Moral Law In Cormac Mccarthy's Blood Meridian

1653 Words7 Pages
The novel, “Blood Meridian,” written by Cormac McCarthy, presented acts of ruthless violence that engaged certain characters to act as savages or let their personal values take effect. In some scenes, violent behavior was necessary but other moments were unprovoked. However, there was a scene in particular that offered the opportunity to examine the reasoning behind the violent behavior. The jail scene, where the Judge lectures the Kid about his acts of compassion and failure to continue acting on impulse, embodies the conflict of historical law versus moral law. Judge highlights this conflict by first presenting his definition of historical law and moral law. The Judge conveys the point that the act of participating in moral behavior represents…show more content…
The Judge states, “Moral law is an invention of mankind for the disenfranchisement of the powerful in favor of the weak. Historical law subverts it at every turn. A moral view can never be proven right or wrong by any ultimate test” (McCarthy 261). This quote is significant because it further indicates how the Judge is trying to make evident that moral law is weak. As well as possibly suggesting that something that is not valid should not dictate ones actions over the values of historical law. Two key phrases of this quote is “Moral law is an invention of mankind… in favor of the weak” and “A moral view can never be proven right or wrong”. The term invention refers to a product produced stemmed from imagination. The Judge stating that the idea of morality comes from an individual’s imagination shows how it was a fabricated/thought of decision from civilization to keep down the strongest of men. In preference to cater only the weak as mentioned. In addition, saying that this theory cannot be proven right or wrong loses its credibility to be valued by others since it cannot be verified in the Judge’s eyes. With this being said, this strengthens the argument the Judge is trying to get across because he felt the Kid failed to obey the natural order since he was more in touch with his human nature. The fact…show more content…
As mentioned before the he interprets historical law as an established bylaw that needs to be valued over moral law. His lecture towards the Kid represents the conflict in the novel regarding historical law verses moral law. In the Judge’s eyes, The Kid displaying a conscience and/or occasionally remorse interfered with historic law that resulted in him being in jail for betraying this law. The Judge said, “But you were a witness against yourself. You sat judgment on your own deeds. You put your own allowances before the judgments of history and you broke with the body of which you were pledged a part and poisoned it in all its enterprise… What joins men together… is not the sharing of bread but the sharing of enemies” (McCarthy 319). This quote reinforces the Judge’s viewpoint that displaying morals is unacceptable in the natural world. The moment an individual decides to choose their personal values breaks the code of historical law. The quote mentioning “You put your own allowances before the judgments of history” and “You broke with the body of which you were pledged a part” represents what the Judge believes. Suggested from the text, he believes a person is supposed to commit to the natural world and live without principles. Not committing to laws put in place before man betrayals the natural order. The Kid being placed in jail was

More about Moral Law In Cormac Mccarthy's Blood Meridian

Open Document