No Country for Old Men

Topics: Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men, Murder Pages: 3 (1161 words) Published: June 17, 2011
According to Lord Chesterfield, “You must look into people as well as at them”. Through this conception, Chesterfield is suggesting that we should not only base our assessments on one's appearance or reputation, but instead, investigate to reveal their moral, emotional and intellectual qualities. I agree with this philosophy, for an assumption without any substance or evaluation can potentially lead to several unfortunate consequences in the end. Chesterfield's statement can be applied to the characters depicted in the novel, No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy. I will support my belief by utilizing the literary terms of theme, characterization, symbolism, and irony in the following essay.

People will generally appear as merely ordinary creatures, until their innermost core is reached and their deepest thoughts are exposed. One major theme portrayed in No Country For Old Men was the idea that people will one day outlive their time, and get to a point where they don't recognize their own landscape anymore. McCarthy is subtly conveying that no matter how much you fight it, times are constantly changing and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. Being a sheriff, it seemed as if Ed Tom Bell had opposed almost every type of outlaw that could be found in Terrell County, Texas. He realized how wrong he was after encountering Anton Chigurh, the man who proved that “...the world was goin' to hell in a hand-basket...” (page 196). To everyone around him, Bell seemed to be the same reputable lawman he had always been. No one could even come close to guessing the reality that the Sheriff was gradually beginning to undergo feelings of uselessness and defeat. Like an angel of death, Chigurh murdered anyone daring to cross his path, and behaved like no one Bell had ever seen before. Ed Tom stayed composed to the public eye, but was internally ripped apart from limb to limb. He was driven into the arms of retirement, for he had been convinced by the grim reaper...
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