All the Pretty Horses vs. the Searchers

Topics: Cowboy, Native Americans in the United States, Utah Pages: 4 (1288 words) Published: September 30, 2007
All the Pretty Horses/The Searchers

The ideal American West or in other words Hollywood's West is described as being a life of adventure, one with beautiful scenery, and a world made up of brave, rough, intuitive, fearless cowboys. Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses challenges and at times romanticizes the description of the ideal American West, whereas, John Ford's film "The Searchers" romanticizes the description of the ideal American West. This is shown through their description of family values and the idea of a western family , intuition, how they handle cultures, and the values embodied by the hero.

In the ideal American West family the parents each have distinctive roles in their household, and your family is valued above many things. In the Searcher's Ethan's brother protects and provides the needs for the family and his wife raises the children and does all the household chores such as cleaning and cooking. These specific roles given to Martha and Aaron Edwards in "The Searchers" help romanticize our idea of the average, stereotypical western family. When Ethan's family gets murdered by Native Americans, Ethan is persistent on taking revenge and getting Debbie back. He spends years searching for her and tracking down the Comanche Indians. He shows loyalty to his family even after their deaths for many years to come. Whereas, Cormac challenges this idea of a gender-oriented family and a close, loyal family. In All the Pretty Horses, John Grady is not very close to his mother or his father. His mother is a thirty-six year old woman who wants to be a movie star. She is never home and John Grady is raised by Luisa and Abuela. Her relationship with her son is a very weak one, she wasn‘t there for most of the time as he was growing up "She was gone…Her and Abuela." (pg. 25) John Grady's father it also seems wasn't there for a large part of his life and he's divorced with his wife. John Grady himself does not consider his family as something to...
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