All the Pretty Horses

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A young boy riding a big bay horse whom John Grady and Rawlins encounter when they’re about to cross the border to Mexico. He claims he’s sixteen but looks more like thirteen, and the other boys doubt that Blevins is his real name—it’s also the name of a well-known religious radio host in Texas. Blevins has run away several times, presumably rebelling against a malevolent stepfather. He’s even more naïve than John Grady, and seems very young: he’s afraid of lightning, and is stubborn enough to risk everything just to get a stolen pistol back. Blevins is portrayed as sometimes ridiculous but entirely harmless, and his downfall is shocking to the others, portraying the extent to which evil will blot out whatever it can, however innocuous its victims.

Jimmy Blevins Quotes in All the Pretty Horses

The All the Pretty Horses quotes below are all either spoken by Jimmy Blevins or refer to Jimmy Blevins. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage edition of All the Pretty Horses published in 1993.
Part 3 Quotes

John Grady watched the small ragged figure vanish limping among the trees with his keepers. There seemed insufficient substance to him to be the object of men’s wrath. There seemed nothing about him sufficient to fuel any enterprise at all.

Related Characters: John Grady Cole, Lacey Rawlins, Jimmy Blevins, The captain
Page Number: 177
Explanation and Analysis:

The prison guards have loaded John Grady, Rawlins, and Blevins into a truck to carry them to some unknown place. They pause somewhere far from any civilization, and the captain takes one of the guard's guns and leads Blevins away into the woods, where he will shoot the boy. Meanwhile, John Grady and Rawlins remain in the truck, knowing that there is nothing that they can do, and until the last moment imagining that something else will happen.

This is the first moment in the book where John Grady and Rawlins are made to confront seemingly meaningless violence, spurred by rules and customs that they cannot understand, rather than merely hearing about such violence from other people. The brute force of Blevins's murder is so incomprehensible to John Grady, as shown in this passage, because it clashes with how small and unthreatening he knows Blevins to be. It is not that John Grady will mourn the loss of Blevins as a friend—Blevins is not like Rawlins to him—but he cannot understand why such an effort has been mounted to hurt and kill someone so harmless. John Grady is brought face-to-face here with the tragic gap between powerful institutions and fragile human beings, as well as the gap between his idealistic view of Mexico and the reality of the situation in which he finds himself.

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Jimmy Blevins Character Timeline in All the Pretty Horses

