless, when the judge enters the tent, we see that the attention immediately shifts towards his direction. His brutal yet baseless accusation of the reverend involving fraud and pedophilia shows that he is certainly capable of tremendous evil and his indictment of a presumably innocent man demonstrates that his malice does not even come with a moral code. His speech also illustrates his ability to use language to control people how he pleases. The reverend’s unsuccessful attempt to prove his innocence is unfortunately no match for the judge. The judge is able to bring out the worst in people and, in this case, a mob mentality of strangers willing to oust a man based solely on the words of one man. In this scene, there exists no voice of reason, no one who wants corroboration of the judge’s charges. Instead, as evinced in the entirety of the novel, characters are quick to resort to violence and this scene displays just how heartless the environment will be. The prevalence of people calling for the reverend’s head captures the continuation of the mindless violence in the novel and hints at its endless nature. If the judge is able to successfully exert his influence, then perhaps society as a whole reflects his intentions of evil.
When the judge reveals to the rest of the folk that he “never laid eyes on the man before today,” the unexpected laughter that permeates the room illustrates,...

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