Irony in All the Pretty Horses Essay

1843 Words 8 Pages
"The Irony of McCarthy's Use of Title"
In the novel All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, the author shows how important the roles of the horses are in the story and how they relate to John Grady, the protagonist of the novel. The horse has played an important role in the development of America. It has been a form of transportation, easy muscle, and companionship. In the Wild West, it was an essential resource for a cowboy to do his daily chores. McCarthy describes horses as spiritual and as resembling the human soul; meaning that horses came in many different forms. Horses are pretty, ugly, wild, tame, etc. in the story, they have so many different descriptions and different types of personality that they appear to resemble
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The horses in the story represent strength, passion, and freedom of spirit. The respect the ‘vaqueros,' Spanish cowboys, have for horses appear many times in the book. A perfect example told by Luis, "The old man only said that it was pointless to speak of there being no horses in the world for God would not permit such a thing" (111). This means that the vaqueros keep horses in such a regard that they see them almost as being godly. Vaqueros help John Grady believe his first notion that humans are like horses because Luis saw how important one is to another.
The horses also help support John's notion; that, horses are spiritual beings because of how important they are in a cowboy's life. Cowboys hold horses in the highest regard. They use the horses in many ways. They use them as transport, companions, and to sometimes judge a person's character for example, when John meets Jimmy. Even John dreams that, as "his thoughts were of horses...still wild on the mesa who'd never seen a man afoot and who knew nothing of him or his life yet in whose souls he would come to reside forever" (118). This means that horses were wild and that they had souls. This is important because it shows that horses are innocent and pure. Also, it is important that John dreams about them because he sees them as a…