McCarthy’s book, No Country for Old Men, highlights the plight of Llewellyn Moss, who is a welder by profession and is a Vietnam War veteran. Moss happens to accidentally stumble eon many killed bodies, huge supplies of cocaine drugs and a sachet of about two million dollars of a certain cartels drug money that has had the misfortune of catastrophic failed agreement. Moss seizes the money for himself but the gang of the catastrophic failed drug deal decides to hire Anton Chigurh who has been hired by the team of drug dealers. He is also escaping from the old hand Ed Tom Bell. The author of the piece uses or exploits the escape of Moss and the pursuit of Chigurh to portray the reader insights that are hidden within the plot of the novel. He however, is heavily reliant on Bell’s failures in trying to reconcile morals of the crime. Therefore, moral relativism is also another central theme in the essay because morality is viewed by the characters in different lights.
One of the central themes that run through the novel is the theme of fate that cuts across borders. For instance, the main antagonist in the name of Antony Chigurh is deployed by the author as an agent of death and fate. He is feared by the other characters. In fact, they tell Moss that nothing that has ever crossed the path of Chigurh has been speared. Therefore, regardless of whether he returns the money or not, he is as good as dead. Moreover, Chigurh tosses a coin when he meets innocent people to make the decision to kill or spare their lives. He is an agent of death and fate. A perfect example is when he murders Carla Jean who pleads with him for her dear life but Chigurh responds that immediately he came into her life her life was over.
The author also presents theological and religious themes like predestination and free will. For instance, when Chigurh tosses a coin, he uses it to determine whether a victim will live through the ordeal or not. The coin determines life or death implying that it cannot be avoided since it is predetermined. On the contrary, his debate with Carla Jean Moss, Carla Jean tells him that he does not have to do it and therefore he does not toss the coin. There is therefore a presentation of the theme of predestination and free will.
Essentially, the book portrays that the old guide have no place in the modern society. The world has dramatically changed since people have turned against each other and are hunting each other. In McCarthy’s time, people hunted for animals. However, in the time of the setting of the book, Moss is hunting for animals but shortly after, men will be hunting for each other. Chigurh was conduct a thorough hunt for Moss and other victims to murder them and will succeed. In McCarthy’s time, there was a balance between the good and the bad. Therefore, the old guide wants to balance the two but there is no place for that in the modern time where people are hunting each other and are willing to kill each other. There is also the presentation of the hunting for information.
Evidently, the book presents major religious and political themes. Chigurh and Moss hunt for each other .
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McCarthy, Cormac. “No Country for Old Men. 2005.” New York: Vintage (2016).