Mattie's Journey In True Grit By Charles Portis

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In True Grit by Charles Portis, Mattie Ross, a fourteen year old girl, is determined to hunt down her father’s murderer, Tom Chaney; however, Mattie needs help from Rooster Cogburn, heard to be the toughest U.S. Marshal around. Without Rooster, traveling into the Indian Territory to kill Tom Chaney would be nearly impossible for her. After hours of arguing, negotiation, and persuasion, Mattie convinces Rooster to take her into the territory. With his own second thoughts and negative influences coming from Laboeuf, a Texas ranger who is also after the murderer Chaney, Rooster changes his mind and attempts to get rid of Mattie. Rooster’s attempts to block Mattie’s journey ironically allows him to become her hero. Rooster makes several attempts to ditch Mattie. Before they enter the Indian Territory, he tries to end her journey there. He lies to the ferry man, “Yes, you had best take her away. She is a runaway …show more content…

Mattie finds herself fatally injured after falling down a snake infested hole. Rooster hears Mattie's shouts for help and finds her. He tosses a rope down the pit and pulls Mattie up then throws her onto Little Blackie, her pony, and races them back to the closest hospital. Mattie was in and out of consciousness the whole ride home and Rooster does all he can to take care of her. They ride Blackie for hours on end giving the pony no breaks, in result the poor animal’s body gives out. This does not stop them. Mattie recalls, “Now Rooster himself began to run, or jog as it were under the load, and his breath became hard” (216). At this time Rooster was also in pain from past gunshot wounds, but he does everything he can to get her home. Mattie credits Rooster, “He had certainly saved my life” (218). She is thankful for Rooster’s grit, and she understands she would not have made it back alive if it wasn’t for his selfless

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