Book Review: No Country For Old Men

Topics: Books

[1] Carla Jean Moss: Llewelyn what are you doing? [2] Llewelyn Moss: Going out. [3] Carla Jean Moss: Going where? [4] Llewelyn Moss: A little something I forgot to do, but I’ll be back. [5] Carla Jean Moss: And what are you gonna do. [6] Llewelyn Moss: I’m fixing to do something dumber than hell but I’m going anyways. [7] If I don’t come back, you tell mother I love her. [8] Carla Jean Moss: Your mother’s dead, Llewelyn. [9] Llewelyn Moss: Well then I’ll tell her myself.

[10] Carla Jean Moss: But for how long do we have to.. [11] Llewelyn Moss: Baby, at what point would you quit bothering to look for your two million dollars. [12] Carla Jean Moss: What am I suppose to tell momma.[13]Llewelyn Moss: Stand in the door and holler “Momma I’m home”. [14] Come on pack your things, anything you leave you ain’t gonna see again. Things happened. Come on, I can’t take them back.

In the beginning passage of dialogue between Llewelyn Moss and his wife Carla Jean Moss in No Country for Old Men Cormac McCarthy is showing a big part of the reason what this book based on.

McCarthy showing in this conversation between Llewelyn and his wife what money can do to someone. What great lengths someone would do to get what they desire through Llewelyn Moss having a conversation with his wife about the money he took that he knew he should not have taken because of the bad things that could come along with it.

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This dialogue functions as a way of McCarthy showing what another would do to others for money. Through it, it gives us an idea of what is at stake here which is in this situation is life for something as little as money which is nothing more than paper.

This statement reveals how far one individual is willing to go for money and one’s decision to take life all for the reasoning of money to full their personal greed so they will full stable in some way. There’s a thin line between life and death for someone’s life to be taken over the reason of money. The conflict money causes how it makes people make decisions that they would never do without money at stake. The conflict of man vs. man, which is shown by Llewelyn Moss and Anton Chigurh making killing someone to be not a big deal at all. The sense of suspension in danger grows as Llewelyn Moss knowing that he took money that was not his because of the statement he made to wife in the second sentence. Where Llewelyn is anticipating the horrible events that can take place because of the money he took. Llewelyn foreshadows what he feels will happen in the future to him and or his wife. Starting out with the story McCarthy develops Llewelyn’s character as a stubborn and self-reliant man.

When he stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and takes a briefcase full of money from the deadly scene. Him taking that action sets a domino effect of unfortunate circumstances that force him into survival mode in order to escape the danger of a man seeking his death in exchange for the money he took. Llewelyn’s urge for survival comes through his desire for some sort of stableness for himself and his wife to live with that freedom and stressless life. Only having his small trailer home and his wife. Llewelyn sense of self-reliance makes him believe he can overcome a senseless killer out for the money and to take his and his wife’s life. When the killer offers to spare his wife’s life for the money. Llewelyns self-confidence and his stubbornness ultimately can mistakenly lead himself and others to death. The main aspect of this conversation between Llewelyn Moss and his wife is ultimately the whole reason why this whole situation is happening after telling why people would be after them.

The reader gets insight into how Llewelyn Moss is going to have to live his life from now on that he took that money. Llewelyn Moss concludes the conversation suggesting that he could possibly leave and never come back because someone is out to kill him. This would show that Llewelyn Mosses life is at risk, but more importantly is the fact that other people’s lives are now in danger because of him. Why because his killer will not stop till he gets to Llewelyn and will not let anyone get in his way. However, it is clear that from the conversation that the assumption can be made that Llewelyn’s in danger for his life and knows it. Llewelyns circumstance not only regards to his life, but to many others as well all because he wanted to take a large amount of money that he could not just pass up. While Llewelyn was trying to take the money for him and his wife to have more security in their life, it ends up just breaking them apart and fear for their lives.

Llewelyn comes to a realization that after doing what he did that his life will never be the same. This suggests that in taking something that you know you should not take there will always be more consequences than benefits. Showing the worse side that money brings out in people and the things people do for money. This is the message that Cormac McCarthy was trying to reveal. How sometimes life throws obstacles in your path, which can make someone do the right thing or get to caught up in what they desire and make a mistake. It unintentionally re-constructs their life and others surrounding them.

Work Cited

McCarthy, Cormac. No Country for Old Men. Picador, Publisher 2010.

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Book Review: No Country For Old Men. (2022, May 09). Retrieved from

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