Anton Chigurh

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No Country for Old Men

Thomas Marturano
Professor Gleason
Take Home Essays

6. How can Anton Chigurh’s behavior be explained? What motivates him to kill so methodically and heartlessly? How does he regard the people he kills?

Anton Chigurh can be described as a psychopathic killer that lives honestly by the morals and codes that he has declared for himself. The codes he’s created, in his mind, justify all his acts of insanity and madness. He uses them so he does not have to take responsibility for anything. The most obvious example of this, is his “coin toss” rule of how fate determines the coins outcome. Not only is he a killer but he is also a survivalist (Chavellier, Kyle). We are given hard information in both film and text that he is very smart and is way more than just a psychopath. Understanding and analyzing both the film and novel allows us to get deeper into the mind of Anton Chigurh. Why is he the way he is and how does he do what he does. In the novel, McCarthy clearly indicates that Chigurh is a non-believer of God. Its apparent that Chigurh’s atheistic beliefs formed him into a “Darwinan creature” with a powerful survivalist function (Chavellier, Kyle).
McCarthy often depicts Chigurh as this kind of “angel of death”, a self-righteous enforcer of fate (Open Salon). The most important characteristic of Chigurh is that he is still human, even though his acts of insanity and completely irrational beliefs appear him to be something not of this earth (Firraldo, Willaim). This makes you question how someone could do all he does and still be human. In the novel we are informed of his “principles” and the moral code he creates for himself. We continuously envision a cold-blooded killer that seems to have his own justification for everything he does.

The best way to start to understand reasons for Chigurhs behavior tendencies is to understand where he holds himself in this world. “His behavior is governed by a code that has its own...
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