A look at anarchy and violence in Red Dead Redemption and Blood Midnight

This text reveals the ending of the novel Blood Midnight and Red Dead Redemption.

BingMag.com A look at anarchy and violence in Red Dead Redemption and Blood Midnight

This text reveals the ending of the novel Blood Midnight and Red Dead Redemption.

Blood Meridian, written by Cormac McCarthy in 1985, and the video game Red Dead Redemption, made by Rockstar in 2010, are two peaks in the western genre. In a 2009 interview with the AV Club, literary critic Harold Bloom called Blood Midnight a western that "contains all the aesthetic potential of western stories." Jason Sheehan on All Tech Considered site considers Red Dead Redemption to be the best western of his life because among westerns "there is no trope, no archetype, no theme and no motif that Red Dead has not used, polished and A great story of love, violence, revenge, and redemption has not transformed it." Although westerns are defined for other signs as well, it is important to remember one of them: the presence or absence of laws that make the plains, frontier towns, and open spaces in these stories tell how the absence of laws and regulations, It affects people who know that no one sees them, nor punishes them, nor harms them.

This article will say that in the framework of anarchy, both Red Dead Redemption and Blood Crescent reject violence. As the unchangeable human condition, they insist. This also opens a new window for video games to judge the human actions of its characters.

The western style in the American public mind, no matter how much historical evidence confirms it, means a lawless place and Violent, and this has made the western genre look like a re-skinning of the same "state of nature" by Thomas Hobbes, which he mentioned in his work "Leviathan". In fact, the absence of laws, or the lack of law enforcement, is a direct return to the same notion of a state of nature where there are no social contracts and human life is "isolated, poor, cruel, and short." Half-moon of blood, which internalized these ideas and despite being one of the most important literary books of the 20th century, is perhaps one of the most reckless novels ever written with this amount of naked violence.

The novel shows violence through the character of Judge Holden; A sometimes enigmatic personality, seemingly omnipotent, sometimes otherworldly and badass. Bloom writes, "Judge, with the exception of Moby Dick, is the most monstrous specter in all of American literature. Jaj is violence incarnate. "Jaj means war for the sake of war." In order to see Jaj's bloodlust clearly, we can refer to his most famous monologue in the book, which declares that war, the most violent institution of humans and animals, is God himself. When another character, Irving, challenges the idea of Might is Right, Jaj breaks his belief and says that nature, especially the laws governing it, is superior to all the frail things that bear its name. They have put ethics:

The moral law is the invention of humanity to protect the rights of the dominant in favor of serving the weak... Man's arrogance may have an infinite capacity, but his knowledge remains incomplete and no matter how much he respects his judgments, they must be filtered by the court. Aali and Qazi al-Qadat [the person who is his superior] will pass. That is where intercession is not accepted. It is there that involvement in equality, righteousness and moral right becomes absurd and unwarranted. That is where the views of the advocates become thorny. In the decision about life and death, about what should be and what should not be, all legal issues are begging. In front of these big questions, there are only trivial, moral, spiritual and natural issues.

BingMag.com A look at anarchy and violence in Red Dead Redemption and Blood Midnight

[Although Judge Holden was made famous by Cormac McCarthy's novel about him, there was a historical figure of the same name in the Wild West who was a member of John Joel Glenton's gang. On the border between America and Mexico, this group made a living by scalping Indians and selling them to the Mexicans, like bounty hunters.]

