All the Pretty Horses – 12 Steps of the Heros Journey

All the Pretty Horses – 12 Steps of the Hero’s Journey

This is a journal I was supposed to be keeping while reading the book, so no set formatting style. Just need a word document. I put 5 or 6 pages should be good – there′s no requirement, again, since it′s a journal. Some steps might be longer or shorter. No references needed, only quotes from the book as seen in the attached. 11th grade high school. I′ll later use the journal to create a slideshow. I′m a B – C student so my teacher is NOT expecting perfection. I′m a casual writer who doesn′t use big words.

Hi. Thanks so much for your help. I put this in the request but this is just a journal. So formatting is not an issue. I was supposed to be keeping it as I read the book which I am just now doing. I make B’s and C’s so my teacher is not expecting perfection. I’m in 11th grade. Once I have the journal then I’ll make a presentation of some sort. Probably a slideshow. But I don’t have time to read the book and do the journal. So I’m reading the book today and this weekend



The protagonist is one of the most crucial characters in any story. Even heroes have missions to accomplish, whether it is to prevent a disaster or to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to their vision. Love triangles are a common theme in Cormac McCarthy’s border trilogy, “All the Pretty Horses.” A young cowboy who follows the code of the cowboy and develops feelings for another young cowboy is called upon to explain his actions. Even if McCarthy has a more upbeat tone in All the Pretty Horses, it is still a depressing read. Christopher Vogler’s theory of the hero’s journey is evident in the following steps, which we’ll discuss in greater detail below. There are three acts in each of the following 12 steps: a departure, initiation, and a return. Our discussion of the hero’s journey will be guided by the story of Jack.


Cole, a 16-year-old boy, lives with his grandfather on his grandfather’s ranch in Texas. After living on the ranch for 15 years with a Mexican family, the boy is fluent in both Spanish and English. He finds out in 1949 that his grandpa’s ranch is going up for sale. Grady and Lacey Rawlins are the only ones left in town. They rode to Mexico to learn how to be cowboys.

Before entering Mexico, they meet Jimmy Blevins. Blevins’ ancestry is a mystery. This big bay horse Blevins is riding is far too nice to be a runaway’s. During a storm, Blevins’ horse escapes. Blevins persuades Grady and Rawlins to help him locate his horse and Colt pistol. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to establish Blevins’ ownership of the company. To his friends’ dismay, he seizes the horse. As Rawlins and Grady flee, Blevins abandons them. Rawlins and Grady are pursued by officers from Blevins. Grady and Rawlins depart for the south. They can work on a large ranch in Bolsón de Cuatro Ciénegas, Coahuila. It is Alejandra’s father’s farm. John Grady is hired by the ranch owner because of his expertise with horses. When it comes to John Grady and Alejandra’s relationship, her great aunt, a sharp and determined widow who backed the Mexican Revolution, takes an interest. The fact that Alejandra was photographed with John Grady would be damaging to her image in Mexico. To support her stance against her grandniece’s wish, the aunt shares a story of love and loss of her own.

As Mexican Rangers make their way to the ranch, John Grady and Alejandra become closer. During his time in Mexico City, John Grady plans to confront Alejandra about her feelings. Alaina’s return is a mystery to John Grady. Grady and Rawlins were captured by the Rangers. His arrest in Mexico has been confirmed by the Mexican government. Despite being pursued, Blevins made his way back to the village to retrieve the Colt pistol he had left behind. He shot the man because he was on his way to get the firearm. Three boys being questioned by a crooked police captain are brutally beaten. During the transfer of a prisoner, the captain and his officers take a detour to a remote ranch. Despite the best efforts of Rawlins and Grady, Blevins will be executed.

During the first few days in a new prison, two inmates were viciously attacked by each other. Using money to get out of prison is suggested by a well-respected inmate with special privileges. They refuse, and an inmate with a knife abducts Rawlins; John Grady has no idea where he is. The cuchillero John Grady killed after he was injured has been put down. After a near-fatal stabbing, John Grady is released and discovers Rawlins free. To free them, Alejandra’s aunt needs to stop seeing John Grady. It’s not long before John Grady tries to see Alejandra again after Rawlins returns. Alejandra keeps her family’s promise after meeting John Grady. When the captain is kidnapped by John Grady, he demands his horses and weapons before escaping. He uses the barrel of his gun to seal a gunshot wound.