The timeline below shows where the character Jimmy Blevins appears in All the Pretty Horses. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
A rider (Jimmy Blevins) with a broadbrim hat and overalls, riding a beautiful, big bay horse, approaches them. He’s... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...the boy is sitting in the shallow water. The boy, who says he’s called Jimmy Blevins (the name of a radio host), says no one will hunt him in Mexico, though... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
They camp at the edge of a plain, and when Rawlins asks, Blevins says he last ate several days ago. John Grady and Rawlins tell him their names... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
...he’d seen once across the river as a boy. They’re sitting on backless benches and Blevins leans back at one point, crashing to the floor. The little girls squeal in delight,... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
...away where they can work. Rawlins wonders if he thinks they’re desperados. He asks if Blevins is just going to sleep in the yard, and says maybe he’ll be gone in... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
The next morning they ride out and see Blevins on the road. He asks if they have anything to eat, and the boys tell... (full context)
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...they camp off the road and stare into the embers of their fire. Rawlins tells Blevins how good a horse rider John Grady is—that he can outride anyone he’s ever seen.... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Fate and Responsibility Theme Icon
...asks if he believes in all that, John Grady says yes, but Rawlins isn’t sure. Blevins says he’s an infidel, but Rawlins tells him he doesn’t know anything, and to shut... (full context)
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...and camp in the low hills that evening, where they cook a jackrabbit shot by Blevins. Blevins buries it in the ground and builds the fire over it, saying that the... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Rawlins asks Blevins where he’s from, and he says Uvalde County on the Sabinal River. He continues to... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
When Rawlins asks why Blevins wanted to go to Mexico, he says it was for the same reason as Rawlins:... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...canteen of sotol (an alcoholic drink) and are drunk by evening. Rawlins catches sight of Blevins’ horse with an empty saddle, and they turn back to see Blevins sitting in the... (full context)
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
An ominous-looking storm swells in front of them and lightning glows from the distance. Blevins says he can’t be outside in lightning—it turns out he’s afraid of it, and is... (full context)
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
They ride north, and eventually come across Blevins’ horse tied to a willow tree next to a stream beside the road. John Grady... (full context)
Fate and Responsibility Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
...and the next morning they untie the horses. John Grady says they should go find Blevins. Rawlins wonders if they should just go on without him, but John Grady doesn’t think... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Fate and Responsibility Theme Icon
John Grady finds Blevins in the same place he left him. His clothes are washed way, and his horse... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
Blevins asks if John Grady will ask them about his horse. Rawlins says he won’t get... (full context)
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
...bar of soap. He tests it, and one of the men asks if the blond (Blevins) is his brother. He says no, that he’s just a boy—not a relation, friend, nothing.... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
When John Grady heads back to the others, Blevins asks again about his horse, but John Grady says they don’t have him. Rawlins asks... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
That night, with Blevins sleeping wrapped in a blanket, Rawlins says he looks pitiful. He asks if John Grady... (full context)
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
At noon the next day, they ride into the town of Encantada, where they see Blevins’ pistol sticking out of the back pocket of a man bent over the engine of... (full context)
Fate and Responsibility Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
...earlier choice that got him into it. This is their last chance to just leave Blevins. What if it was you? John Grady asks, and Rawlins says neither of them would... (full context)
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
After falling asleep, they wake up to find Blevins squatting watching them. John Grady says his horse is here without a saddle, and they’ll... (full context)
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
...through the silent streets until they reach the mud house, but the horse isn’t there. Blevins dismounts and climbs through the house’s window. He doesn’t come back. Dogs start to bark... (full context)
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
A mile away they catch up with Blevins. Blevins says that people are coming for them, and he tells the other two to... (full context)
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Fate and Responsibility Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
...says he doesn’t want to shoot his way back to Texas. Rawlins says he’ll kill Blevins if they see him again. They ride out west, at one point glimpsing the three... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
...for water. As they prepare to fall asleep, Rawlins says he’ll say one thing for Blevins—he wouldn’t stand for anyone “hijacking” his horse. (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
...they wouldn’t necessarily recognize the three riders. The two of them are more noticeable, though Blevins is most of all. A good-looking horse is like a good-looking woman, Rawlins says—more trouble... (full context)
Fate and Responsibility Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
...what will happen, God must know, Rawlins says. John Grady just nods. Rawlins wonders if Blevins is safe, and when John Grady says he thought Rawlins was glad to be rid... (full context)
Part 3
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Fate and Responsibility Theme Icon
...see anything, but out of the darkness a voice asks, “Is that you all?” It’s Blevins. (full context)
Fate and Responsibility Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
Blevins doesn’t know how long he’s been there, but it’s a long time. Rawlins accuses him... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Only one of them died, Blevins pipes in. He had worked for a German family in Palau, 80 miles east, and... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Rawlins says Blevins doesn’t know how much trouble he’s in. Blevins assumes he’ll be sent to the penitentiary—he... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
The captain insists Rawlins tell him his real name. He says Blevins is Rawlins’ brother, and asks how many horses they stole, how many men they killed.... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
...him to admit to everything right away. John Grady says he doesn’t know anything about Blevins—he just asked to ride with them. They’ve been working for Don Héctor at La Purísima,... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
...arm perched with a burning cigarette by his ear. He asks how old the assassin Blevins is, and John Grady says he doesn’t know. He tells John Grady to give him... (full context)
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Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Back in the cell, the boys watch Blevins being led away. John Grady tells him they’re going to Saltillo, and it seems like... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
...the buckets filled with beans as if they’re carrying slop for livestock. As they eat, Blevins asked what they’d told the guards about him. He said they could have tried to... (full context)
Fate and Responsibility Theme Icon
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
Three days later John Grady, Blevins, and Rawlins are led from their cell onto a truck. The captain and guards exchange... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
...into the front of the truck with the captain. Saltillo is 400 kilometers away, and Blevins says this will be a long trip. The boys don’t say anything. They stop in... (full context)
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Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
...takes one guard’s rifle, and that guard says “Vámonos” (Let’s go), but “just the boy.” Blevins asks what they’re going to do, and Rawlins says they won’t do anything. When he... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Fate and Responsibility Theme Icon
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
...The captain says that the man who accompanied him was the brother of the man Blevins killed, and had paid money to take revenge. This had surprised him, since in Mexico... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
...to an empty road. Rawlins wipes his eyes, cursing and saying he keeps thinking about Blevins. He looks old and sad to John Grady, and says he keeps thinking how scared... (full context)
Part 4
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Fate and Responsibility Theme Icon
...him luck. He thinks about Alejandra riding, and then of the last time he saw Blevins. He’d had a dream in Saltillo in which he’d asked Blevins what it was like... (full context)
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Fate and Responsibility Theme Icon
...the entire story. At the end the girl tells John Grady to bring the boy Blevins to the grandmother so he can say Blevins is the one at fault. John Grady... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
...the charro where the other horses are, his pistol to the captain’s head. He says Blevins was his brother and he had vowed not to return to his father without the... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
...man withdraws, and John Grady leads the captain out. As they’re turning John Grady sees Blevins’ horse. He assumes the man has probably gone to the house for a rifle and... (full context)
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
John Grady hands rope to the charro and tells him to bridle Blevins’ horse. He snaps the handcuffs back onto the captain, tells the charro to wait there,... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
...two of them. He hoists the captain onto Redbo and rides out the gate, leading Blevins’ horse on a rope. The charro is holding his hat and he bends down and... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
...when he reaches her. He wonders if the captain is still alive and thinks about Blevins and Alejandra. He remembers the sadness he’d first seen in Alejandra, which he thought he... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
...day. For weeks, John Grady rides around the border country looking for the owner of Blevins’ horse. Just before Christmas he turns the horse over to the judge in Ozona. John... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Fate and Responsibility Theme Icon
...says that he wanted to kill the captain because he stood and watched him walk Blevins into the woods, and he never said anything. He needs to find out who the... (full context)
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
...Bracketville, Texas café when he hears a voice on the radio saying it’s the Jimmy Blevins Gospel Hour, in Del Rio. John Grady arrives at the Blevins house that afternoon, and... (full context)