All the Pretty Horses

Discuss what this quote reveals about John Grady. "The boy... sat a if were he begot by malice or mischance into some queer land where horses never were he would have found them anyway."


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McCarthy crafts his descriptive rhythms carefully to simulate the adrenaline of consciousness - burst of realization, waves of meditative nothingness. The latter take form in paragraph-length sentences, reminiscent of Faulkner. Though they might seem rambling or a purposeless novelty, they are the heart of both John Grady's psyche and McCarthy's skill. This passage from his last ride with his father is perhaps the best example:

So thin and frail, lost in his clothes. Looking over the country with those sunken eyes as if the world out there had been altered or made suspect by what he'd seen of it elsewhere....

We can feel the desperation, the indeterminacy of John Grady's thoughts. The mix of syncopation and protraction only add to the flood of feelings - the fear, the hope, regret, the deflected rage. The little child in his mind's eye is talking at a breathless pace, lazily trying to hurl culpability on the boy in front of him when he runs out of air.