A classic is a novel that will last throughout the ages. Such novels leave lasting impressions in the minds of those intellectuals who read them. Through unique and interesting styles, classics have the ability to tell a story as well as teach a lesson. These stories will never be forgotten, and they will last throughout the ages. All the Pretty Horses is destined to join the elite class known as the ‘classics’. Cormac McCarthy blends characters that connect to any reader with his unique and unmatched writing and prose.
McCarthy’s extreme attention to detail formulates an original and relatable plot with an everlasting and meaningful theme. All of these elements blend together and make All the Pretty Horses a novel that will engrain its’ message onto the span of time. Cormac McCarthy masterfully crafts together the character of John Grady Cole. His character is much like Hemingway’s code hero. Cole tends to stay quiet, sticks to his way of life, and stays true to his friends; all of which are characteristics of a code hero.
McCarthy’s love of all things simple, such as nature further connects with the audience and they can see that he is a man of simple pleasures (Blair 2). McCarthy uses this character masterfully, and although Cole may aggravate the audience, due to his lack of words, he also connects to the audience on a level, much like a friend. He does this through sharing Cole’s inner ideas that he fails to share with other, such as “Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real” (McCarthy, 139).
However, the code hero is not only a tool to pull in the audience. Cole helps to further the picture of the ‘blood-red’ imagery (Lee, 1) as he pays close attention to his surroundings. This use of a code hero further develops McCarthy’s book into a classic as it helps readers of any age or era connect to the book. McCarthy also strategically uses his unique and unmatched style to connect to his reader and develop the plot. Outline I. Unique and Unmatched Writing Style A. Sans Quotes – All conversations blend with the descriptive paragraphs B.
Keeps the syntax interesting and different than any other books 1) “The desert he rode was red, and red the dust he raised” (McCarthy, 302) 2) “In all the pretty horses, Cormac McCarthy weaves his novel about John Grady Cole’s journey into Mexico and within himself together with distinct structural framework. ” (Spellman, 1) II. Original and Familiar Plot A. Scenes that are familiar to common life 1) Young and strong love – John and Alejandra 2) Teen rebellion – John and Rawlins search for the cowboy life B.
Allusions to common knowledge 1) “He lay there three days… When he woke he knew that men had died in that room” (McCarthy, 204) 2) Structural parallelism much like in the bible (start and end with a death) (Spellman 2) C. Blood Red Imagery repetition- “McCarthy’s use of blood imagery when displaying Cole’s longing for the simple life of breaking horses and living off the land illuminates his protagonist’s preoccupation with a previous form of existence” (Lee,1) III.
Lasting Message for All the Ages A. Exile and Loss 1) Cole is cast off by society, cast off due to his ideals (Blair, 1) 2) John Grady Cole experiences loss throughout the book. (Alejandra, Blevins, ranch, father) B. Reality vs. Idealism (Dreams) 1) Constant fight between Cole’s idea and reality of Mexico 2) “What he loved in horses was what he loved in men, the blood and the heat of the blood that ran them” (McCarthy, 5)
Blair, John. Mexico and the Borderlands in Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses. ” Studies in Contemporary Fiction. 42. 3 Spring 2001, Literature Resource Center ed. : 301. Print.
Lee, Susan. 'The Search for Utopia: Blood Imagery in McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses. ' The Explicator Summer 2008: 189. Print.
McCarthy, Cormac. All the Pretty Horses. New York: Knopf, 1992. Print.
Spellman, Chad. 'Dreams as a Structural Framework in McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses. ' Editorial. The Explicator Spring 2008: 166-68. Print