NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Cormac McCarthy

If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?

No Country For Old Men (2007) Official Trailer - Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem Movie HD

Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy, also known as Charles McCarthy, is an American author born on July 20, 1933 in Providence, Rhode Island. He was raised and educated in Tennessee, which explains his southern and western genres throughout his 10 published novels. McCarthy was raised Roman Catholic and went to the University of Tennessee where he majored in liberal arts. He also served in four years in the U.S. Air Force spending two of those years stationed in Alaska where he hosted a radio show. McCarthy has won several awards for his novels with many becoming major motion pictures. For his novel, No Country for Old Men, McCarthy was awarded the IMPAC Award and the Maltese Falcon Award. The film adaptation of this novel won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and over 75 other awards around the world. McCarthy once lived in El Paso, Mexico, with his wife and child, which happens to be a place in this novel.

Setting

The main setting of this novel takes place in Sanderson, Texas, where Sheriff Bell and Llewelyn Moss both live. For example, the drug deal scene occurs in the Texas desert where Moss takes the money that starts the main idea of the novel. It also takes place in El Paso, Mexico where Moss is taken into the hospital. The novel takes place in 1980 with a western-gothic mood continuing throughout the entire plot.

Major Characters

Sheriff Bell (Ed Tom Bell)


Bell is the main protagonist in the novel and is the sheriff of Sanderson, Texas, where him and Llewellyn Moss both live. He is married to Loretta Bell and was also a war veteran. He is the most crucial character in this novel because he is the meaning behind the title, No Country for Old Men. Bell is unable to cope with the modern world as he believes the world is beginning to become more violent and that it should remain the same as it did when he was younger.

Llewelyn Moss


Moss is a representation of a modern day worker who gets involved in the criminal world. He is a 36 year-old Vietnam war veteran who lives in a trailer with his nineteen year-old wife, Carla Jean. Moss is a significant character as he emphasizes the theme of death throughout the novel. He likes to believe that he is a tough man because of his past in the war, and is also a very determined yet compassionate man.
Anton Chigurh


Chigurh is the antagonist in the novel who tries to search for Moss and the money. He is a pure evil hitman who does whatever it takes to get what he wants, even if that means killing people. He has no remorse or compassion and occasionally lets his victim's fates be decided by a coin toss. His twisted set of morals is what depicts him as an unstoppable, ruthless man. Chigurh's signature weapon is a captive bolt pistol which he uses to both kill victims and to destroy locks on doors.

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No Country for Old Men

Meaning


The title of this novel refers to the idea that modern society has taken over and old value systems no longer apply. Sheriff Bell represents the "old-timer" while Anton Chigurh is the representation of the new, violent generation that Bell cannot cope with. Bell represents a symbol of old tradition when he constantly expresses his thoughts about how times have changed and how he wants no part of the modern world. He also explains how some of the old time sheriffs never wore a gun. This proves how different their world is now from when Bell was first the sheriff of the county. By the end of the novel, Bell decides to retire from his job in law enforcement because he doesn't want to have any part in the unstoppable violence and reformed morals.

No Country for Old Men - Opening Scene