Josh Schniper

“Where Man Can’t Live Gods Fare No Better”: The Role of Religion in Cormac McCarthy.

Violence is one of the most prominent elements in Cormac McCarthy’s fiction. The amount of violence and gore in Blood Meridian is astounding. The problem is that the violence has to serve some purpose, otherwise McCarthy is merely reveling in the gore. When I attempted to explain the violence in Blood Meridian, I actually discovered a relationship between the violence and religion. This same relationship holds true in the two additional novels that I read: All the Pretty Horses and The Road. McCarthy is using violence as a way of understanding and commenting on the relationship between man and religion and the role that religion plays in life. McCarthy’s view of religion has altered in subtle ways over time and in fact his latest views in some way reshape his older views. The purpose of this paper was to explore McCarthy’s view of religion through his novels.