Study Guide

Blood Meridian Family

By Cormac McCarthy


The kid decides to leave his family behind when he's only in his mid-teens. Meanwhile, Glanton has a family in America that he'll never see again because he's wanted by the law and he's dedicated himself to a life of murdering and stealing. Yup, it'd be nice to think that family can offer some sort of comfort in the cold, cruel world of Blood Meridian. But it never appears as a realistic option. Nope, McCarthy's message seems to be, "If you allow yourself to get attached to anything or anyone, you're just setting yourself up for a big disappointment when they die (which they will)." It looks like the only way to avoid sadness in Blood Meridian is to make sure you die before your loved ones do.

Questions About Family

  1. Why do you think the kid leaves his family at the beginning of this book? Is there any specific evidence for his motives?
  2. Is there any mention of anyone's family in Glanton's gang? Where? What des it tells us about the character?
  3. Do you think of Glanton's gang as one big family? How do they look out for each other? How do they not?

Chew on This

In Blood Meridian, we learn that family is a luxury that people in harsh circumstances can't afford.

In Blood Meridian, family is just an empty concept meant to protect the weaklings of society.

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