Cormac McCarthy


American literature is one of the writing works in the world that depicts the revolutionary and diverse forthcoming of a country to precisely what it is today. Markedly, the American literature is known across the globe for its raw and ruthless portrayal of poems, narratives as well as the diverse stories that constitute all about the nation in question (Brewt 127). It diversity covers all the issues from the colonists to the Native Americans, explorers, revolutionaries, to civil war, to the American Renaissance and more. Most importantly, each of the writers, authors, as well as poets strive not only add to the original mosaic and ensures the exemplification of a distinct theme but also sets an exceptionally high standard for the next generation. Among the essential authors in the American literature is Cormac McCarthy, whose bibliography, style of writing, as well as one of the works, are exhibited in this paper. The study will show how the author in question is hugely impressed with the enormous powers that he possesses in the literary field (McCarthy 68).

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Cormac McCarthy’s Biography

The author who was born on July 20, 1933, in Rhode Island, was brought up in the Roman Catholic church, had five siblings, went to Tennesse University where he started his writing began, and he published two stories, ‘Wake for Susan’ and ‘A Drowning Incident.’ However, his first book that will be talked about later in this essay is ‘The Orchard Keeper’ that was published in 1965 (Evenson 135). The author married Lee Holleman but the marriage failed to work out, and he later married Anne DeLisle. After his first work, the author proceeded to write other books including Outer Dark in 1968, Child of God in 1973 after which he started working on a screenplay, The Gardner’s Son between 1974and 1975. In 1979, the author published the novel, Suttree, which became his fourth followed by Blood Meridian in 1985, a novel that has generally been rated the best work of McCarthy. Another one, All the Pretty Horses came in 1992 that was volume one of The Border Trilogy followed a play, The Stonemason then the second volume, The Crossing. The publishing of his third volume, Cities of the Plain was done in 1998 about the same time McCarthy had a third marriage by taking Jennifer Winkley. The publishing of No Country for Old Men happened in 2005 and 2006, The Road and 2013; the author gifted the world with the play, The Counselor.

Cormac McCarthy’s writing style

The author employs a sparse use of punctuation in his work with the intention of having simple sentences that are declarative. In his works, the dialogues are not marked with the quotations, and there is lack of attribution in such dialogues (Thompson 88). However, the reader does not find it difficult in orienting the character speaking although there is the omission of quotations. Further, his works also portray that the author has mastered the skill of sentence structure, which is evident in the way the maps and re-maps Knoxville town in his works. Further, he mostly employs the use of visual imagery in his works.

The Orchard Keeper

The novel portrays the author as impressed with the enormous powers that he possess in the literary field, which is shown in the manner that he uses the visual imagery for about all the items that he writes about or describes in his writing (Ragan 76). Markedly, the author also uses remarkable prose in writing this novel that is aided by the fresh noun refurbishment as well as the adjectives as verbs. In fact, McCarthy combines two unlike nouns to form an adjective in various instances in the novel as well as a language that may reach the cadence as well as a portent of epic. The novel is so much fractured that the plot it has tends to revolve around a particular drifter who was picked up when he was a hitchhiker but later tries inexplicably to cause the death of the driver, a move that brings his death instead (Brewt 139). On the other hand, the author uses the character, Sylder to show the condition of the society. As this character is caught and arraigned in court for selling untaxed whiskey, his monologue sums up a central moral question. The character talks about the irony of the jobs that are unlawful paying much more than the others.


In summary, McCarthy through his first novel, The Orchard Keeper exhibits himself to be extremely impressed with the enormous powers that he possesses in the literary field. This impression drives him into using massive visual imagery, as well as ironical situations like in the case of Sylder to present his point about the decadence in the society. Besides, the author portrays the dangerous direction to which the community is headed but fails to talk about its remedies. Instead, the writer concentrates on the feelings and the reaction of those in the society as it leads to a predetermined dangerous direction.


Works Cited

Brewt, Vince. “The Changing Landscape Of Violence In Mccarthy’s Early Novels And The Border Trilogy.” The American Literature, vol 37, 2004, pp. 121-143., Accessed 28 June 2018.

Evenson. “Embodying Violence: The Case Of Cormac Mccarthy.” The Cormac Mccarthy Journal, vol 14, no. 2, 2016, p. 135. The Pennsylvania State University Press, doi:10.5325/cormmccaj.14.2.0135.

McCarthy, Cormac. The Orchard Keeper. Picador, 1994, pp. 1-70.

Ragan, David. “Values And Structures.” The Orchard Keeper- Mccarthy, vol 6, 2018, pp. 34-97., Accessed 28 June 2018.

Thompson. “Reverse Engineering Cormac Mccarthy’s Sentences.” The Cormac Mccarthy Journal, vol 15, no. 1, 2017, p. 88. The Pennsylvania State University Press, doi:10.5325/cormmccaj.15.1.0088.