Rhetorical Analysis of No Country for Old Men as a Phychological Thriller - Essay Example

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Name Class Date Rhetorical Analysis of No Country for Old Men as a Psychological Thriller In the novel No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy creates a world that is both familiar and strangely unsettling. The character of a sociopathic killer is not new to readers…
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Rhetorical Analysis of No Country for Old Men as a Phychological Thriller
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Download file to see previous pages The idea of killing is familiar to all of the main characters with little to no moral center. The novel is existentialist in its discussion of these crimes, creating no real moral or justice and abandoning the idea of resolution to the existence of the socio-path. He comes and he goes, creating a wake of resolutions when the lives of those he passes are ended. The resolution to his existence is not there, however, which causes many reviewers to take pause. In the Cormac McCarthy novel No Country for Old Men uses symbols of killing, innocence, and a post-apocalyptic idea of morality in which America and the wars of the later 20th century have left people flat and cold, the meaning of life lost in an existential fog. In the opening passage of No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy paints a chilling picture of what it means to be a killer. The main character, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, relates a story of someone he had arrested who had been given the death penalty for a crime that most people thought to be a crime of passion. A nineteen year old boy was dating a fourteen year old girl and had killed her. When he visits, the boy tells him that he had always wanted to kill someone and he had chosen to kill her, not been driven to it by some emotion he could not control. The passage goes on to describe his confession where he admits that he liked the feeling of killing and if he could do it again, he would do it. With this anecdotal tale, McCarthy begins the journey of Bell through a psychological thriller that shifts between soulless men and innocents who do not have a clue about the evil that men will do to each other. The book can be seen as a representation of the gothic Romance thriller with a center of evil through which the rest of the action takes place in psychologically driven tension. Garret calls the moment in which the other characters face the evil in the story as the recognition scene, embedding it into the psychology of evil. In this moment, the benign character sees that they are facing evil and in that moment know their fate which had not been clear to them before this point. One difference that McCarthy places in his work, however, is that the world is relatively flat and without great peaks and valleys of emotion. It is a deconstruction of the metaphysical presence that the character that represents evil, Anton Chigurh, establishes through a lack of thrill despite being a part of what should be a thriller. It is not that the novel does not thrill. What it does not do is feed the reader the emotions associated with the events in the story. Therefore, as Chigurh acts he is even more horrifying because of the dispassionate tone that is related through his series of murders. Before page ten Chigurh has killed to police officers, the first in a struggle after which he calmly does what he needs to in order to quietly escape a police station. The second is even less emotional as he simply steps outside of the car and uses his pressurized air in which to put a hole in the head of the officer. It is clean, precise and practiced. Chigurh is a man with no soul, one very similar to the one that Bell has described after meeting with the boy before his execution – but Chugurh has no emotions about his work and barely registers curiosity at times (McCarthy 1-7). The comparison made between Moss and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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