Essay on No Country for Old Men

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Bitter about the evolution of the corruption of society, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell plays the official hero clinging to old traditions and reminiscing about the old days in No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy. Delusions of a peaceful utopia during the time his grandpa Jack was a sheriff has left Bell looking at the world through hopeless eyes; a world on its knees with only one explanation for its demise: Satan. Not necessarily a religious man, Sheriff Bell, when asked if he believes in Satan, remarks: “He explains a lot of things that otherwise don’t have no explanation. Or not to me they don’t” (218). Throughout No County for Old Men, Sheriff Bell is determined to save Llewellyn Moss in order to prove that justice can be served in a world…show more content…
In regards to the crimes around him, Bell is aware of something more sinister on the horizon when he begins to describe a new kind of criminal: I used to say they were the same ones we’ve always had to deal with. Same ones my granddaddy had to deal with. Back when they was rustling cattle. Now they’re running dope. But I don’t know as that’s true no more. I aint sure we’ve seen these people before. Their kind. I don’t know what do with em even. If you killed em all they’d have to build a annex on to hell. (79) Bell witnesses the progression of evil around his own county and the way things have taken a turn for the worse when he says: “This county has not had a unsolved homicide in forty-one years. Now we got nine of em in one week” (216). Bell is a little apprehensive at first to state that the world he is inhabiting has slipped from the hands of those desperately seeking justice. He admits that he doesn’t “know if law enforcement work is more dangerous now than what it used to be or not” but he states that “some of the old time sheriffs wouldn’t even carry a firearm” (38, 63). Here the reader starts to understand that Bell misses the old days when the threat of killing someone rarely arose. He is

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