Religious and literary motifs in Cormac McCarthy's border trilogy

Date
2000-05-30
Authors
McCage, Crystal Dawn
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Abstract

Throughout history, religion and literature have offered patterns that allow people to acquire an understanding of the individual and his or her role within society as well as the universe. In the three novels of his Border Trilogy: All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, and Cities of the Plain, Cormac McCarthy relies upon specific literary motifs that enable his reader to the greater truths he offers. Although McCarthy utilizes many patterns found in religion and literature of the past, three highly significant patterns in his trilogy are: the journey motif, the hospitality motif, and the dream motif.

McCarthy relies upon Biblical and literary motifs in order to take patterns his readers have established and present them within a violent and harsh reality. McCarthy creates major and minor characters in The Border Trilogy that represent all of us and our quest for understanding certain truths about the role of the individual.

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Keywords
Language, literature, and linguistics, American literature, Literature
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