Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade April 2001

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The Cowboy...horses...plenty of wide open space to roam around...the howl of the coyote at the sight of moonlight"¦all images that are pictured in people's minds when thinking of the Wild West. Gormac McCarthy is known as a true American author because he is able to paint a picture of the American West with such a descriptive language that people cannot help but imagine wanting to play the role of the cowboy and setting of on excitement adventures. Adventures are often described as being romantic, dynamic, treacherous, and unforgettable. In today's hectic and fast paced world not many people are able to experience such an event, so they often have to rely on reading books and using their imagination.

All the Pretty Horses is considered an American novel because it is not read just as a Western, but for its humanity. People want to escape today's fast paced society and relate to a world that is more simple and less complex.

The American cowboy resembles that same image, a world in which greed and cruelty were overshadowed by heroism and courage. Today, many view the cowboy as being someone living on a ranch with a hat and rope performing duties on horseback. To McCarthy, a cowboy is more than wranglers, boots and hats. His powerful language describes a cowboy as being a lot more than that. He portrays a cowboy as being someone that has passion for their work, exhibiting a kind of cowboy code of honor that not many people show signs of. They are determined to find justice and find answers to open questions are characteristics that people want to exhibit. McCarthy's novel is a journey of man versus nature, teaching lessons about life that are profound and life transforming.