All the Pretty Horses

Coming of Age in Red Sky at Morning and All the Pretty Horses 11th Grade

Red Sky at Morning and All the Pretty Horses by Richard Bradford and Cormac McCarthy are two novels that encompass a young man’s coming of age experience. Through the use of the unhealable wound, the hunting group of companions, the parent/child conflict, and the use of a magical weapon archetypes, both young men become increasingly more heroic, whether in overcoming obstacles or rising to the occasion of greatness.

Both Josh Arnold from Red Sky at Morning and John Grady Cole from All the Pretty Horses must endure or overcome a wound that is unhealable for them. In Josh’s case, this is the loss of his father, “The telegram, that goddamn telegram that turns up in all the war movies, was lying on the coffee table.” (pg. 245) This is when Josh and his family are notified of his father’s death, he then has to put his grief aside and deal with his mother’s problems, “When she awakened, late the next afternoon, my mother put her hands over her ears agains and didn’t move. I discovered she hadn’t bothered to get up to go to the bathroom, so I called Dr. Temple again. I signed something he gave to me…” (pg. 245) Although Josh hasn’t recovered from the loss of his...

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