All the Pretty Horses

Significance of the Title All the Pretty Horses

The title of Cormac McCarthy's novel, All the Pretty Horses, reflects the significance and variance of roles that horses play in this coming-of-age story, as they relate to John Grady. The horse, which was the social foundation of Western American culture until the mid-20th century, is described as an economical and practical asset to the boys. However, McCarthy also describes horses' abstract qualities using idyllic and impassioned diction, depicting them as animals of a highly advanced spiritual nature, similar to humans in some ways. John Grady has an intimate relationship with all horses and understands the world of horses extraordinarily well. On his journey, he learns that the world of men is very different from that of horses and is forced to rethink the relationship between humans and horses. John discovers that his preconceived notions about men and human society are false; he finds that they do not live in a romantic world as he had supposed. Therefore, the title McCarthy has chosen is ironic and epitomizes the change that John experiences. McCarthy uses the title to represent John's initial perspective on the world, which is refuted through John's later experiences.

John's life, like all of Western...

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