No Country for Old Men

Cormac McCarthy

My opinion on symbolism in No Country for Old Men

I recently finished Cormac McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men". Throughout this book I noticed a lot of different symbols. The brief case, the bolt gun and the coin were the symbols that stood out the most for me. The symbolism in the book helped make the book more interesting for me and really made me think about the different meanings behind the book.

The first symbol that I noticed was the briefcase filled with millions of dollars. The briefcase for me, represented greed. The characters in the book would do anything for the briefcase. Even kill. Chigurh doesn't care who he hurts in the process, he just wants the money in the briefcase. When Moss finds the breifcase filled with money he doesn't think about the consequences but only thinks about how the money will help his life and give him the life he always wanted. This greed of Moss and the money also leads to him dying. The symbolism of greed in the book represents how one selfish act (Moss taking the money) can lead to many other things happening that you wouldn't expect to happen. The breifcase also represented power. Whoever had the breifcase in my opinion, was considered the most powerful because they had what everyone else wanted in their hands.

The bolt gun was another symbol that I noticed in the book. The bolt gun to me, represented humanity. Chigurh used his bolt gun to kill his victims. Bolt guns aren't typically used as weapons to kill humans but are usually used to kill animals in slaughterhouses. This made me think that Chigurh didn't see a difference between humans and animals. Chigurh also used the bolt gun to break into people's homes and many other places. Using the bolt gun made room for no errors so it was easier for Chigurh to kill his victims without any errors.

The symbol that I thought was the biggest symbol in the book was the coin. Chigurh used the coin to determine life or death. I think the coin represented fate and chance. Chigurh would make you make a choice between heads or tails and whatever your answer was, would determine if you lived or if you died. This also represented fate because in reality, we don't have a choice over our death. Chigurh ultimately made the decision of weather the characters died or lived and the victims only got a choice of picking heads or tails without knowing what they were betting.

Overall, the symbols in "No Country for Old Men" really helped me understand the book and make it more interesting for me. The most interesting symbol that I found was the coin because it determined life or death. I found this book interesting because it isn't the type of book that I would usually read. It was a bit hard to understand at first but after awhile, I got used to it. The symbolism in the book was a bit unclear to me at first but once I did some research on the symbolism, it really helped me understand the book and find the meanings behind it. In conclusion, I found "No Country for Old Men" to be a very interesting book with many different meanings behind it.