No Country for Old Men Research Paper

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Pages: 6

No Country for Old Men

Cormac McCarthy’s novel, No Country for Old Men, enlightens the life of Llewellyn Moss, a welder and Vietnam veteran, who happens to stumble upon several murdered bodies, a sufficient supply of cocaine, and two million dollars of cartel drug money. Moss decides to seize the money and consequently sets off a chase for his life against the old hand sheriff Ed Tom Bell and hired psychopathic killer Anton Chigurh. However, McCarthy essentially exploits Moss’ and Chigurh’s escapade only as a subplot and ultimately conveys a deeper meaning. The novelist heavily relies on Bell’s failure to reconcile his morals of the approach crime used to take years before. Through analyzing the characters, moral relativism, and
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Moral relativism, the philosophized notions that right and wrong are not absolute values, but instead personalized according to the individual and his or her circumstances or cultural orientation, crafts Bell as an eyewitness of crime’s evolution. The novel questions if the man who murders without remorse, but does so with a moral code, or drug dealers, whose only interest is drugs and money, or the theft, who thieves the money, more evil. When people feel the need to use moral judgment to answer such questions, they face many conflicting dilemmas. As stated in Steven Lukes’ Moral Relativism, “One is the thought that there are actions and modes of behavior that are right and others that are wrong universally…” (Lukes). Yet, those right or wrong values can differ from person to person. Chigurh even creates a philosophy for himself, as evil as it seems, which transcends money and drugs into some sort of creed. As well, Bell frequently recalls past experiences, which makes him believe crime has been distorted over the years. One observation was a survey on the complications a number of schools faced around the country in the 1930s:

And the biggest problems they could name was things like talkin in class and runnin in the hallways. Chewin gum. Copyin homework. Things of that nature. So they got one of them forms that was blank and printed up a bunch of em and sent em back out to the same schools. Forty years later. Well, here come the