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Jimmy Blevins, one of the main characters in All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, has some questionable attributes that make him a little less than admirable. Blevins is a very sensitive thirteen-year-old boy who runs away to Mexico due to an abusive parent. Because he is so immature and sensitive, he worsens the situations that he finds himself in. While in this foreign country, he is met with many unfortunate circumstances. While dealing with each unfortunate event, his impulsivity becomes very clear. Due to these two traits, he worsens his living situation. Blevins does, however, have a positive trait of caring deeply for John Grady and Rawlins.

Blevins’ sensitivity coincides with his immaturity, meaning both traits cause his life to get harder. Due to his irrational fear of lightning, Blevins’ horse ends up “running somewhere out in the rain” (McCarthy 71). Blevins’ horse wasn’t tied up properly during the storm making it very easy for the horse to run off. Once the storm passes, John tells Blevins that his horse is gone, and instead of planning his next move, Blevins asks the boys for help. His childish behavior causes him to be much more reliant on John, which drags the boys down. Now he relies on both John and Rawlins for food, protection, and transportation. Once the boys are eating with the Mexican family, Blevins’ sensitivity and childish nature become much more clear. While Blevins is eating dinner, he falls out of his chair onto the ground. When Rawlins and the two girls sitting at the table with him begin to laugh. Blevins storms out of the house saying “he don’t like to be laughed at” (53). Instead of coming back inside, he excuses himself and sleeps outside. This childish behavior continues throughout the novel. Later in their travels, the boys come across a group of men who feed them and give them a place to stay for the night. While talking to the group, a man “asked John Grady if he wished to sell the boy” (76). Grady kindly rejects the offer and starts to pack his belongings. He tells Blevins and Rawlins to do the same. Grady takes some time to contemplate whether or not he wants to tell Blevins about the ordeal. John specifically waits until the boys are pretty far away from the camp to tell Blevins due to his childish nature. He knows that because Blevins is too immature to handle the news, he shouldn’t say anything to Blevins until they’re long gone. Blevins could possibly start a scene and get the boys into serious trouble.

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Blevins’ trait of impulsivity leads the boys down a road of unfortunate events. At the beginning of the novel, Blevins wants to prove himself to Rawlins. He wants to prove that anything Rawlins throws up in the air, he can hit with a bullet. Because of Blevins’ lack of impulse control, he doesn’t think of the consequences this action could have, so “he shot it” (48). At the time it seemed like harmless fun, but in reality, when Rawlins needs his identification card in prison, he doesn’t have a valid one because of the bullet hole. This leads to the faculty of the prison not believing Rawlins is who he says he is. Because of Blevins’ one impulsive action, Rawlins is now in a bad situation. After Blevins loses his horse in a thunderstorm, he finds the horse again in the group of men. Impulsively, Blevins steals his horse and gun back from the man who has it. This impulsive action leads to the boys having to split up because they are now being chased by the men in the group. Blevins can’t prove that the horse and pistol are his, therefore, it looks like he has stolen it. This causes the men to follow them while firing shots. The boys decide it’s best for them to split up, leaving Blevins all by himself in Mexico. After splitting up, Blevins is accused of killing three people, but he only admits to one. Due to a lack of impulse control, he stole his gun back from one of the men in the group. Blevins “walked up behind him and snatched it out of his belt” (159). Blevins proceeds to shoot the man for attempting to attack him and then shoots another man off of his horse. Because Blevins is impulsive, he causes a lot of problems for the boys.

Blevins does possess a good trait of caring deeply for John and Rawlins. While he is being taken away by prison worker, “Blevins had wrenched one off one boot and was reaching down inside it. He pulled up the black and sweaty innersole and threw it away and reached in again…he thrust into [John’s] hand a wad of dirty and crumpled peso” (177). Blevins was supposedly shot in this scene, making this the last encounter John had with him. Blevins made sure that his friends were taken care of. It wasn’t much money, but it was all that Blevins had left. This action showed how much he truly cared for his friends. Once Blevins realizes that he’s messed up, he tries his best to fix it for his friends. After he realizes that his impulsive decision could get the boys killed, he decides to “take the road since it’s [him] they’re huntin” (84). This means that the boys are splitting up to keep John and Rawlins safe. Blevins knows that he can outrun any other horse. Blevins also uses his survival skills to keep the boys alone. Before deciding to split the group up, Blevins uses his instincts to keep them safe. “He slid from his horse and lay in the road listening” (83). This survival tactic lets the boys know when the men were approaching so that they could get farther away. The last thing he wants is for his friends and himself to die.

Although Jimmy Blevins has caused problems for John Grady and Rawlins, he truly does care for them. His less positive attributes, however, make his character less than admirable.

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