BingMag.com A look at anarchy and violence in Red Dead Redemption and Blood Midnight

[The only historical source that mentions Judge Holden is Samuel Chamberlain's My Confessions: Reminiscences of an Outlaw. In his autobiography, as a former soldier of the US-Mexican War, Chamberlain described him as a well-educated, well-educated, large, hairless, polite man who was also the most ruthless member of Glenton's notorious gang. McCarthy describes his blood in Midday: "a hairless, giant, wizened man who excels in archery, linguistics, horsemanship, dancing, music, painting, diplomacy, science, and whatever he sets his mind to." He is considered the main preacher and philosopher of Glenton's lawless wars. is, and this law of nature again gives physicality to the idea of nature-as-an-inherently-violent-place. Holden considers nature to be the principle and not human social conventions such as morals and spirituality, which do not have the power of stability like nature. He considers nature to be the "supreme court". Throughout the story, Jaj does not care about the ephemeral qualities of human contracts, and for this reason, he only follows natural sciences, astronomy, and geography; Intellectual preoccupations that show his desire for nihilism rooted in the concept of Deep Time (1).

It is also important to remember that Holden considers war to be natural and not the result of human conventions: "What man thinks about war It doesn't matter. It is like asking a person what he thinks about a stone. The war continues. War has always been here. Before man came into being, war was waiting for him. He was waiting for man to come and buy him. It was like this before and it will remain like this." Not only war, like the world, existed before humans, but it continues to exist even after the extinction of the earth's creatures. McCarthy presents violence not only as something natural, but as something eternal and eternal. Non-violence in a Hobbesian world and the state of nature is no longer a desirable option. Here, tension is inevitable, and nature's actors are at war in a constant competition for resources, and there is no government to regulate, secure, and guarantee the rights of individuals and groups. The disease of anarchy can only be cured by the medicine of conventional laws, although according to Judge, the basis of law - the law of nature - not only does not disappear, but remains as an "absolute government" that no superior law can arise.

Holden implements this philosophy he has chosen for his life many times throughout the book and does evil for no reason. In his first appearance in the story, he accuses an itinerant preacher of having sex with animals for no reason and incites the people against him. After finding an orphaned boy, Holden takes care of him, but the next morning Gang finds the boy with a broken neck, and everyone knows that the main suspect can be none other than Holden himself. He buys a couple of puppies in a basket only to throw them to Roaring Rudy so that another member of the group can shoot them for target practice. It is indirectly indicated that he is a rapist and a pedophile because every city the group travels to, the next day, a number of teenage children disappear. Holden is evil simply because he has the power. But his violence is caused by insensitivity and anti-socialism and absolute indifference to the people who live in an existence that they do not have the ability to understand. As Holden says: "The one who decides to find a thread in this curtain of existence that shows the order of the world, he can rule the world with this decision alone, and only with the help of such work can he define his own destiny." Only Judge has followed this thread to act like the forces of nature: random, massive and destructive.

From here we enter Red Dead Redemption. John Marston is one of two characters that the player controls throughout the story, and his story is a major part of the narrative that takes place in 1911 in the fictional borderlands between the United States and Mexico. The United States government reflects itself in the form of two shadowy characters named Edgar Ross and Archer Frodham. The two take Marston's wife and son hostage, forcing Marston to hunt down former members of his gang, Van Der Linde, and capture him dead or alive. Along the way, the player realizes that Marston himself, who used to be a member of Van der Linde, had crimes such as killing hundreds of people, stealing from dozens of trains and more than forty banks, and was the cause of untold chaos in the West. However, after one of his trips with the group doesn't go as planned, he runs away with his wife Abigail and son Jack. By buying a farm and living as peasants, they wanted to start a new life without crime.

BingMag.com A look at anarchy and violence in Red Dead Redemption and Blood Midnight

[In the northern states of Mexico, Sonora, Chihuahua and Coahuila, the raids and looting carried out by the Indians were a thorn in the eyes of the Mexicans and Spaniards living in the region. Finally, in 1835, the governor of Sonora announced that he would pay 100 pesosroughly $100for the scalping of each Indian. John Joel Glenton's band was able to make a huge fortune by massacring the Indians, until the Indian rebellion was put to sleep. But Glenton's group, who did not want this source of capital to be lost, gradually attacked Mexican peasants and sold their scalps, which looked like Indians, until the local government found out about it and Glenton and his friends fled.]

