What is the plot of "No Country for Old Men"?

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the novel by Cormack McCarthy, “No Country for Old Men,” the plot is pretty standard.  You have a young Vietnam vet, Llewellyn Moss, who is antelope hunting somewhere in West Texas.  He stumbles upon a bloody scene of dead bodies and dead dogs. He also stumbles upon a satchel of over two million dollars.  He mistakenly decides to take it.  He knows that whoever the money belongs to will come after him but he thinks he can get away with this money and outwit the drug dealers.

Anton Chigurh, is the antagonist who goes around killing anyone who crosses paths with him and his search for the money.  He kills with a strange weapon.  It is an air gun used to kill cattle. 

The “hero” is Sheriff Bell, a World War II veteran who tries to find and protect Moss. The plot is about a good man who makes a bad choice and spends the rest of his short life running from a killer.  The good Sheriff Bell tries to help Moss save himself but Moss just can’t let go of the money. 

"Every moment in your life is a turning and every one a choosing. Somewhere you made a choice. All followed to this. The accounting is scrupulous. The shape is drawn. No line can be erased. A person's path through the world seldom changes and even more seldom will it change abruptly. And the shape of your path was visible from the beginning."

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No Country for Old Men

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