William Faulkner's The Pretty Horses

1274 Words6 Pages
Both characters hardened and evolved through the witnessing of many losses, causing their innocence to shatter. Grady loses his innocence during a fight when he “brought his knife up from the floor and sank it into the cuchillero’s heart. From the red boutonniere blossoming on the left pocket of his blue workshirt there spurted a thin fan of bright arterial blood”(116). Parham wakes up from his unrealistic quest to return the wolf or nature back to its original state after he “took aim at the bloodied head and fired” during the fair (78). These are critical moments which allowed them to transition from a boy to a man. Parham’s desire to honor his promise to the wolf, which is to ensure that no harm comes to it, and Grady’s desire to live are…show more content…
The captain who captures Grady and Rawlins and the group of thieves Parham come across towards the end of the novel represent the lack of a moral system in a lawless society in Mexico. The captain killed Belvins because of a bribe and one of the thieves “killed a good horse for no reason”(257). They are not only corrupted based on monetary reasons but are morally corrupted as well. Grady learns from Perez that this is the only way to survive in the country after all he said to Grady, “Evil is a true thing in Mexico. It goes about on its own legs. Maybe it will come to visit you. Maybe it already has”(113). Grady has a strong moral sense which often gets him into trouble, but his consistency in his morality prevents him from giving in to the corrupt ways of man. Billy, on the other hand, is not consistently moral. In the beginning, he has good intentions of taking the wolf back to its homeland; he cares for it and protects it from humans. In the end, when the crippled dog comes to him for help, he chases it away in a cruel manner. Even though he comes to his senses and calls for the dog afterward, he is somewhat already morally corrupted; he is no different from the men who had brutalized the wolf. (general moral
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