No Country for Old Men

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While there are various notions of freewill and determinism, most evidently solidified in No Country for Old Men is the theory of compatibilism. There are two variances on compatibilism within in the film; the first (ultimately being portrayed as the dominant theme in the movie), gives the impression that despite personal choice, the only certainty in life, is death. From a Christian perspective, the second take on compatibilism combines freewill and theological determinism, allowing for a rational, yet beneficially anticipative outlook on life. The illusion that claims personal possession of freewill is best displayed in one of the movie’s main characters, Llewellyn Moss. Llewellyn’s sense of freewill came from his self-evident ability to anticipate the repercussions from taking the money. Thinking that he could always remain a step ahead of “what was coming” was his embodiment of control. Adequately contradicting Llewellyn’s philosophy regarding freewill is the overarching theme in the movie stated in the conversation between Uncle Ellis and Sherriff Bell. The key element in this film, driving home the movie’s title, is contained in the epistemological sense that Sherriff Bell has always perceived the world. In Bell’s view, the deteriorating state of the world holds no place for his generation. Ellis interjects, stating that “What you got ain’t nothin’ new”. What Sherriff Bell thought to have not ‘existed’ in his time, is simply taking on more outlandish physical manifestation of what existed all along. Like Ed, so often our world assumes that when we can’t physically witness something, it is fully absent. During the time of ‘Sir’ and ‘Ma’am’, society had been conditioned to think and act in a way that presented the illusion of social stability. Like Sheriff Bell, every generation romanticizes the past and thinks its own problems vary significantly from those experienced by their predecessors. Bell’s anxiety is merely a result of the self-imposed idea the he...
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