Dark Pasts and Black Screens: The Adaptation of Bell in No Country for Old Men

Dark Pasts and Black Screens: The Adaptation of Bell in No Country for Old Men

Length: 1191 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

I ordered all of my books for the upcoming semester over the winter break while staying with my parents. Upon their arrival from Amazon, my dad plucked No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy from the pile with enthusiasm. Not that I do not trust or honor my father’s opinion, but usually his taste in novels is questionable. Besides his collection of Jimmy Buffett biographies, most of his choice novels feature soldiers or guns on the cover. I don’t have anything against these books. They just aren’t my style. So, when my dad picked up No Country for Old Men, I expected a plot driven, action novel that my anxiety and patience probably wouldn’t be able to handle. I anticipated a work made for an easy transition to film. However, I was wrong. Cormac McCarthy’s novel, in my opinion, was much more than another made for-screen-thriller. Surprisingly, I found the novel to be nuanced and ambiguous, featuring thought provoking ethical decisions that blur the boundaries of right and wrong.
This novel is riddled with moral complications. Cormac McCarthy challenges the seemingly black and white nature of society’s rules by highlighting the gray areas of love and motivation. If you break the law, your actions are illegal, but are they wrong? This is the question McCarthy asks the reader throughout the entirety of the novel. McCarthy’s multi-layered novel is able to weave ethical questions throughout the plot with the use of three main characters acting as narrators: Anton Chigurh, Llewelyn Moss, and Sheriff Ed Tom Bell. Each gives a situational explanation of their faults that makes it impossible to identify one character that is completely innocent, and therefore a hero. The only thing that links Chigurh, Moss, and Bell is that...

... middle of paper ...

... house. 2008.

McCarthy, Cormac. No Country for Old Men. New York City: Vintage, 2005. Print.
Movieweb. “No Country for Old Men - Interviews with Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin”. Online movie clip. YouTube. YouTube, 18 Sep. 2010. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
No Country for Old Men. Dir. Joel Coen. Prod. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen. Perf. Javier
Bardem, Josh Brolin, and Tommy Lee Jones. Miramax, 2007. DVD.
O'Brien, Geoffrey. "Gone Tomorrow: The Echoing Spaces Of Joel & Ethan Coen's "No Country For Old Men.." Film Comment 43.6 (2007): 28-31. Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 May 2014.
Stam, Robert. "Introduction: The Theory and Practice of Adapation." Introduction.
Literature and Film: A Guide to The Theory and Practice of Adaptation. Malden:
Blackwell, 2005. 1-52. Print.
Quart, Leonard. "The Final Word." Cineaste 16.3 (1988): 64. JSTOR. Web. 30 Apr.


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz Film Adaptation Essays

- The 1900 children’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L.Frank Baum is about a Kansas girl named Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto journey home. Dorothy and Toto got swept into the Land of Oz by a cyclone. Dorothy meets a living Scarecrow, a man made entirely of tin, and a Cowardly lion while trying to get to the Emerald City hoping that the Great Oz can help her return home. Oz advises Dorothy and her new friends to destroy the Wicked Witch of the West in order to find a way home. Over the years, the story has countless reinventions like the film Wizard of Oz 1939 and Oz the great and Powerful 2013....   [tags: Character Development, Static Character]

Strong Essays
995 words (2.8 pages)

Black Artists in Country Music Essay

- Charlie Pride did it in 1971. Darius Rucker did it in 2009. That’s it. Two black men, spanning thirty-eight years, are the only black artists to win a Country Music Association Award. With country music rooted in bluegrass and rhythm and blues, why aren’t there more black country music stars. When considering the roots of country music, and how closely related country is to blues, bluegrass and honky tonk music, an examination of what happened to all the black musicians seems warranted, no. This paper examines the dearth of black artists in country music and the careers of one of the few black artists who has had commercial success in this genre of music....   [tags: country music, black musicians, Darius Rucker]

Strong Essays
2843 words (8.1 pages)