One of the themes that is constantly repeated throughout the story is that Marston's goal, despite being violent on behalf of the government, is simply to return to his wife and child and become a better person by living a simple life. In short, he wants to live life to the fullest Let his crime pass and be redeemed. He says, "Before, I wanted to stop him... I wanted to be a reasonable person", but at the same time, he shows awareness of his violent nature in another conversation: "I am not an uneducated killer that I sent here to shed blood freely." Marston is not ignorant of his happiness, but he is committed to changing, and the killer inside him is a part of his past that he can use to bring his family back.

After Marston two of the members He destroys the old gang in Mexico and finally kills Dutch van der Linde, the leader of the group, the government gives him his family back and it seems that the story is over and Marston can continue his life on the farm and happily. , and clean up the past sins he has committed with a simple life away from industry.

But the story does not end here and there are about five or more missions left, which include stealing a train or escaping. Not with horses or revolvers or high-speed duels. Instead, these missions simply involve John interacting with his family as they walk around the farm. deer hunting; keeping the crows away from the granary; delivering corn to the nearby town; killing a bear that wants to eat his teenage son; buying cattle; And such normal work in the farm. The end of the story is memorable because after so much slaughter throughout the Wild West, there is unexpectedly no more violence.

And finally, John Marston's last mission begins. More than a hundred soldiers and federal forces attack his farm like Moore and Locust. In one of the most memorable scenes in the history of games in the last decade, John secretly escapes his wife and child who are stuck in the stable. Then he opens the door himself and sees almost 20 soldiers pointing their weapons at him. As soon as John Marston fires the first shot to sacrifice himself, he is shot by the soldiers. John Marston coughs his last, gasps for breath, and falls to the ground. His wife and child arrive after the soldiers leave and bury him.

There is no salvation for John Marston. He died as he lived; With a weapon in his hand, an atmosphere of blood around him, and countless men shot by him and lying around him. For all his talk of putting his rebellious past behind him, he never really got the chance to change. His violence defines him in such a way that government agents felt they had no choice but to kill Marston, despite his services to them. This is reminiscent of Marston's final confrontation with Dutch, who believes it is impossible for him to give up and change, even though he is aware of his wrongdoings. "We can't fight nature, John," he says before throwing himself off a cliff to die. We cannot fight change. We cannot fight the law of gravity. We can't fight anything. All I did in my life was fight... but I can't give up either. Because I can't fight with my own nature." For both Dutch and Marston, violence is inherent, necessary, and all-encompassing. It gives them a purpose for life and takes their life away from them. But it is still unchangeable, permanent and inescapable. As much as Marston wants to give up his violence, but the fact that he has this ability is enough to make him one of the most dangerous men in the Wild West, and the proof is the hundreds of characters he kills to achieve his goal.

But the game does not end here. As the camera focuses on Marston's grave, it pans to the right to reveal the grave of Abigail, who died three years after her husband was killed. Here, the player takes control of a slightly grown-up Jack and goes on a few more missions to find and kill Edgar Ross, the same federal agent responsible for his father's murder. In this sense, John's violence is reintegrated into his son's soul, and again we see that violence has become something eternal. As Holden said, "Before man existed, war was waiting for him. He was waiting for a human to come and buy him." And Jack is also the customer who was found and bought the war. It is also reminiscent of the final paragraphs of Half-Blood, in which Jaj dances and plays the piano, while the main character of the story is brutally drowned in blood. Holden says he'll never die and he'll never stop dancinga hair-raising cue as we realize that violence is embodied in the form of the judge.

