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"No Order Save That Which Death Has Put There": Identity Formation In Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy

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Author: Chaney, Matthew Miles
Advisor: Burns, Christy L.
Committee Members: MacGowan, Christopher J. (Christopher John); Kennedy, Colleen; Knight, Arthur
Issued Date: 7/18/2012
Subjects: Cormac McCarthy
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/16776
Description: In order to most accurately convey what McCarthy, a man who believes "there's no such thing as life without bloodshed," is getting at, I must first examine the Western genre and how this conceptualizes its chief protagonist "the cowboy." From here I turn to an examination of how identity is formed from the perspective of McCarthy's white male cowboys, focusing on how the places that they come from and their experiences have led them to become the men who they are. Bearing this in mind I will then discuss the trilogy's peripheral characters, including Mexicans, indigenous people, and women. Despite their relative lack of development as characters, they often challenge and deepen our understanding of McCarthy's universe. We come to see that despite our cowboy protagonist's best efforts to achieve the romantic visions of their imaginations, they ultimately can do nothing but fail.
Degree: Bachelors of Arts in English

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