Identity Crisis in Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses

Hayder A. K. Gebreen

Abstract


The issue of identity is one of the main issues that encounters man in each culture. Identity is a set of behaviors, emotions, and thought patterns which are unique to every individual that define him as a member of a certain group. Identity is shaped by race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, language, physical features, childhood experiences, sexual  preferences and culture. Moreover, identity is usually recognized during adolescence or early adulthood in which both positive and negative features are essential in the development of individual identity. However, an identity crisis is the failure to establish identity during that age. In addition, an identity crisis is not only concerned with matters such as ethnicity or religion as it is also concerned with inner conflicts, search for identity, west vs. east, old Vs. modern. The diversity of identity in the American culture is expressed in many literary works by contemporary American writers who depict characters' search of their psychological and cultural identity. Among those contemporary writers is Cormac McCarthy (1933-) whose All the Pretty Horses (1992) tackles this quest for identity as its basic theme, both psychologically and culturally. This paper is an attempt to investigate both dimensions of the quest in this novel as being one of McCarthy's masterpieces.

Keywords: Identity, Identity Crisis, Cultural Criticism, Contemporary American fiction


Full Text:

PDF

References


Arnold, E. T. (2001). "Go to Sleep: Dreams and Visions in the Border Trilogy." A Cormac McCarthy Companion: The Border Trilogy. Ed. Edwin T. Arnold & Dianne C. Luce. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

Anderson, B. (2006). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and the Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.

Beck, J. (2009). Dirty Wars: Landscapes, Power, and Waste in the Western American Literature. Lincoln: University of Nebraska.

Cameron, J. M. (2011) Border Wars and Armageddon: Contemporary American Literary Naturalism in Cormac McCarthy's Western Novels. USA: Georgetown University.

Canfield, J. D. (2001). "Crossing From the Wasteland into Exotic in Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy." A Cormac McCarthy Companion: The Border Trilogy. Ed. Edwin T. Arnold & Dianne C. Luce. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

Campbell, N. (2010). "The Western." A Companion to Twentieth-Century United States Fiction. Ed. David Seed. Chichester, U.K: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Deaux, K. (2000). "Identity." Encyclopedia of Psychology: Volume 8, section IV. Ed. Alan E. Kazdin. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Dary, D. (1989). Cowboy Culture: A Saga of Five Centuries. Lawrence: University Of Kansas Publishing.

Ellis, J. (2006). No Place for Home: Spatial Constraint and Character Flight in the Novels of Cormac McCarthy. Ed. William E. Cain. New York: Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group.

Guillemin, G. (2001). "As of some site where life had not succeeded: Sorrow, Allegory, and Pastoralism in Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy." A Cormac McCarthy Companion: The Border Trilogy. Ed. Edwin T. Arnold & Dianne C. Luce. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

Hopkins, J. R. (2000). "Erikson, Erik H." Encyclopedia of Psychology: Volume 8, section III. Ed. Alan E. Kazdin. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Hage, E. (2010). Cormac McCarthy: A Literary Companion. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company.

Inness, J. (2000). Cliffsnotes on McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses: Notes. Lincoln, Nebraska: Cliffsnotes.

Jackson, G.A. (2010). The Meaning of Pain in Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy. Missoula, Montana: University of Montana.

King, M. (2012). Unattainable Manhood: Masculinity and Folk Culture in late 20th Century American Fiction. USA: University of Illinois at Chicago.

Leitner, W.H. (2008). Naturalistic Determinism in the Border Fiction of Cormac McCarthy. USA: The University of Georgia.

McCarthy, C. (1992). All the Pretty Horses. Volume One: The Border Trilogy. USA: Vintage International: A Division of Random House, Inc.

Morrison, G.M. (1999) "All the Pretty Horses: John Grady Coole's Expulsion from Paradise". Revised Ed. Perspectives On Cormac McCarthy Southern Quarely Series. Ed. Edwin T. Arnold & Dianne Luce. Rev. ed. Jackson: University of Mississippi.

Peebles, S. (2011). "Hang and Rattle: John Grady Cole's Horsebreaking in Typescript, Novel, Film." Cormac McCarthy: All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, The Road. Ed. Sara L. Spurgeon. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Rodriguez, M. Y. (2014). "Relocating the Cowboy: American Privilege in All the Pretty Horses." Vol. 8. USA: Global Tides. Web. http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1135&cont xt=globaltides. Feb 5, 2015.

Shaffer, D. R. (2007). "Identity Crisis." Encyclopedia of Social Psychology. Ed. Roy F. Baumeister, Kathleen Vohs. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Scoones, J. (2001). "The World on Fire: Ethics and Evolution in Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy." A Cormac McCarthy Companion: The Border Trilogy. Ed. Edwin T. Arnold & Dianne C. Luce. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

Snyder, P. A. (2001). "Cowboys Codes in Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy." A Cormac McCarthy Companion: The Border Trilogy. Ed. Edwin T. Arnold & Dianne C. Luce. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

Sullivan, N. (2001). "Boys Will Be Boys and Girls Will Be Gone: The Circuit of Male Desire in Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy." A Cormac McCarthy Companion: The Border Trilogy. Ed. Edwin T. Arnold & Dianne C. Luce. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

Spurgeon, S.L. (2009). "Foundation of Empire: The Sacred Hunter and the Eucharist of the Wilderness in Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian." Bloom's Modern Critical Views: Cormac McCarthy. Ed. Harold Bloom. New ed. New York, NY: Bloom's Literary Criticism.

Sugg, K. (2001). Multicultural Masculinities and the Border Romance in John Sayles's Lone Star and Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy. USA, Michigan State University Press.

Woodson, L. (2011). "This is another Country: The Complex Feminine Presence in All the Pretty Horses." Cormac McCarthy: All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, The Road. Ed. Sara L. Spurgeon. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Yee, Ch. (2010). The Salitter Drying from the earth: The Apocalypse in the novels of Cormac McCarthy. New Zealand: University of Canterbury.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2019 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the 'aiac.org.au' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.