Themes of No Country for Old Men

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In this essay, M.D. will analyze the roles and choices the main characters made while relating them to the main theme of good versus evil and fate versus free will in Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men.)

“Every moment in your life is a turning and every one a choosing. Somewhere you made a choice. All followed to this. The accounting is scrupulous. The shape is drawn. No line can be erased. I had no belief in your ability to move a coin to your bidding. How could you? A person's path through the world seldom changes and even more seldom will it change abruptly. And the shape of your path was visible from the beginning.” (Page 259)

This graphic violent novel is about a man who, upon finding trucks filled of drugs, dead men, and 2 million dollars, chooses to pocket the money where he is later seen at the crime scene and his hunted through out the novel. By taking the money is fate is sealed as a psychotic killer chases him through out the west coast border and Mexico to retrieve the money, and kill anyone who stands in his way. The novel has an underlining of fate versus free will and good versus evil.

It can be argued that it was fate vs. free will that made him take the money, and fate versus free will that made Sheriff Bell become the protector, or Chigurh, become the sociopath that he was. This novel touches upon whether or not the people in the world can stop the evils around them or whether they can help those who do not wish to be helped.

The main character who finds the 2 million dollars and keeps it is Llewelyn. Married to Carla Jean, he went out hunting one evening and stumbled upon a disturbing scene of murder, death, and drugs. He unconsciously signed his own death wish when he decides to explore the disaster rather than calling the police, like he should have done. When he finds the 2 million dollars, he keeps and knows that his life will never be as it was when he is seen at the scene of the drug dealing gone wrong. He, and his wife,...
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