One of the things that struck me on Thursday during our discussion of The Road was when this passage was brought up after the boy had joined the family of four: “She would talk to him sometimes about God. He tried to talk to God but the best thing was to talk to his father and he did talk to him and he didn’t forget. The woman said that was all right. She said the breath of God was his breath yet though it pass from man to man through all of time” (286).
When I was working on my paper, I noticed that breath comes up in a few other places in the novel as well. The man’s wife tells him in a reflection “a person who had no one would be well advised to cobble together some passable ghost. Breathe it into being and coax it along with words of love” (57), and it shows up again on pg. 74, “all of this like some ancient anointing. So be it. Evoke the forms. Where you’ve nothing else construct ceremonies out of the air and breathe upon them”. In all of these passages, the idea exists that breath is the creator that provides life. This concept is all throughout the novel as we watch the man explain the former world to the child, his own breath keeping these once tangible things alive in the future where even he will cease to exist.
This is similar to McCarthy’s blood theme in All The Pretty Horses. Blood played an important role in linking everything in the novel. Bloodlines of Alejandra, the Dueña, and the horses are carefully explained to establish the idea of lineage. I think the link that runs through Blood Meridian is evil, but cannot come up with what the links might be for Child of God or No Country for Old Men. Anyone have an idea?