Development of Character in Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses

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Development of Character in Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses

In a journey across the vast untamed country of Mexico, Cormac McCarthy introduces All the Pretty Horses, a bittersweet and profoundly moving tale of love, hate, disappointments, joy, and redemption. John Grady sets out on horseback to Mexico with his best friend Lacey Rawlins in search of the cowboy lifestyle. His journey leaves John wiser but saddened, yet out of this heartbreak comes the resilience of a man who has claimed his place in the world as a true cowboy. In his journey John’s character changes and develops throughout the novel to have more of a personal relationship with the horses and Mother Nature. He changes from a young boy who knows nothing of the world
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However, he doesn’t see beyond the repercussions of owning a ranch, the dedication and responsibility associated with running a ranch. Mr. Franklin teaches him to look beyond the fact that owning a ranch is a not as simple as it might seem especially for a six-teen-year-old boy.

In his journey across the landscape of Mexico, John’s character in the novel begins to transform. He is beginning to move away from that boyish and naive kind of behavior and more towards the middle stage of between being a boy and a man; adolescence. McCarthy spends a great deal in describing John’s adolescent’s stage in this novel. Much of the time that McCarthy describes in this stage is when they are out on the prairie with the horses connecting with nature. This connection allows John to have and a clearer understanding that there is a divine line between men and horses and that you can’t apply the same characteristics that you would apply to a horse to a man. In one instance, after a long day of riding John and Rawlins decide to stop for the night and rest. As he rests he lays on his back looking, “out where the quartermoon lay cocked over the heel of the mountain’s” the vision of the moon gives the reader a sense of time and how it can be different from time on the prairie compared to time in a society.. Time on the prairie seems to be “cocked” or suspended in time, a sense that time
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