Who is Blevins?

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  • 09 Dec 2017 at 9:54 pm #9928


    Newcomer here. A little nervous. Anyway, I just re-read ATPH and remembered how fascinated I was with Blevins’ character. His development, resolution (the bit with the radio preacher), all of it. I think part of the reason his character is so intriguing to me is that I am yet again left partially unsure what to make of it. I’m not sure if this may have been discussed somewhere else in some far away thread but I wanted to see what you all thought. Thumbs up to you!

    10 Dec 2017 at 8:57 pm #9929

    Rick Wallach

    This stuff was discussed quite a bit back on the “old” forum here before we changes systems, and unfortunately couldn’t simply shift the discussion over. But don’t feel you just missed anything; we’re talking, what, ten years ago? My Gawd….

    However, here are a few of the themes we did knock around: trickster myths, the tradition of the picaresque (very loosely speaking), a foil for John and Lacey, a horse thief to contrast with, especially, John Grady’s expertise with horses and his principled approach to life. Someone – and I wish I could remember who – even suggested that, appearing as he did out of nowhere and possessing amazing skills as a target shooter, not to mention being scared out of his wits by lightning and/or catalyzing the boys to their own near-destruction, Blevins was a kind of severely diminished parody of Judge Holden from Blood Meridian. And believe me, that’s just scratching the surface.

    So what do you think?

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Rick Wallach.
    10 Dec 2017 at 11:42 pm #9933


    That is a thought provoking comparison, to say the least. I wonder what the Judge would have thought of him.

    For me Blevins certainly seemed like someone who was in contrast with what John Grady was searching for throughout the novel. The way I read it, it seemed like to John Grady the horse (using that as a general term) represented something very sacred. As if the horse or the soul of the horse held some some sort of secret that John Grady sought. Blevins as a horse thief directly contrasts this sentiment.

    I also wondered if perhaps Blevins was some sort of response or rebuttal to Plato’s ideas of justice. John Grady went against Rawlins’ word to help Blevins because he thought it was the right thing to do. But it ended up putting them at a tremendous disadvantage; nearly killing them, among other things.

    What really nailed me about Blevins though was the ending. I’m left wondering if Blevins was the son of the preacher and his wife that John Grady ate supper with. The someone missing that he never asked them about. Or if he was only named after the preacher, as apparently so many children were. Or if he was just some kid who’d heard the preacher’s show and lied to John Grady and Lacey about his name. As maybe John Grady himself felt, it seems as if something were left undone. Like some conclusion were left unresolved. And maybe it’s perfectly alright to have these questions; to not know. But what does this mean then? If we’re left with a feeling of uncertainty, then what is the message that is connected with this feeling?

    This is why I think Blevins is such a good character. And this is one of the reasons I love reading in general. After all those hours of reading and all that mulling I still feel like there is something more that I’m not getting. Some deeper layer of understanding that is beyond my capability to decipher. I understand that there is no cut and paste answer. But I feel like I’m always right on the verge of some new enlightenment. That’s why I love McCarthy’s writing. It can be frustrating at times but in the best possible way. So maybe a bit of discussion might help relieve some of the frustration, or rather, and perhaps for the better, might intensify it.

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