Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West

Existentialism in Blood Meridian College

Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian is such a symbolically and philosophically dense novel that anything short of volumes dedicated solely towards its analysis would not do McCarthy’s work justice. However, it may still prove beneficial to hone in on a certain fragment of the text and see what may be gleaned from it through literary analysis. Though this novel covers a vast amount of different topics and philosophies, one that stands out particularly is existentialism. Nowhere is human finitude more glaringly obvious than in Blood Meridian. So, moving forward, there must be yet more specificity, as it is conceivable an entire book still could be dedicated solely to existential philosophy in Blood Meridian. For this essay’s purpose, which is dwarfed compared to how deep and rich certain ideas may be mined out of the novel, the reader may look to specifically the end passage of the story as well as the relationship between the Judge and the kid as symbols of existential philosophy.

It may be beneficial first to get a sense of existentialism in which can later be applied to the novel. An umbrella statement is shown in William Barrett’s thorough examination of existentialism in his book Irrational Man. He writes:

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