Study Guide

Blood Red Road Chapter 5

By Moira Young

Chapter 5


  • The Desert Swan has thrown down anchor just outside of Hopetown. It's "nuthin more'n a heap of ramshackle shanties," according to our lovable narrator (5.5).
  • Miz Pinch directs everyone to a lovely fellow named the Cage Master. He looks and acts the part.
  • The Cage Master totally submits to Miz Pinch's authority, however. Strange. He is aided by a Tonton soldier named DeMalo, who gives Saba a borderline hallucinogenic episode of the heebie jeebies.
  • Once everything's done, the Cage Master shows Saba a fight in the coliseum. The matches go on until one fighter submits.
  • If a fighter loses three times, he or she is sent to the "gauntlet," where he or she must attempt to run through a narrow lane while being battered to death by a drug-addled crowd. No one survives.
  • Saba wins her first fight by a landslide. Once she lets her anger take over—which she refers to as "the red hot"—it becomes almost fun to beat her opponents into submission (5.130).