And they're dancing, banging on the boards with their high-boots. And the musicians laugh out loud with that so-called music. The one who is the tallest and stands like a tower in the crowd and dances with his naked body and his little legs are more lively and faster than ever and he bows before the women, always big and pale and hairless, like a giant baby. He says he never sleeps. He says he will never die. He lowers his head in front of the musicians and moves away from them with the same posture as a dancer, and raises his head and giggles from the bottom of his heart, and everyone loves him, i.e. Jaj (2). He throws his hat in the air with dignity, and under the lamps, his hairless skull can be seen like a moonlight dome, and he spins, and Vialon grabs one of the musicians and spins on his heel and flirts, flirts again, dances and plays at the same time. His legs are light and agile. He never sleeps. He says he will never die. It dances both in the light and in the shadow and everyone loves it. The judge never sleeps. He dances, dances. He says he will never die.

BingMag.com A look at anarchy and violence in Red Dead Redemption and Blood Midnight

In the middle of the day, something is blood. What's most clear is that Manifest Destiny gets America wrong, and Red Dead Redemption agrees with him just as much. One of the story's laudable characters calls it "Mud Water", and one of the game's secret Achievements/Trophies, Manifest Destiny, is revealed only when the player kills every single buffalo in the environment and makes them extinct: an intrusive belief symbol that leads to enlightenment and lofty peaks. It doesn't work, it leads to massacre and destruction of innocents.

Although both Blood Crescent and Red Dead Redemption follow the structure of the old west and contain many genre stereotypes, it is important to remember Both of which are products of post-1945 America and are pessimistic that civilization can actually stop violence. As I mentioned in my analysis of Blood Meridian, McCarthy doubts if humans can make laws for themselves that can prevent the Hobbesian state of nature and the Darwinian laws that supersede it (i.e., natural selection). Red Dead Redemption also does not have a happy view of human ability to overcome violence. Richard Bessel, in his book "Violence: A Modern Obsession", says that this amount of obsession to avoid violence in our time "...represents the progress and an irreversible process of the victory of the Enlightenment values that the West It did not reach the peaceful northern lands so that it might become a model for the rest of the world. "The eruption of violence in Europe in the first half of the 20th century...showed that the protection that civilization has established is more fragile than many might think." In Bessel's opinion, civilization is not an obstacle to violence, and in the opinion of many other people he refers to, it is a cause of violence, especially when Europeans and Americans, citing the same civilization, brought it into lands and peoples that they thought were uncivilized. Following on from this discussion, in Blood Midnight what is clearest is that Manifest Destiny gets America wrong, and Red Dead Redemption agrees with him just as much. One of the story's laudable characters calls it "Mud Water", and one of the game's secret Achievements/Trophies, Manifest Destiny, is revealed only when the player kills every single buffalo in the environment and makes them extinct: an intrusive belief symbol that leads to enlightenment and lofty peaks. It doesn't work, it leads to massacre and destruction of innocents.

In this case, we see that one of the "defenders" of civilization in Red Dead Redemption is considered the antagonist of the story. Towards the end of the story, Edgar Ross deviates from the discussion and speaks as if it were taken directly from the pages of Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan: "Though the laws are not so perfect, they are not so bad... I tell you what the alternative is. It is very simple. It means one man with his gun against another man. "Well, civilization can be boring, but its absence, Mr. Marston, is hell." Civilization could not stop Ross from becoming a very violent man. Although he wants to protect the principle of civilization, he repeatedly indulges in barbarism and carelessly kills Marston, despite the fact that he was no longer considered a threat, contrary to Ross's statements. And elsewhere in the narrative, Rockstar's writing team does their best to remain dispassionate about civilization's ability to contain violence and humanity. Even John Marston occasionally thinks that technology, progress, and civilization will redeem people and keep them away from violence, and the next age will take his son's step in his path: "He's a good boy. He can be whoever he wants. But it is not supposed to be a revolver, kill and hit Chuck with gangsters. These things are over. The railways, the government, engines and everything arranged these things. However, towards the end of the game, we realize that Jack also inherited his father's essence: a violent man defined only by his quest for revenge. Civilization could not save him from what happened to his father.

