The novel All The Pretty Horses, written by Cormac McCarthy, is filled with much sorrow and negativity. The main character, John Grady Cole, faces plenty of hardships throughout his journey from his home in Texas to Mexico. On the other hand, McCarthy writes this award-winning book in a positive way, demonstrating the balance between optimism and pessimism in our world. He shows how John Grady Cole has matured and grown substantially because of this negativity he faces.
The reader can clearly see the negativity not only in the first page of the novel, but also in the first paragraph. McCarthy begins the book with, “… he looked at the face so caved and drawn among the folds of funeral cloth, the yellowed moustache, the eyelids paper thin. That was not sleeping…” (3). The funeral described in the first page is John Grady’s grandpa’s funeral. Starting a book off in this way (with a dead body) obviously points the reader towards the opinion that this book is a long, dreadful ride with much death and destruction. The image of the coffin, the yellowing moustache, and the deceased person clearly shows the negativity that fills this book.
Throughout the book, John Grady Cole faces many challenges and much adversity and learns to live with it. After leaving their home in Texas, John Grady and his best friend Rawlins travel hundreds of miles deep into the heart of Mexico on horseback until they reach a ranch offering work called La Purísima. Both of these boys are skilled at working with horses and spend most of their time at the ranch taming and taking care of the many horses there. While working at La Purísima, John meets the ranch owner’s daughter, a beautiful girl named Alejandra, and falls in love. Alejandra’s father absolutely does not appreciate this; in fact, he orders for John Grady and Rawlins to be arrested because of John’s interactions with Alejandra. The hardships that these boys face are relentless, however, John Grady refuses to hang his head and give...
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