Blood Meridian

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A prophet whom the kid, Earl, and second corporal encounter while drinking in a bar in Bexar, the Mennonite warns the three men against joining Captain White on his undertaking, for he fears that White’s invasion of Mexico will wake the wrath of God. The kid and his companions berate the Mennonite and swear at him; but his prophecy comes true nonetheless.

The Mennonite Quotes in Blood Meridian

The Blood Meridian quotes below are all either spoken by The Mennonite or refer to The Mennonite. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Warfare and Domination Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage edition of Blood Meridian published in 1992.
Chapter 3 Quotes

The wrath of God lies sleeping. It was hid a million years before men were and only men have power to wake it. Hell aint half full. Hear me. Ye carry war of a madman’s making onto a foreign land. Ye’ll wake more than the dogs.

Related Characters: The Mennonite (speaker), Captain White
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:

After being contracted into Captain White's army, the Kid celebrates by going into Bexar to drink with some of his comrades-in-arms. There, they meet a Mennonite – a Christian sect of strong moral and religious beliefs and a refusal to engage with modern culture. The Mennonite is one of several prophets in the novel who foretells death and destruction.

Specifically, the Mennonite gives an account of God's Creation of the universe which holds that God created not just with love but also wrath, and that the wrath of God has been merely sleeping, to be awoken by the evil acts of human beings themselves. This account is an allusion to Herman Melville's Moby Dick, where the narrator thinks, "Though in many of its aspects the visible world seems formed in love, the invisible spheres were formed in fright." In other words, Love and Wrath are not distinct, but bound to one another. We will see just how frightful our universe is if we persist in our evil ways, the Mennonite implies.

One of the ironies underlying this passage is that Captain White claims to be bringing God and good government into Mexico by making war there. He, like many Americans of his time, are intoxicated with a myth of progress, the idea that human beings can master nature and spread civilization and perfect themselves. The Mennonite sees, however, that unchecked, ruthless progress, far from bringing paradise to earth, will bring a hell instead.

Of course, no one heeds the Mennonite's words.


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The Mennonite Character Timeline in Blood Meridian

The timeline below shows where the character The Mennonite appears in Blood Meridian. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Fate Theme Icon
Religion and Ritual Theme Icon
...comrades wander the streets before entering a cantina. They order whiskey, drink, order more. A Mennonite at the bar shakes his head and speaks to them, warning that the United States... (full context)
Warfare and Domination Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
The kid and his two companions berate the Mennonite who moves away, muttering. The three drink and drunkenly quarrel with other patrons. In the... (full context)