Lacey is the best friend of John. Also, he is his riding partner. Between the two Americans, he is more emotional. He cries, yells and simply shows his emotions more easily than his friend. In situations where John is intense, distant, composed and accurate, Lacey is a complete opposite. He is clumsy, awkward and even puerile.
Why are two friends so different one from another? It seems like they had similar lives and struggles. Wait, we don’t know the real reason why Lacey is going to San Angelo. We all know that John is looking for a higher purpose in the south; he is going there to find a better life. Lacey is going just because of being bored at sitting home. And it is absolutely normal that when his thirst for adventure threatens to drown him, he ultimately abdicates his journey and returns back home.
Also, we see that he is a child in some way. Moreover, he is a person of emotions. He was angry and interested in what is THERE, more than sitting home and helping the family. That is why he moved. But all the time during the journey he keeps thinking on what are the family and friends doing home, how they are without him. It clearly shows us that he is very sentimental, undetermined and hesitatory. Also, Rawlins is more realistic. He believes that Blevins is in trouble, and yet, when Blevins is tortured and shot, Rawlins is terribly affected; he is the one who can't believe places like the Saltillo prison exist.
Also, we can summarize that this guy is totally from good ones. His friendship with John lasts for the whole book; moreover, you can’t find a more dedicated person in the world. Maybe Sancho Panza is more dedicated, but it is not for sure.
Lacey Rawlins in the Essays