All the Pretty Horses

In All The Pretty Horses By Cormac McCarthy.Whats the significance of John Grady reclaiming the horses?

What would be the significance of John Grady getting the horses?

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Blevins succeeds in reclaiming the horse, but he wakes up everyone in the village: chased by a gun-wielding posse, the Americans ride out of town. They decide to split up. Blevins, on the better horse, will try to outrun the pursuit; the other two leave the road and try to evade their pursuers.

Separated from Blevins, John Grady and Rawlins continue south, safely away from the Encantada posse. After a few days of travel, hungry and thirsty, they come to a vast stretch of grasslands and meet a troop of cowboys. They have arrived at the Hacienda de Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion. As the Americans ride into the ranch, they are passed on the road by a beautiful young girl, who proves to be Alejandra, the rancher's daughter. The first chapter of the novel ends as John Grady and Rawlins are hired by the ranch's foreman, Armondo, and settle happily into their lives as cowboys.


Readers of American literature will recognize John Grady's silences and speech patterns. They are a version of the patterns shared by the protagonists of Ernest Hemingway's novels and short stories. Like John Grady, Hemingway's men subscribe to what Hemingway critics have referred to as a "sportsman's code," characterized by scrupulous honesty, self-control, courage, skill, and stoicism. Adherence to this code, for Hemingway's heroes, is necessary for survival, and also necessary to retain any honor and individuality in the chaos of human life. The same might be said of John Grady Cole. Although his code leads him again and again into mortal danger--in this section he refuses to abandon Blevins and attempts to rescue Blevins' horse, and later in the novel he returns to the ranch to see Alejandra and refuses to bend to Perez' will--it eventually preserves him as a moral creature. John Grady's triumphs in the novel are largely internal triumphs, and they flow from his unwavering adherence to his moral code. This moral code, in McCarthy as in Hemingway, manifests itself in the speech patterns of its adherents: it demands thoughtfulness rather than verbosity; modest silence rather than boasting; concise wisdom rather than elaborate argument and discussion; and repression of emotion rather than expression of fears or weakness.