A major theme is the warlike nature of man. Critic Harold Bloom  praised Blood Meridian as one of the best 20th century American novels, describing it as "worthy of Herman Melville 's Moby-Dick ,"  but admitted that he found the book's pervasive violence so shocking that he had several false starts before reading the book entirely. Caryn James argued that the novel's violence was a "slap in the face" to modern readers cut off from the brutality of life, while Terrence Morgan thought that, though initially shocking, the effect of the violence gradually waned until the reader was bored.  Billy J. Stratton contends that the brutality depicted is the primary mechanism through which McCarthy challenges binaries and promotes his revisionist agenda.  Lilley argues that many critics struggle with the fact that McCarthy does not use violence for "jury-rigged, symbolic plot resolutions . . In McCarthy's work, violence tends to be just that; it is not a sign or symbol of something else." 
This isn’t to say that the end is near for these new giants — or even for Uber, whose business is, it says, still growing. Just that the golden age is over. The new era for them will be normal politics, normal regulation, with California senators deep in their pockets who fight for them as hard as Texans fight for oil, but with a deep bipartisan current flowing against them. They’ll win some and they’ll lose some, and some of their losses may be as bad as what happened to Microsoft in the 1990s when it flew too close to the sun — and then faced an antitrust lawsuit that almost broke the company up and probably changed it enough to benefit, among others, Google.
Following the initial frenzy caused by the crime, the residents of Garden City and Holcomb sink into its gloomy aftermath. Mrs. Dewey recounts a dream in which Bonnie Clutter informs her that there is “nothing worse” than to be murdered, indicating the psychological toll of the experience, even on those not directly involved. Alvin Dewey continues to dwell on the Clutter home, finding it a comforting symbol of quieter time. On some level, it seems, he hopes to find, within the material artifacts of the home, a resolution to the collective trauma that the residents of Garden City have suffered.