All the Pretty Horses

How a New Perspective Can Change a Person: Lost Identity and New Identity in All the Pretty Horses 12th Grade

In All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy reveals what happens when one learns the truths about the world through John Grady Cole’s journey as he leaves home and experiences the realities of the world in a country foreign to him. Unsatisfied with their lives at home, John and Rawlins leave to Mexico, believing that they have the opportunity to create their own new lives by venturing to and exploring the unknown. With idealistic views of the world, they can not imagine the difficulties they will be put through on their journey through Mexico, a world completely foreign to them. Through their difficult experiences and gradual loss of identity on John and Rawlins’ journey, McCarthy suggests that in order to discover the reality of the world, one must lose their naiveté, and, in many ways, become an entirely new person.

At the beginning of their venture into Mexico, Rawlins’ wallet is destroyed and Blevins loses his clothes, both signifying loss of their identities and becoming a new person, distinct from the people they were at home. Throughout the novel, they are continually physically changed in ways that symbolize the changes they must go through in becoming completely new people as they enter a new world and new life to them....

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