No Country for Old Men

Cormac McCarthy

Symbols in the novel No Country for old Men

The Briefcase

In the novel No Country for old Men there is a briefcase that is full of thousand of dollars. The briefcase is a symbol of power and greed. One main questions that keeps getting asked throughout the novel is who this briefcases belongs too, Llewelyn Moss finds this briefcase and decides to keep it and bring it with him. At one point in the novel Llewelyn picks up a girl hitchhiking on the side of the road and he gives her a thousand bucks so that she has money for food and to get to where she wants to go. Individuals in the novel are willing to do absolutely anything for the briefcase like even kill other people and put there own lives on the line just to get their hands on this one briefcases full of money. When Llewelyn Moss ends up taking this briefcase and runs away with it so he can have all the money inside of it to himself it is a perfect example of the symbols of greed because Moss knows that Anton Chigurh wants this briefcase but moss decides to try and keep it. I think that both Llewelyn Moss and Anton Chigurh are both really greedy characters for both wanting that briefcase so bad instead of just turning it into the police station so they can find the rightful owner of it.

The Coin

A character in the novel named Anton Chigurh often uses a coin toss before he possibly kills his victims, if the victim picks heads and the coin lands on tails he kills his victim, but if his victim picks tails and it lands on tails the victims off the hook. This coin demonstrates the philosophy of life in different ways, like in ways which fate, chance, and free will play apart in if you survive of don't survive Anton Chigurh coin toss or not. I think that Anton Chigurh's coin toss method is kind of a cruel was to show the symbol of fate, chance and free will, because in the end he's still killing people

The Bolt Gun

Anton Chigurh one of the main antagonist of this novel. Chigurh can chose any weapon that he wants to use throughout the novel and he choice the bolt gun. The air powered bolt gun is originally used to kill cattle before the butcher butchered them because as soon as you would shot cattle with the bolt gun they would instantly die and feel no pain so it would be easier to butcher the cattle faster. Chigurh decides it would be a good idea to do the same thing with his victims, he kill his victims with his bolt gun because he thinks of humans being no better then animals and thinks that the humans he kills with his bolt gun feel the pain just like how animals don't and also because the point of a bolt gun for people of animals to die after you get shot with it, so his victims die instantly. I think the bolt gun is a pretty cool weapon when it is used on people no animals.


Llewelyn Moss

Sheriff Ed Tom Bell

Carla Jean Moss

Anton Chigurh

Carson Wells

Cormac McCarthy

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