Gospel music Essay

- Gospel Music Gospel music began in the cotton fields of the old south. It originates from slaves singing songs of freedom about Jesus and has integrated into today’s music. Gospel music is a standard version of sanctified music that has encouraged Christian beliefs and stimulated the practice of Christian ethical principles, both inside the context of worship services and as music entertainment. Gospel music began with Thomas A. Dorsey, the Father of Gospel Music. Gospel, mean "good news," it was given the name because of the books of the Old Testament with the gospels.1 Gospel music is mostly American music reflected by significant songs....   [tags: Music History, The SOuth, Black Gospel]

Strong Essays
1061 words (3 pages)

No Country for Old Men Essay

- 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....   [tags: Character Analysis, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell]

Strong Essays
1618 words (4.6 pages)

Linda Hutcheon’s A Theory of Adaptation Essay

- The art of storytelling is not a modern invention, neither is adaptation. In spite of their century-old traditions, they both are relevant and evolving. Reading the same stories over and over again would get boring pretty quickly, but transcoding them to different media such as film or video games gives them new meanings, thus keeps them interesting. Adaptation opens up new dimensions for creators and consumers of adaptations alike. However, when the same story – or an element of the story - is used in various different media, it will inevitably spark debates on which one is superior....   [tags: A Theory of Adaptation]

Strong Essays
1334 words (3.8 pages)

Adaptations of Black Panthers Essay

- ... Black Panthers are rare to be spotted by human in the wild because of it Adaptations as well as its behaviors. Black Panthers are “nocturnal and solitary animals that are incredibly powerful and fearless animals that are feared by many because they are very aggressive (Panther, 2008).” Black Panthers behavior patterns I believe will help them get off of the endangered list because if we won’t see the in the wild because they are high in the trees sleeping then they won’t have the opportunity to get use to the humans presents....   [tags: predator prey relationships, habitat, behavior]

Free Essays
977 words (2.8 pages)

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton Essay

- Cry, the Beloved Country is such a controversial novel that people tend to forget the true meaning and message being presented. Paton’s aim in writing the novel was to present and create awareness of the ongoing conflict within South Africa through his unbiased and objective view. The importance of the story lies within the title, which sheds light on South Africa’s slowly crumbling society and land, for it is the citizens and the land itself which are “crying” for their beloved country as it collapses under the pressures of racism, broken tribes and native exploitation....   [tags: Cry, The Beloved Country Essays]

Strong Essays
739 words (2.1 pages)

Cry the Beloved Country - the Tribe Essay

- One of the main themes that emerges from reading Alan Paton's, Cry, the Beloved Country, is the importance of tribal life to South Africa because of the identity it gave its people. Through the communal life of the tribe, the structure of stability and morality of the tribe, South Africa's people had a sense of accountability for their own doings, a responsibility towards other and pride in the unity of their people. Tribal life began to break up, however, with the coming of the mines as the youth set off towards Johannesburg and became lost in the crowds and the city....   [tags: Cry, The Beloved Country Essays]

Strong Essays
727 words (2.1 pages)

Cry The Beloved Country and Apartheid Essay

- The novel Cry the Beloved Country was a prophecy for the future of South Africa. It alludes to and sometimes even blatantly states the conditions necessary for the end of apartheid and the beginning of peace. South Africa in the 1940's was in trouble. Kumalo, a priest, was able to see through the prejudices of the world and assess the situation. When inconvenient to involve Kumalo in the investigation, the depth of South Africa's disparity was illustrated directly through the stories of horrifying happenings in character's conversations....   [tags: Cry the Beloved Country Essays]

Strong Essays
1199 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Racial Morals in Cry, The Beloved Country

- Racial Morals in Cry, The Beloved Country Discrimination against people who are different can be identify in every country around the world. People of every sex, color, religion, and in this case, ethnicity are tormented. In the 1940's, 50's, 60's, and 70's apartheid was an emanate injustice throughout the land of South Africa. Apartheid was the government's rigid policy racial segregation between white Europeans and black natives. The official goal of apartheid was to establish laws that would isolate these groups in most activities, especially in education, employment, housing, and politics....   [tags: Cry, The Beloved Country]

Strong Essays
1525 words (4.4 pages)