Blood Meridian

David Brown Character Analysis

Often called Davy Brown, an especially violent deputy in Glanton’s gang and Charlie Brown’s brother; he comes to wear a necklace of human ears, perhaps recovered from Bathcat’s corpse. When the gang first came upon the Judge in the desert, David Brown wanted to leave him but was overruled. Brown later dismisses the Judge’s lecture on order and purpose in the universe as “craziness,” and calls the Judge crazy again when the giant declares that war is God. In San Diego, Brown is jailed for lighting a soldier on fire with his cigar but bribes one of his jailers to free him, only to murder the jailer and take his ears to add to his necklace. Thereafter he seems intent on defecting from Glanton’s gang. Some time after the Yuma massacre on the Colorado River and its aftermath, Brown, along with Toadvine, is executed by hanging in Los Angeles. The kid buys the dead Brown’s necklace of ears for two dollars.
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David Brown Character Timeline in Blood Meridian

The timeline below shows where the character David Brown appears in Blood Meridian. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
Racism and Partisanship Theme Icon
...in the town plaza. Glanton, the Judge, and two other members of the gang, David Brown and his brother Charlie Brown, ride out to the estate of General Zuloaga (a Mexican... (full context)
Chapter 10
Fate Theme Icon
A deputy in the gang, David Brown, wanted to leave the Judge on his rock, but Glanton overruled him and decided to... (full context)
Chapter 12
Witness and Mercy Theme Icon
...human infant. At night, though pursued by Apaches, the riders halt and make camp. David Brown took an arrow to the thigh during the massacre and asks for help, but none,... (full context)
Chapter 13
Warfare and Domination Theme Icon
Racism and Partisanship Theme Icon
...by gang members John Dorsey and Henderson Smith, soon followed by the Judge and Charlie Brown, rush to the doorway, to be followed by a drunk Mexican with a knife; he... (full context)
Warfare and Domination Theme Icon
Witness and Mercy Theme Icon
Glanton discusses with the Judge and David Brown whether the Americans can overtake the Mexican soldiers who escaped before they make it to... (full context)
Chapter 14
Warfare and Domination Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
...muleteer and almost pushes him off a cliff. The muleteer draws a rifle, but David Brown shoots him first. Another shootout. Many mules fall to their deaths. Carroll and Sanford have... (full context)
Chapter 16
Warfare and Domination Theme Icon
Racism and Partisanship Theme Icon
...saying that he knows for a fact that black Jackson is in fact black. David Brown gives Owens a gun and tells him to shoot Jackson; Jackson rises and blows Owens’s... (full context)
Chapter 17
Warfare and Domination Theme Icon
Racism and Partisanship Theme Icon
...whiskey is exchanged for gold and silver. Mangas seems dissatisfied with the trade, but Davy Brown assures a new recruit that the Apaches won’t follow in the night. (full context)
Warfare and Domination Theme Icon
...the universe is imposed by our own minds, not inherent in the thing itself. Davy Brown spits into the fire and dismisses this as crazy talk. (full context)
Warfare and Domination Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
The Judge smiles and kneels beside Davy Brown with a coin in his hand. “Where is the coin,” he asks. The Judge throws... (full context)
Warfare and Domination Theme Icon
Davy Brown studies Judge Holden and dismisses him as crazy. Another gang member, Doc Irving, says that... (full context)
Warfare and Domination Theme Icon
Racism and Partisanship Theme Icon
...(presumably the leader of the band Colonel Garcia and his Sonoran soldiers were hunting). Davy Brown spits and Glanton calls the bunch “crazylookin,” but the Judge thinks that the Indians are... (full context)
Chapter 19
Warfare and Domination Theme Icon
Racism and Partisanship Theme Icon
Two days later, the Yuma Indians attack the ferry crossing. Davy Brown and Webster stand on the hill with the howitzer and fire at them, killing some... (full context)
Warfare and Domination Theme Icon
On April 2, David Brown, Webster, and Toadvine set out for San Diego to obtain supplies. They arrive without incident... (full context)
Warfare and Domination Theme Icon
Witness and Mercy Theme Icon
The farrier returns with the sergeant of the guard to find Brown hacking at his shotgun himself. The sergeant asks if Brown threatened the farrier, and Brown... (full context)
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Racism and Partisanship Theme Icon
In the plaza, Brown encounters Toadvine and Webster, newly released. The three begin drinking, first on a beach (none... (full context)
Warfare and Domination Theme Icon
Racism and Partisanship Theme Icon
...and his men torture the alcalde and his wife, seeking the money dispatched with Davy Brown as well as Brown himself. Nothing comes of the interrogation. The gang members tie up... (full context)
Chapter 20
Racism and Partisanship Theme Icon
Tobin and the kid soon come across David Brown in the desert. Brown asks about what’s happened to them, and Tobin explains that the... (full context)
Warfare and Domination Theme Icon
Racism and Partisanship Theme Icon
...turns and sees the Judge armed with a rifle on horseback, dressed in Toadvine and Brown’s clothing. The kid draws his pistol and hides, watching as the Judge and the idiot... (full context)
Chapter 21
Witness and Mercy Theme Icon
Racism and Partisanship Theme Icon
...did some mercy for the Indians they slaughtered together. The Judge concludes that Toadvine and Brown are in fact alive, “in possession of the fruits of their election.” The kid does... (full context)
Chapter 22
Witness and Mercy Theme Icon
Racism and Partisanship Theme Icon
...that evening, he discovers that the men hanged are none other than Toadvine and Davy Brown. (full context)
Witness and Mercy Theme Icon
With his last two dollars, the kid buys the necklace of ears that Davy Brown wore to the scaffold. The next morning, he signs on with a company driving livestock... (full context)