Literary Precedents for All the Pretty Horses

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This novel has all the makings of a good film Western, and it may be one some day. In the tradition of characters played by John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, John Grady Cole is a strong, laconic cowboy who has trouble with women. The novel includes good fighting, good riding, and good shooting.

About the only thing Hollywood has to complain about is the lack of a happy ending.

All the Pretty Horses also proves once again that American authors have excelled at the bildungsroman genre. Like Huck Finn, John Grady Cole grows to prefer a more natural, more primitive lifestyle so that he too seeks the frontier at the end of his novel. Like Henry Fleming in The Red Badge of Courage, John Grady matures partly through tests of his physical and moral courage.

Critics have noted the importance of myth to an understanding of this novel...

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This section contains 230 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the All the Pretty Horses Study Guide
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