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All The Pretty Horses Essay

905 words - 4 pages

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 does not
understand Alejandra, he is able to understand his horses. As he rides on that same slope of a
horse's shoulder he can communicate fully to the animal. He will never be able to be the
companion of a woman like Alejandra, instead he will be forever have the companionship of a
John Grady discovers his solemn reality as he stands over a bloody doe. He considers the
wonders of the universe, and realizes that in life, he will encounter much beauty, but it will come
to him at a high cost, often followed by pain. "She lay in blood in the grass and he knelt with the
rifle and put his hand on her neck and she looked at him and her eyes were warm and wet and
there was no fear in them and then she died" (282). He felt as if he was seeing all the beauty in

the world in that moment. The elongated syntax and run-on sentences give a sense that time
slows down for an instant as he looks...

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