Components of a Quest Novel in True Grit by Charles Portis

659 WordsFeb 21, 20183 Pages
What kind of components are in a quest novel? There is a quest hero, the wise old man, a helper or guide, a call, and many more. Charles Portis applies these components to many of his characters in his novel True Grit. There is stubborn, fourteen year old Mattie Ross, the quest hero, Marshal Rooster Cogburn, the wise old man, and a conceited Texas ranger named LaBoeuf, the helper/guide. Throughout this novel, they prove that they are the characters of a quest novel in many ways. A quest hero is someone who has the courage to try, and stay determined. Another aspect of a quest hero is that they have a call, an impulse, or a summon, that sends them on a journey. Mattie Ross represents the quest hero in this novel. For example, as Mattie realizes nothing is being done about Tom Chaney on the loose, she decides to take matters into her own hands. She states ‘“Nobody here knew my father and I am afraid nothing much is going to be done about it except I do it myself”’(65). The fact that no one is chasing her father’s murderer, is her call. If there are ten marshals out looking for Chaney, Mattie would have been satisfied, and gone home without embarking on this journey. Since he is still on the loose, she wants to go and find him herself, proving that this is her call. Another way Mattie shows she is the quest hero is she is determined. For instance, even though she is told that she is not to go on the expedition, she stays steadfast. Mattie says ‘“I aim to get Tom Chaney and if

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