Entangling Rites: the Pattern of Experience in Cormac McCarthy's All The Pretty Horses

Carole Juge


The character of John Grady Cole in All The Pretty Horses marks a clear shift in McCarthy's choices for characterization. McCarthy has also operated a change of landscape from southeast to southwest in both his previous novel, Blood Meridian, as well as in his personal life. Indeed, even though Blood Meridian's theatre was largely built on western ground, his young hero, the never-baptized "kid," was eastern born, like McCarthy. If "the moral universe [...] remains [indeed] constant" through the shift in setting, John Grady must be acknowledged as the first genuine western hero, as he is the first to be western born and bred (McMurtry 143). His genuineness as a western male avatar is slightly challenged by his father's former eastern-ness. And despite John's authenticity as a westerner, it does not seem to be "the second best thing to dyin and goin to heaven" as John Grady runs from Texas to find a new Eden in Mexico (All The Pretty Horses 17). 

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ISSN 1749-9771

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