Study Guide

Blood Meridian Setting

By Cormac McCarthy


Mexico and the American Southwest, Circa 1850

If you can get past all the violence, you'll quickly see that Blood Meridian offers one of the most spectacular descriptions of setting that has ever been written. Ever. Just feast your eyes on a passage like this:

They rode that day through low hills barren save for the scrub evergreens. Everywhere in this high parkland deer leapt and scattered and the hunters shot several from their saddles and gutted and packed them and by evening they had acquired a retinue of half a dozen wolves of varying size and color that trotted behind them single file and watched over their own shoulders to see that each should follow in his place. (9.66)

The deer, the wolves, the desert! McCarthy just puts you there with every line he writes. Normally, you'd have to search through an entire book to get a passage this good. But we challenge you to open this book to any page and see if you don't find a passage that's just as descriptive. Go ahead, try us.

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