Essay on All the Pretty Horses

1447 Words 6 Pages
All the Pretty Horses

John Grady is not your average cowboy. All the Pretty Horses is not your typical coming-of-age story. This is an honest tale. Cormac McCarthy follows John Grady as he embarks on his journey of self-discovery across the border. Armed with a few pesos in his pocket, a strong horse and a friend at his side, John Grady thinks he’s ready to take on the Wild West of Mexico. At their final steps in America, a stranger, aged thirteen, joins our heroes. This unexpected variable named Blevins challenges John Grady, testing his character and pushing him to uncomfortable limits. The dynamic of their relationship reveals John Grady’s capacity to care for others as he shelters this kid from the hardships of reality and the
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These two cowboys have no use for an extraneous kid with a showy horse, and Rawlins makes that clear to him, but they do not deliberately run Blevins off. John Grady recognizes the beginnings of a relationship, and he does not refuse. “We aint seen the last of his skinny ass” (41), he reflects as they continue, abandoning Blevins in the dust. His words are not resentful nor does he appear aggravated. Blevins’ eventual inclusion reflects the nonchalant attitude John Grady maintains throughout the beginning of his journey.

John Grady assumes the role of leader not on account of his own actions but rather as a reaction to his companion and their surroundings. Rawlins looks at him several times, searching for guidance regarding this strange kid. An optimistic, self-assured outlook washes away the danger surrounding Blevins, giving way to John Grady’s passive response. He accepts responsibility because he doesn’t decline, consenting to his role as leader by default. In theory, this superficial acknowledgement is rooted in genuine ability, and when the occasion demands, he will be able to perform. If John Grady looks like the leader, then he becomes the leader. But, he is still a child, a boy of sixteen. His premature self-conception as a man inspires too much faith in himself, suggesting confidences and abilities that have yet to develop.

As they travel deeper into Mexico, John Grady appears
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