Symbolism In Cormac Mccarthy's All The Pretty Horses

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All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy, is set in Texas right outside of the Mexico border. The book opens with John Grady, a sixteen year old boy, attending his grandfather’s funeral. John Grady has grown up on his grandfather’s ranch, and now that he has died the mother is going to sell the unprofitable ranch. John’s parents are separated at this time, his mother longs for a better life off of the ranch while his father is a professional gambler. His father seems to have lung cancer, but this is not directly stated. After the funeral John goes to meet his father at a café. They are both speechless, and the father feels that he has failed him. John then meets with his mother were he proceeds to ask her…show more content…
It is first the funeral of John Grady’s grandfather, and at the end it is the funeral of Abuela. This is suitable for the novel because it is about endings. The passing of his father is used to symbolize the passing of cowboys in the great west that would ride around on their horses. Not only does it end with a funeral, it also ends with John Grady riding off into the sunset. This is not a sense of happiness, but it shows him finding himself in a town that he no longer has a connection…show more content…
They are more than just a way for John Grady and Rawlins to get around, they are their friends. McCarthy has centered this novel around the horses, because they have a lot of meaning. The horses are used to connect the reader with the romance of the western culture. During earlier times women would give their husband their scarf as they rode off to fight a war on their horses. Within this novel there are no happy endings, and no success that has led to lovers waiting on the ones who succeeded. The horses in the novel are also a tool used to help connect all of the characters. John Grady’s horse has connected him to his whole family including: his parents, grandfather, and other ancestors. They have also connected the men with the women, including John’s parents. John’s dad tells him that his father and his mother had a passion for horses and they thought that was enough for them to get married. Throughout the novel these horses were the main focus, and also brought John together with some of the main characters; John, Blevin, Don Hector, an Alejandra. Although the horses have connected all of these people, they have also connected the past with the present. What John Grady sees on his lonely rides through the prairie are the Comanche’s in the past riding on their ponies connecting it to the time of the conquistadors. They were the ones to bring the horses back to America after they had become
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