Lauren Langston- Big Project 1: Text Selection

Text: No Country for Old Men

Author: Cormac McCarthy

No Country for Old Men is a 2005 novel by Cormac McCarthy. Revolving around the events that follow a drug deal gone wrong close to the Mexican-American border, the plot follows the intertwined lives of three main characters (Llewelyn Moss, Anton Chigurh, and Ed Tom Bell). It contains themes of fate, free will, justice, higher law, evil, and the human struggle with morality. As for it’s regard to the canon, No Country for Old Men is too new of  a novel to officially be declared a canonical text.

I saw the Coen brother’s 2007 film adaptation of the novel in high school and ever since then I have wanted to read and studied it more in depthly. I was fascinated by the deeper themes and how boldly the film played with ideas of morality and am excited to explore them as McCarthy presents them in the novel. I expect to analyze these heavy themes and attempt to understand, through research, what McCarthy’s intended meaning his novel is. I aim to understand what themes McCarthy has interwoven in his novel and what he wants his audience to gain from them and his characters. I want to evaluate these themes in relation to the characters in attempt to connect their relationship to these themes (like morality) with ours. In my preliminary search of No Country for Old Men in the MLA International Bibliography, I found over five hundred academic journal articles in relation to theme and over four hundred in relation to characters. Using a narrowed down pick of these articles and the tools I have acquired in class, I expect to develop more than just and understanding of how themes relate to the characters but also where we can see these things represented and questioned in my own life and what McCarthy is prompting his audience to ask themselves after reading No Country for Old Men.

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