All The Pretty Horses

Essay by emmahimesHigh School, 12th gradeA+, September 2014

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All The Pretty Horses Analysis

Emma Himes

Cowboys parade the unknown bonded to their horses.These lonely desperados encounter

romance, gun fights, and gorgeous sunsets in the cordilleras of México and Texas. Cormic

McCarthy incorporates all the dramatics that make up a great western in All the Pretty Horses.

Crumbling from a once passionate tale of young love, the story develops into a desolate journey

of one man and his caballo. While standing over the body of a slain doe, John Grady has an

epiphany. As a cowboy, he is condemned to a life full of pain which will enable him to fully

experience the beauty of the land and her beasts.

John Grady approaches his illuminating moment by learning that the love he will share

with women is fleeting, and that in the end, he will never share a bond with a human that is as

strong as with his horses. "He saw very clearly how all his life led only to this moment and all

after led nowhere at all" (254). The lonely theme begins to follow John after proposing to

Alejandra, the love of his life, and being rejected. John feels hopeless for the first time since his

journey into México. His plans for the future come to an abrupt ending, although he often

reminisces about what could have been. "He remembered Alejandra and the sadness he'd first

seen in the slope of her shoulders which he's presumed to understand and of which he knew

nothing and he felt a loneliness he'd not know since he was a child and he felt wholly alien to the

world although he loved it still" (282). The imagery of Alejandra allows McCarthy to create a

symbol between the slope of her shoulders and the slope of a horse's. Although John...