Child of God

Topics: Cormac McCarthy, Woman, Death Pages: 2 (647 words) Published: February 12, 2013
Many times in society, bad experiences that happen to a person at a young age can have a very harsh impact on the rest of their life. While trying to live an average life, there is always something different about them that holds them back from the rest of society. In Cormac McCarthy’s novel Child of God, Lester Ballard is a dispossessed, violent man whose life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order. It isn’t much of a shock either because he didn’t have a good childhood. His mother was never around and his dad hung himself when Ballard was just nine years old. The cruel harshness of his father’s suicide impacted Lester, stemming a violent demeanor in him from an early age on. “I don’t know. They say he never was right after his daddy killed hisself. They was just the one boy. The mother had run off, I don’t know where to nor who with.” Being pretty much abandoned as a small boy only feeds to the rebellious life Ballard leads in the novel. With no guidance and only temporary homes, Lester becomes basically a cave dweller by the early age of twenty-seven. He falls deeper and deeper into crime and degradation. At first the crimes are small, starting when Ballard was in the tenth grade. According to the narrator, Lester’s violence gets the best of him and he ends up punching an innocent boy in the face after the victim didn’t get the softball for Lester. Although it might have seemed typical for a teenage boy to be violent, Ballard’s violence and craziness only increases as the years pass by. His foolish teenage acts do not cease, and instead snowball into much more than just punching someone. His next act is worse, when he finds a car on the side of the road with a dead couple in it. Instead of leaving the bodies to rest in peace, he takes the corpse of the woman back to his small shack of a house that he has and performs various sexual advancements on...
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