No Country for Old Men Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the premise of "No Country for Old Men"?

"No Country for Old Men" by Cormac McCarthy is a look at the changing times a sheriff faces towards the end of his career in law enforcement. Sheriff Ed Tom Bell investigates a massacre in the desert with obvious ties to heroin and Mexico. It is a sign of changing times that Bell is sorry to see, and has a difficult time relating to. It punches a large hole in what he had always seen as his responsibility - to keep his town and the people in it safe.

2. How is Chigurh able to overcome the deputy in the jail?

Chigurh is caught, but not for long. He takes advantage of the deputy's complacency to get his manacles around the deputy's neck. It is over in moments, and Chigurh is free again. This is only possible because of the many times he has practiced this very move. Chigurh is thorough, and likes to prepare for all eventualities. It is also his habit not to leave any witnesses behind.

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