No Country for Old Men Research Paper

1431 Words Jan 17th, 2013 6 Pages
No Country for Old Men

Cormac McCarthy’s novel, No Country for Old Men, enlightens the life of Llewellyn Moss, a welder and Vietnam veteran, who happens to stumble upon several murdered bodies, a sufficient supply of cocaine, and two million dollars of cartel drug money. Moss decides to seize the money and consequently sets off a chase for his life against the old hand sheriff Ed Tom Bell and hired psychopathic killer Anton Chigurh. However, McCarthy essentially exploits Moss’ and Chigurh’s escapade only as a subplot and ultimately conveys a deeper meaning. The novelist heavily relies on Bell’s failure to reconcile his morals of the approach crime used to take years before. Through analyzing the characters, moral relativism, and
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After a short swap of words, the owner realizes the simple conversation is starting to become chilling. As the scene progresses, the proprietor answers a question with, “Proprietor: This [gas station] was my wife’s father’s place. Chigurh: You married into it” (McCarthy 54). Chigurh is offended from the lack of control the owner has over his own life by the owner marrying into a money orientated item, the gas station. While Chigurh is aggressive of gaining what he wants from life, the owner sits back and takes advantage of other people’s hard work. As Chigurh grows weary, he takes a coin from his pocket and flips it and allows destiny to decide his life. The proprietor calls the coin correctly and unknowingly wins every possible aspect in his life in that single moment. Yet, Chigurh believes he is not the decider of life or death, but instead an instrument of fate. The fate people brought upon themselves for the lack of power, a fate that leads the gas station owner to an inevitable conference with Chigurh.
This scene spurs the debate between free will and predestination. Chigurh’s coin flipping settles what the victim will come across next, whether it is life or death. It can now be assumed there are factors, in which it cannot be avoided because it is predetermined. On the other hand, his encounter with Carla Jean Moss contradicts predestination. Carla Jean Moss swears, “You dont have to do this” and, therefore, does not call the coin (McCarthy
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