The “men of the country” kidnap him as he contemplates killing the captain. If you know who Blevins’ horse belongs to, help John Grady find them. Upon hearing John Grady’s account of his journey from Canada to Texas, the judge tries to exonerate him of the charges of killing an assailant and failing to intervene in Blevin’s death. When John Grady died, it was obvious to him. After witnessing the burial of a family employee, an elderly Mexican woman who cared for three generations of his family from infancy, John Grady sets out for the West on Blevins’ horse.

Act 1: Departure

It is divided into five sections: the everyday world, the call to adventure, refusal of the call, meeting with mentor and first threshold.

  1. Ordinary World

            Quote: “Some things in this world can’t be helped, he said. And I believe this is probably one of em.”

John Grady Cole had just returned from a meeting with a lawyer to try to prevent his mother from selling the family ranch. They were debating what they could do to prevent it from being sold. According to the lawyer, there is nothing that can be done. By taking their readers or students on a journey, authors and teachers alike can captivate their audiences. Introducing your hero to something they’ve never seen before will help the audience feel a connection to Cole, the hero.

  1. Call to Adventure

Rawlins and John Grady Cole have entered the unknown. They’ve abandoned their previous lives and identities in favor of a new one they don’t even recognize. They are no longer safe in their familiar environment. “They rode among the stars, jaunty and circumspect, like young thieves in a glowing orchard, loosely jacketed against the cold and ten thousand worlds to choose from.” They have now entered a natural environment. The young men are excited but also nervous about their trip. They have finally received their wish. Because they see “worlds” of opportunity, John Grady Cole and Rawlins are optimistic about their journey.

  1. Refusal of the Call

Fear and doubt paralyze even the most courageous of heroes from taking action. It’s as if they begin to question their own abilities. If Jack is reluctant to sell the cow to the man who offers him magical beans because of the hero’s defeat and dejection, it is understandable. Your audience will know that you’ve achieved something by not calling them. Fear and anxiety can be alleviated when people are emotionally invested in a story.

  1. Meeting with the mentor

Alfonsa Grady, Alejandra’s grandmother, paid Cole and Rawlins’ bail, allowing them to be released from Mexican prison. In exchange for this arrangement, Alejandra agreed not to see John Grady again. Due to Alejandra’s cultural differences, Alfonsa is meeting with John Grady. That she believes in a higher power and that everything happens for a reason is what she’s implying. The hero’s situation is supposed to be permanently altered at this point in the story by the appearance of an important character. This aspect of the presentation must be recognized and explained to the audience.

  1. Crossing the World

            Quote: “The trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on the quest, to integrate that wisdom into a human life, and then maybe figure out how to share the wisdom with the rest of the world.”

Since John Grady Cole’s return to Texas, his grandmother has passed. After spending his entire life with this woman, he has finally come to say goodbye. He bid her farewell and reflected on the fact that the world has lost interest in people and their lives and hardships, which made him sad.

Act 2: Initiation

There are four sections in the second act: challenges and allies and foes to overcome, as well as a reward for completing the ordeal.

  1. Test, Allies and Enemies

            Quote: “In this step (he) must confront and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in (his) life.”


The theme of John Grady’s travels is “Atonement.” Alfonso is in charge of both his prison sentence and his relationship with Alejandra, despite her denials. She is using the puppet to demonstrate that life’s events are connected by decisions and choices made over time, even if they are unrelated to the current circumstance. According to her, it is impossible to pinpoint the cause. The implication is that she cannot hold him accountable for Alejandra’s or his problems, as they were beyond his control to begin with. It is implied that he is innocent.

  1. Approach to the inmost cave

            Threats, confrontations with enemies, or a real-world location where the hero must confront their greatest challenge are all examples of this type of situation. We have reached the climax of the storyline. As the hero makes his way deeper into the cave, the audience’s awareness of the situation may grow. As far as Jack knows, this is his final showdown with the giant. Many of the speakers on this stage express empathy for the protagonist’s plight, whether it’s a real-life hero, a crisis-ridden organization, or a historical figure facing impossible odds.

