Throughout All the Pretty Horses One of the early incidents of violent occurs when Blevins, John Grady, and Rawlins attempt to steal back Blevins’ horse at “not much more than an hour till daylight. ” As “they saddled the horses” and “rode around slowly,” “Yonder comes somebody,” dogs erupt in barking and a horse chase ignites. The Mexicans in that little town take off after Blevins, Grady, and Rawlins with guns. They shoot at least six shots and thankfully, Grady, Rawlins, and Blevins get out of their sight. Secondly, when the Grady and Rawlins are arrested, they meet up with Blevins in prison.
They wonder why Blevins is in prison, and he does not want to reveal, so Grady asks one of the prisoners. The prisoner tells Grady he killed three men in which Blevins claims the prisoner is lying. And then Blevins says, “I walked up behind him and snatched it out of his belt. That’s what I done. And shot him” (159). John Grady continues to ask what he had done. Rawlins replies, “Time I got back to the spring where my horse was at they was on me. That boy I shot off his horse thowed down on me what a shotgun. ” Grady asks, “You shot one of the rurales? “Yeah. ” “Dead? ” “Yeah” (160). From this conversation between Grady and Blevins, we can see that Blevins did not expect the outcome of his actions. He seemed ashamed, but he shot an officer and the person who took his gun, and the boy on the horse, which is pretty violent for a “13-15 year old. An act of violence in All the Pretty Horses occurs when Rawlings is stabbed the morning after he and John Grady talk to Perez for the first time. Rawlins is stabbed by a man with an “Italian switchblade,” passing it across Rawlings’ shirt three times.
This erupts into a fight as Rawlings leaps “three times backward with his shoulders hunched and his arms out flung like a man refereeing his own bloodletting” (188-189). The stabber, who previously did not know Rawlins, was hired to stab Rawlins by Perez. McCarthy informs the reader that the weapon this was not some old homemade knife but that this weapon was an Italian switchblade, so this man had some sort of motive to attack Rawlins. Another act of violence takes place when John Grady kills a Cuchillero during his experience in prison.
He stabs the Cuchillero in the after they fight in the cafeteria. The Cuchillero was hired by Perez to kill John Grady, similar to the incident where a random man was hired to stab Rawlins. This is one of the more violent and gory scenes of the book as the author are so descriptive in the events that occur. John Grady almost lost the fight; “As he did so John Grady brought his knife up from the floor and sank it into the Cuchillero’s heart. He sank it into his heart and snapped the handle sideways and broke it off in him” (201).
The author mentions how Grady’s opponent “spoke no word” and “His movements were precise and without rancor,” to help the reader get a visual description of Grady’s opponent. Another point in All the Pretty Horses where there is violence is on pages 264-268 when John Grady Cole gets his horses back. Much violence occurs at this point because John Grady is basically stealing the horses back. The owner of the ranch along with some of his henchmen fight John Grady because of this. “Almost instantly, John Grady’s legs were slammed from under him and he went down” displays the brutality of the fight in order to get these horses back.
Additionally, this fight gets more violent with the use of guns. “He never even heard the crack of the rifle but Blevins’ horse did and it reared onto its hind legs” (264). This scene ends with John Grady being shot, with the result being his “boot was filling up with blood” (268). In conclusion, All the Pretty Horses, having elements of a western, has to include some “good-guy, bad-guy” violent acts of action. However, some of these acts of violence were irrelevant and had no meaning, and some had to occur.?