Rhetoric Study

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24, 2009 by brianconnerton

“They camped that night on the foreplain at the foot of a talus slope and the murder that had been reckoned upon took place… The black looked once more across the flames at Glanton and then he moved away in the dark. The white man uncocked the revolver and placed it in the ground before him. Two of the other came back to the fire and stood uneasily. Jackson sat with his legs crossed. One hand lay in his lap and the other was outstretched on his knee holding a slender black cigarillo. The nearest man to him was Tobin when the black stepped out of the darkness bearing a bowieknife in both hands like some instrument of ceremony Tobin started to rise. The white man looked up drunkenly and the black stepped forward and with a single stroke swapt off his head.

       Two thick ropes of dark blood and two slender rose like snakes from the stump of his neck and arched into the hissing fire. The head rolled to the left and came to rest at the expriest’s feet where it lay with eyes aghast. Tobin jerked his foot away and rose and stepped back. The fire steamed and blackened and a gray cloud of smoke rose and the columnar arches of blood slowly subsided until the neck bubbled gently like a stew and then that too was stilled. He was sat as before save headless, drenched in blood, the cigarillo still between his fingers, leaning toward the dark and smoking grotto in the flames where his life had gone.

Glanton rose. The men moved away. No one spoke. When they set out in the dawn the headless man was sitting like a murdered anchorite discaled in ashes and spark. Someone had taken his gun, but the boots were where he put them. The company rode on. (p.106-107)”

One of the biggest elements of this passage is imagery. McCarthy obviously goes into a lot of detail to make sure that the reader pictures what is going on. When reading this passage you can see the headless body sitting there with “two thick ropes of dark blood and two slender, ”  coming out of his neck. McCarthy wanted to make sure that the impact of that act stays with you. He described this scene so vividly because he is trying to make a point with it. These men were brutal and lawless and it was perfectly acceptable to lop another mans head off, even though it was a bit distasteful.

The next thing is tone. There is a very obvious, and almost disturbingly dry tone about this passage. When reading this passage, there is no emotion, just action. Now the nature of this passage seems to contradict that observation, and that is what makes it a little disturbing. Normally it would be a scene of horror to witness this. People would go crazy and have this man arrested for doing this, but not in the old wild west. The description of the beheading itself is written very plainly. “The white man looked up drunkenly and the black stepped forward and with a single stroke swapt off his head.” This matter of fact description gives the reader a sense of interest in the matter, not repulsion. This is a very clever technique employed by McCarthy. He is once again trying to give the reader the experience of the rugged frontiersman who is not bothered by some silly old quarrel that ends in a beheading.

 

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Plot

Posted in Uncategorized on November 22, 2009 by brianconnerton

This post will be discussing the plot of the story so far and a few predictions for the plot. In the beginning of the story, you are introduced to the protagonist, the kid. He is an unnamed traveler from Tennessee, who ran away from home at age 14, only to end up in the untamed western frontier. The kid now wanders from town to town looking for work and shelter. He comes across many grizzly encounters in this virtually lawless land. One notable on was when he was involved in a knife fight with a grown man, and bystanders only watched as the man nearly killed the kid. This attitude is prevalent throughout the Texas-Mexico border where the bulk of the story takes place. Soon the kid ends up with a group of vigilante soldiers who kill Indians. Now we reach the heart of the story. The main focus of this book is the American and Indian battles on the frontier. McCarthy goes into gory detail to describe the horrors committed on both sides of the fight, but the biggest trait that McCarthy adds to this old tale is that he doesnt victimize the Indians. McCarthy goes the other way in fact, and he demonizes them. He depicts the Indians as wild savages whose only purpose is to eradicate the white man and take home his scalp. Now this is an interesting way of doing things. Obviously the purpose of this book is to give the reader an idea of what it would be like to live in this time, and perhaps something more, but McCarthy also wants you to feel it. He makes a point of showing the attitudes and views of the typical white frontiersman dealing with the problems of that day, such as not being killed by Indians. Because of this style, it makes the plot feel more real. As opposed to accounts of the time period, it is a glimpse into the way of life of those men we call the frontiersman.

Preliminary Style Analysis

Posted in Uncategorized on November 19, 2009 by brianconnerton

This post will discuss the style that author has used thus far. Probably the most notable stylistic choice that the author makes is to not use quotation marks when characters are talking. At first this made it somewhat difficult to understand the dialogue parts, but as the story progressed it became easier. This style forces the reader to really pay attention to what they are reading. It is easy to lose track of who is talking at any given time because of this.  It is also very easy to mistake dialogue as description if you do not pay close attention to the words. This style also adds to the feel of the book. I say this because it is by no means a dialogue driven book. It focuses mainly on description of what is going in the story. The absence of quotation marks makes even the dialogue seem like a description. Dialogue is really only used as a means of moving the story along. Another thing to note is that the author often uses long, drawn out paragraphs in peaceful times, but shortened and choppy paragraphs when a lot is going on. This is a very good device to give the reader a better feel of what is happening in the story. It makes you feel as if you are actually resting in a town, or fighting off a band of Indians. The last interesting thing about this book that I will put in this post is the vignette at the beginning of each chapter. It will give the reader a summary of what will happen in a slew of words or phrases. A shortened example f this would be:  meets the captain- sells his mule- gets separated from group- Nacogdoches. It is just a brief summary telling you what will happen. I think that the author does this to emphasize that it’s not what happens, its how it happens that matters, and i think that idea will be expressed more an d more strongly as the story progresses.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 12, 2009 by brianconnerton

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Posted in Uncategorized on November 12, 2009 by brianconnerton

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