  1. The Ordeal

Quote: “The road of trials is a series of tests, tasks, or ordeals that (he) must undergo to begin the transformation.”

            There are many “roads of trials” in John Grady’s life. Firefighter training exercises. To tame a wild horse, John Grady puts his life on the line as he holds and talks to the horse, John Grady builds a relationship of trust and mutual respect with it. This demonstrates his deep connection to horses and his own personal growth, which is evident in this example. Both the audience and John Grady’s horse are assured that “I’ll persuade them.” He’s doing his best to make the horse feel better. Over the course of four days, John Grady breaks sixteen colts. One can see how much John Grady enjoys horses and nature by looking at this. As if on cue, John Grady Cole screamed with joy.

  1. Reward

            The hero finally triumphs at this point. Even when a giant with golden eggs and a harp is chasing after Jack and trying to capture him, he manages to maneuver and escape. The hero must now return home after successfully completing a major objective! To varying degrees, your audience’s mood, the subject matter at hand, and the magnitude of your accomplishments will all factor into whether or not you choose to brag about your abilities as a presenter. Ending the second act, the Initiation phase is completed.

Act 3: Return

The Jacks’ Return symbolizes both his accomplishment and what is to come. Many more difficulties would need overcoming in the future. It’s time for the hero to go home, even if only metaphorically. The return journey, resurrection, and return with the elixir are the three stages of this act.

  1. The Road Back

A hero’s triumphant return home with the spoils of victory is represented by the term “homecoming.” Acclaim may be bestowed upon the hero after he or she accomplishes a great feat. Jack has made it back to the surface of the planet. Because your audience is most likely exhausted and looking for an immediate conclusion, you should keep the road back to the end of your presentation short.

  1. The Resurrection

The climax of the story may be the most life-or-death encounter for the protagonist. Final examinations are carried out. Possibly, the hero and the Shadow will engage in a duel. Reflection on the past was common during the traumatic period of the ordeal. During your rebirth, you’ll have one final opportunity to demonstrate your strength against the forces of darkness. Shan Yu is waiting in the shadows, ready to strike. They have no one else to turn to for information on the dangers she points out, so it is up to her to convince them. Secrets can be unearthed through reincarnation. The Jack has been brought back to life at this point. Every now and then, the hero must deal with the finality of death. Keep the preceding sections of your presentation brief to give your audience more time to concentrate on your final battle. People in a lecture hall may not be as patient as those who read at their own pace in a book club or book. However, the final battle must be flawlessly executed for the benefit of the audience viewing’s pleasure.

12.      Return with the elixir

This is where the hero truly shines. The harp and golden eggs are Jack’s after he takes down the tree and defeats the giant. Here, the giant’s death is mentioned. At this point, the hero’s character undergoes a significant change. There is nothing left for the narrator to do but celebrate. The novel’s content was written by John Grady. Cole has a better understanding of human life and experience than most people because of his time in Mexico. That was the first time Alfonso reminded him to see the world through the eyes of someone else. Only John Grady possesses this recently discovered capacity for compassion for others. He is enraged by the lack of regard he sees for life’s delicate and complex nature.

It is imperative that you keep this journal if you want to motivate your viewers or listeners to take action. An inspirational story with a message at its core can be created by anyone, from a teacher or a student, to inspire and uplift others. Joseph Campbell is the master of the heroic saga.



            Sobriety must be promoted, nurtured, and protected. Self-care, balance, honesty, transparency, and a willingness to help others are all character traits that must be cultivated on a regular basis. Heroic stories usually involve a protagonist who achieves greatness, and they are frequently based on mythology or the human condition. How John Grady has established his newfound freedom to live is demonstrated in his conversation with Rawlins.’s having left behind his familiar surroundings, John Grady is now completely immersed in a new environment. He is now prepared for whatever the future may bring. He’s well aware that living in Texas and proclaiming that “it ain’t (his) country” isn’t going to cut it for him. After all, he’s experienced the same things in every world, so moving forward is no longer an issue for him. Neither the past nor the future is open to John Grady’s gaze. He prefers to wait for a new life to come to him rather than actively searching for it.





















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