Study Guide

Rooster Pinch in Blood Red Road

By Moira Young

Rooster Pinch

Rooster Pinch is a doddering old man who happens to be the daddy of Vicar Pinch, the King of our unnamed post-apocalyptic wasteland. He seems like a decent fellow, but he's kept on a tight leash by his wife, Miz Pinch, and it even seems like she physically abuses him, based on the "ugly purple burn scars" on his wrists (4.494).

Ol' Rooster also has an ability so rare it qualifies as a super-power around these parts—he can read. Holy smokes. He shows Saba a picture of "Lewis Ex Eye Vee [...] the Sun King of France" in a book he handles like a holy relic, regaling her with tales of this long-dead king's glory (4.306). Saba has never seen anything like it before.

Later, this image of "Lewis Ex Eye Vee" (that's a phonetic spelling of Louis XIV, in case you missed it) comes back around as inspiration for his son's royal outfit. While Vicar Pinch obviously does this to symbolize his greatness, it makes us wonder if Rooster's ability to read helped his son rise to power. That would make sense, right?

Barring a shocking plot twist, however, we'll never know, as poor Rooster dies when the Desert Swan pulls a Titanic and crashes outside of Hopetown.