In the novels, The Road and All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy, McCarthy shows through symbolism and setting, that ever-present love is a basic human need. In The Road, the boy symbolizes faith, and is the source of never-ending love. All the Pretty Horses, the horses symbolize an unfallen spirit, and is the basis of a deep love. In The Road, the desolate and godless world proves to be unforgiving, yet there is a beacon of light and love found through the boy. In All the Pretty Horses, the beautiful yet disappearing Wild West is a source of pain, but also love.
McCarthy uses symbolism in both of his novels, to show an underlying importance, and to further enhance his overall theme of needing something concrete to love. In The Road, McCarthy shows how a father and son’s relationship is based off of the father’s unconditional love for the boy. McCarthy writes; “Can I ask you something? Yes. Of course you can. What would you do if I died? If you died I would want to die too. So you could be with me? Yes. So I could be with you. Okay” (McCarthy 11). This quote dives deep into how the man feels about the boy. Through this quote, the man fully expresses that he would not want to live if he had to live without the boy. The boy proves here to be the man’s only hope and the source of what keeps him going. The boy symbolizes faith in a godless and desolate world. In All the Pretty Horses, horses hold deep importance and meaning for John Grady Cole as he adventures away from home. McCarthy writes, “What he loved in horses was what he loved in men, the blood and the heat of the blood that ran them” (McCarthy 7). In this quote, John Grady Cole simply, but quite deeply displays his undeniable love for horses. John Grady Cole goes as far as to say that he loves horses equally as much as he loves mankind, and that both horse and man have similar qualities. McCarthy gives great symbolism to the horse, as it is being compared to mankind. Horses...
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