No Country For Old Men

By Cormac McCarthy

No country for old men by Cormac McCarthy was published in July of 2005 and it is based on a drug mishap along the United States and Mexico boarder in Texas.

After the book was published a film adapted version was released in 2007 that won four Academy Awards, including Best picture. Directed by: Ethan and Joel Coen (the Coen Brothers).

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Setting of the novel

The book setting stays mostly in Texas while few scenes happen in a town in Mexico. It is mostly in the desert, motel rooms and in the hospital.
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Point of view

The point of view is third person. This was used because the story goes back and forth with the three main characters in the book.


  1. Don't take items that do not belong to you or suffer the consequences.
  2. Fate
  3. Violence
  4. Evil side of human nature
  5. War
  6. Changing time

Two main themes Fate and Violence:

The character with the biggest belief in fate is Anton Chigurh, remorseless a hit man who kills almost everyone he meets. He has no regard for human life. Anton usually decides people’s fate by flipping a coin. Early on in the novel when he goes to the gas-station, by offering the gas-station owner the call of the coin toss, he brings the idea of luck. The gas-station owner didn’t realize that he was betting on his life until after Chigurh leaves. Furthermore, when Carla Jean returns home from her mother’s funeral she finds Chigurh set out to kill Carla Jean when she said that he does not need to harm her. But he stated that he has to keep his word in harming her as she is accountable for the money. Chigurh then tosses a coin suggesting that it is Carla Jean decision to decide her own fate. This highlights that money is the root of evil in human nature.

Throughout the novel there is violence. Chigurh a hit man killed many people in the novel with his shotgun. “A man slumped dead over the wheel. Beyond were two more bodies lying on the gaunt yellow grass. Dried blood black on the ground… the dog was gunshot. Beyond that was a third body lying face down…He was shot through the head. Blood everywhere.” And the another quote “Chigurh shot him 3 times so fast it sounded like one long gunshot and left most of the upper part of him spread across the headboard and the wall behind it.” So, we can observed how much violence there is in the novel.

Characters: Llewelyn Moss

  • Welder and a hunter.
  • Llewelyn Moss was a Vietnam War Veteran in his 30s and now he is a hunter.
  • He found a rival gang where there was a drug war shoot out.
  • Llewelyn Moss found a satchel that contained two million dollars, when he was hunting.

Anton Chigurh

  • He is known as "Hit man".
  • He has no remorse or compassion for other human beings.
  • He is described by Carson Wells in the novel as a "psychopathic killer".
  • Anton is suppose to get the money from the drug deal, but he found out that it is stolen by Llewelyn Moss.
  • He strongly believes in fate.
  • Anton usually decides people's fate by flipping a coin.

Sheriff Ed Tom Bell

  • He is a World War 2 veteran.
  • He is on the case of moss's murdered that Anton is committed.
  • He is always two steps behind Anton, and when he thinks he got him, it leads to another trap.
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Carson Wells

  • Second hit man
  • Contracted to receive money from Chigurh.
  • Offers safety to moss.
  • Later he is killed by Chigurh.
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Carla Jean

  • 19 years old
  • Llewelyn's wife
  • Shot and murdered by Chigurh.
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No country for old men is a story of a man named Llewelyn Moss, a welder who lives in the Texas-Mexico region near the boarder. One day on his hunting trip he found a several trucks surrounded by dead bodies. When he look around he found a last man at a distance against a tree. Next to the dead body he found a suitcase with two million dollars which Moss decided to take it. Then Moss figured it out that may be one person should be looking for that money. Before this situation in the novel we introduced to the man named Chigurh, a ruthless murder with no conscience, who sit on finding the money. Ed Tom Bell is the sheriff of Terrell County where Moss was living at the time. The last main character in the story is Carla Jean Moss, Llewelyn's wife. Moss gets home the night after finding the money with several guns and tells Carla Jean to go stay with her mother. Moss returns to the spot where he found the trucks and the Mexicans dealers attack Moss. Meanwhile Chirugh knows that Llewelyn Moss took the money because his car was left at the scene of the crime. Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, identifies what Moss's vehicle looks like.

Now, the real chase starts between Moss and Chirugh. Moss stayed at a motel with the money that had a tracker inside of it. Chirugh happened to drive by the motel and the beeper went off that tracks the money. He goes into one of the rooms and kills three Mexicans drug traders with his shotgun. Moss hears the shooting and left the motel in a hurry. Sheriff Ed Tom Bell finally tracks Carla Jean and tries to let her know about Llewelyn and the money. In the second motel Moss tries to run but is hit in the shoulder and Chirugh is hit in the leg and they both run off. Later that night Moss was in the hospital and there we are introduced to a second "Hit man" named Carson Wells, who offers Moss to save his life and if he gives him the money. Later Chirugh kills Carson Wells because he didn't bring the money to him. Moss makes a call to Carla Jean and tells her to run anywhere she can. Carla Jean informs Sheriff Ed Tom Bell about Llewelyn's location. Moss was killed by random drug runners who are looking for money. After Chirugh caught Carla Jean he kills her because he promised Moss that he would do so if he didn't receive the money. Sheriff Ed Tom Bell emotionally decides to quit the force and retire into our cruel world.

Cormac McCarthy's Bio

Cormac McCarthy was born in July 20,1933. He was the third child of six siblings. Cormac's actual name is Charles but he had it changed to Cormac. In 1939 Cormac and his family moved to Knoxville where his father worked as a lawyer. Being Roman Catholic, he went to a catholic high school for his earlier education. Later on in his life, Cormac went to the university for a while, he joined the air force in 1953. Coming back in 1957 he went to the Ingram Merrill award for creative writing in 1959 and in 1960. Soon enough, Cormac got hitched. He married Lee Holleman, a student in his school. He left without graduating and became an auto mechanic in Chicago and started on his first novel. On the return to Tennessee, him and his wife had problems and separated with having one son. He married again in 1966 to a woman name Anne De Lisie. Since then McCarthy has published many books and has received many awards.

Cormac McCarthy has had very little interviews with reporters and other people that want to know more about his book No Country for Old Men. This shows that McCarthy wants to convey that you should try to keep your life to yourself and not make it known to everyone.

Connection to the american dream

The American dream, defined by many meaning a rich life, being happy, and being able to provide for a family. In No Country for Old Men Cormac McCarthy expresses the drive to achieve the American dream through courageous acts of stupidity. What he shows is wealth and an easy life is worth the risk even if many innocent people lose their lives on the way. Many books written in this time show the impossibility of achieving the American dream and No Country for Old Men ends up following through with this routine.
No Country for Old Men - AWESOME Trailer!!!!