However, Red Dead Redemption not only describes this issue in the narrative structure, but also reviews the relationship between the player and violence. Video games are special in that their audiences are not passive like readers of a novel, listeners to music, or viewers of a movie. Instead, the player takes an active role in the narrative, and Red Dead Redemption pokes fun at the player's desire for violence and villainy; For example, the dialogue between Marston and his son seems to be talking to the player himself who is sitting in front of the TV:

Jack: Is there anything you don't want to shoot, father?

John: Well, so far. I didn't see anything, but I will let you know as soon as I see it I give. Maybe you could write it in one of these books you're reading.

Jack: Yeah, maybe I'll do that... "The Day John Marston Stopped Shooting."

John: You know, I don't know anything about literature, but I don't think such a book will sell. People want something with shooting this and that inside.

Jack: I think you're right, Dad.

Both Little Marston and Big Marston agree. They find that people enjoy violence in fantasy. Red Dead Redemption, like Half Blood, uses the Old West to raise questions about the human condition, a place where the lack of rules gives the characters almost complete freedom to make decisions that they would not be able to make in other places due to moral and legal restrictions. Video games are also like this border region. Players, especially in titles like Red Dead Redemption and several other genres and games, unlike the real world, are more willing to be violent than anywhere else. Take for example the game I'm playing right now, Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, which shares open world features with Red Dead. When I'm out there facing a castle with 20 enemy soldiers, it's not a question of why I should kill them, it's a question of how I should kill them.

This is not to say that video games make people more violent. . Bessel does not say that increasing the display of violence causes an increase in violence. "People have seen an increase in simulated deaths and fake blood in recent decades," he writes, "but their enthusiasm for sacrificing or seeing real blood doesn't seem to have increased. "Seeing a predetermined scene and a show of violence is completely different from seeing someone being beaten to death in front of our eyes." Instead, the unfortunate result is that we love violent games, movies, and novels because violence has long been embedded in the human heart. Even before the media was violent, there was violence of such intensity that few stories can recreate. I previously wrote that Blood Meridian is one of the most violent books ever written, but it is nothing compared to the violence against the indigenous peoples of this continent, or the Holocaust, or Genghis Khan's brutality, or the human sacrifices of the Aztecs. The sports we see today as violent activitieseven MMA, boxing, and American footballare nothing compared to the violence men and animals endured in the Roman Coliseums. If we can manage our violence in a virtual space to eliminate the results and consequences of our violence, not only for the perpetrators but also for the victims, it is much better than if it is done in the real space. As human beings, we should not consider violence as a separate entity from ourselves, but we should accept that violence is an inseparable condition of the human condition. As John Marston teaches us, humanity's violent past is inescapable. It is a part of our being that we have to live with and only by recognizing it, accepting it and understanding it can we hope to control it. The truth is that there is a part of Judge Holden inside all of us. And he'll never die, and he'll never stop dancing but that doesn't mean we have to compromise.

BingMag.com A look at anarchy and violence in Red Dead Redemption and Blood Midnight

1. Deep Time: It mostly refers to the natural and geographical history of the earth, and its relatively philosophical meaning is that, contrary to the belief of creationists, the world was not created at the same time as humans and for humans, but after billions of years of existence, it was created as a member like other members. The reason why Judge Holden has more knowledge about natural sciences than humanities originates from here, because the character of Judge Holden considers the laws of humans to be absurd compared to the laws of nature. (m)

2. In the entire bloodline, the character of Judge is the only person whose first name is written as judge without a capital letter. This means that Jaj, as a proper noun, has become Jaj as a common noun, and as a common noun, it may be considered synonymous with "judge". This explanation is required because in Persian, for the name to be general and specific, it is not possible to use lowercase or uppercase letters like in English. At the end of the novel, maybe we will understand why the name of the judge was written with a small letter: he is the eternal master of violence and like a judge who has the life and death of mankind in his hands. So, only by writing in the form of judge, the meaning of the name and its meaning as "Qazi" can be conveyed. (m)

Read more: Top 10 games for fans of Cormac McCarthy's books

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.