Blood Meridian


Cormac McCarthy

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Dick Shelby Character Analysis

A member of Glanton’s gang, Shelby is wounded during a skirmish with General Elias’s army and Glanton orders that he be killed. Although assigned by lottery to do the killing, the kid spares Shelby’s life and accommodates his wish to be hidden under a bush; even after Shelby attempts to steal his pistol, the kid gives him water from his own canteen. Shelby is probably captured and worse by Elias’s army.
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Dick Shelby Character Timeline in Blood Meridian

The timeline below shows where the character Dick Shelby appears in Blood Meridian. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15
Warfare and Domination Theme Icon
Witness and Mercy Theme Icon
Fate Theme Icon
Racism and Partisanship Theme Icon
...Of the wounded, two are Delawares, one a Mexican, and one a man named Dick Shelby. An unwounded Delaware takes Webster and Harlan’s arrows, to which Glanton says nothing; he and... (full context)
Witness and Mercy Theme Icon
Racism and Partisanship Theme Icon
The kid decides not to kill the wounded Mexican, who will die soon anyway. Shelby, however, is still fully conscious. The kid tells Shelby that he’ll just leave him if... (full context)