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All The Significant Themes Essay

1287 words - 6 pages

Years following his—for the most part—horrendously unfruitful expedition away from his life in Texas to the arid land down South known as Mexico, Mr. John Grady Cole, now a world renowned movie director, sits at his desk accompanied by a 20 ounce can of Red Bull and a half-empty box of Girl Scout cookies. It is quickly approaching midnight, and Mr. Cole is on the brink of insanity as he tries to muster the fortitude and vigor required to work on his new movie. While endlessly daydreaming of Alejandra for the past week, he completely forgot about the conditions of his contract, which were to have a new movie title and a list of themes prepared within the next few days. Twenty million dollars ...view middle of the document...

” (156) Their arrest and journey to the prison is just a start to their encounters with evil, as it only gets worse from here. What could be interpreted by the boys as a sinister beginning to their journey in search of a new life quickly deteriorates into a hostile world full of challenges they must fully overcome or die.
Later, Blevins is revealed as a source of evil himself. Having “killed three men,” (159) the Mexican legal system ignores his well thought out counterargument of “That’s a damn lie,” (159) resulting in an impromptu hood-style execution in the middle of the woods. This sudden expression of evil has a profound emotional effect on Rawlins. Perhaps this encounter of evil was one of the few that pushed him to his breaking point, influencing his decision to leave Cole for good towards the end of the novel. Evil also played the role of demonstrating Rawlins’ character, proving that he has some amount of empathy, despite how harshly he treated Blevins when he was still alive.
The theme of gender is one that has a sizeable effect on the course of the story and its characters, but is surprisingly subtle enough to not explicitly identify right away. Gender appears to control Cole’s fate in the sense that all of the violent altercations during his quest in involve men, and the impediments in his attempts to find a new life involve women; the latter appearing rather unusual for a Western novel.
Despite Cole’s many inquiries, his mother denies him ownership rights to the ranch, declaring: “You’re sixteen years old, you can’t run a ranch.” (15) The stern refutation of Cole’s dream acts as a catalyst to leaving Texas for Mexico to seek a new beginning. Unknown to Cole, this journey simply launches him to even more fate-modifying encounters with men and women, especially with the divine, life-changing, mesmerizing Alejandra.
In striking contrast to his peaceful encounters with women, Cole frequently finds himself fighting for his life when meeting with men during some occasions. His encounter with the assassin in prison is a prominent example that sticks with many readers. As he dines in a tense dinner hall with an ominous tone ringing through the air, Cole nearly ends up six feet under, thanks to the botched efforts of Perez’s hit man. Cole wins the battle after he “broke the blade off in him,” (201) confirming his death as a “thin fan of bright arterial blood” (201) spurted from the left side of his chest. Referring back to his mother’s negation of his goal, this life-changing attack serves the purpose of punching (or stabbing) Cole in the face with: “Hey man, this life really does not suit you.” In this...

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