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All The Pretty Horses

Cormac McCarthyÆs (1992) All The Pretty Horses is the coming-of-age story of John Grady Cole (ôGradyö). The setting is Texas and the Northeastern part of Mexico, shortly after the end of World War II. GradyÆs father wants little to do with him since coming home from the war, and his mother is even more distant from him, separated from her husband. GradyÆs grandfather provides him with some family unity, but once he dies the Texas ranch life that is all Grady has ever known comes to an abrupt end. The ranch is sold and Grady takes off for Mexico in search of the promise and adventure of the unknown.

Throughout McCarthyÆs novel, the nature plays a vital role in GradyÆs life and in illustrating a number of themes of the novel pertaining to human existence. GradyÆs fairly mystical relationship with horses is but one of many examples of the connection between nature and human beings. At turns throughout the novel, nature is portrayed as embodying a large number of qualities that pertain to human existence. At times it acts as a measuring stick of personal worth, as opportunity, as a means of understanding and relating, as hope, as penance, as solace, as authority, as rebellion, as escape, and ultimately as refuge. This analysis will demonstrate how GradyÆs experiences with nature help him come to turns with the fact that for human beings, living in an often indifferent, violent world of existential doubt and suffering, only connection with nature provides some measure of meaning and refuge.

When his grandfather dies and Grady has little choice but to watch the way of life he has known come to an end, he is determined to head for Mexico. Though he is but a young teenager, he believes that the unknown landscape offers adventure, promise and a sense of hope. He will come to discover that the choices he makes come with consequences. It will become a part of his maturation process to discover that one is responsible for...

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All The Pretty Horses. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 10:43, November 29, 2021, from