Reader's Reflection on All The Pretty Horses: Book Review

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When you were young, did you ever want to leave your frustrations and set off on an adventure? Just you and your best friend off to a new place, away from a chaotic life. All the Pretty Horses is a tale of love, violence, and friendship. The book starts off with the protagonist John Grady, and his best friend Lacey Rawlins, going off towards Mexico for an adventure without knowing the consequences. As the boys struggle through hardships far beyond what they expect from their adventure, the book explores many themes like the idea of the American West, romanticism, violence and more. The main themes present throughout the whole book are the themes of love, coming of age and violence, which give the book it's true voice and meaning. The theme of love through John Gardy’s love for horses and Alejandra, th, and violence through the events in the jail.

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Cormac McCarthy represents the theme of love through the protagonist John Grady Cole and his relations with a young beautiful girl at the hacienda, Alejandra. While reading the book one can also relate that the author wanted to show the same story as William Shakespeare showed in his Romeo and Juliet. The young man John who was only 16 met a beautiful young girl Alejandra, the daughter of Rocha, at La Purisima hacienda where he and his friend Rawlins came to work as cowboys. The first time he saw her riding on a black Arabian horse and fell in love with her. In spite of warnings of Donna Alfonsa who protected Alejandra the young man and the young girl started to have rides at night time together, they went swimming at the lake together. They became lovers. She came to his room every night for a period of nine nights and they were happy to make love. Like every love story, this love story wasn’t successful either. “What is constant in history is greed and foolishness and a love of blood and this is a thing that even God – who knows all that can be known – seems powerless to change.” (McCarthy, 199). Alfonsa says this to John Grady when he returns to Don Hector’s ranch to reclaim Alejandra. Alfonsa’s statement encapsulates her bitter view of the world. It could be argued that this is a self-fulfilling prophecy in that she contributes to the suffering of the world by denying John Grady and Alejandra the right to be together. In the end they Alejandra didn’t want John Grady to die so she left him, the love story was an important theme because it made John and his Rawlins go to jail.

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Reader’s Reflection on All The Pretty Horses: Book Review. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 23, 2024, from
“Reader’s Reflection on All The Pretty Horses: Book Review.” Edubirdie, 14 Jul. 2022,
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