No Country for Old Men Essay

No Country for Old Men Essay

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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 now drenched in decay. Throughout the book and the film adaptation, the audience can see Sheriff Bell, a tormented old man, sink deeper into his bitterness and his hope sizzle away in the Texas heat.
The book, No Country for Old Men, switches from first person to third person perspective; the first person perspective coming only from Sheriff Bell. It is with these first person accounts that the reader understands why Bell is saddened by the new world around him. He tells of a story he read in the newspaper about teachers answering a survey of what the biggest problems were with teaching in schools; the biggest problems these teachers could name were: “talking in class and running in hallways. Chewing gum. Copying homework.” The story in the paper then states that forty years later the survey was given to teachers and the biggest problems were: “Rape, arson, murder. Drugs. Suicide.” Bell is horrified by this story in the paper and is in disbelief when people tell him he is just “getting old” w...


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... ultimate failure of not being able to protect Moss and his wife, Carla Jean, one can tell that the decision to quit irritates Bell more than anything when he accounts: “so you could say to me that I aint changed a bit” (282).
Ellis reminds Bell about how his uncle Mac died: gunned down by Indians in the old days saying Mac came out with a shotgun. Ellis is letting Ed Tom know that things were violent even in the old days. Ultimately, Bell’s decision to quit is the opposite of what Moss decided to do when presented with the choice of quitting and Bell’s decision leaves him with his life. Bell’s wife, Loretta, asks him if he his quitting while he is ahead; Bell, whose rite of passage is written throughout the entire story and concludes that there is no country for old men, responds: “no mam I just aim to quit. I aint ahead by a damn sight. I never will be” (298).

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No Country for Old Men Essay

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