List of Characters

Anton Chigurh—psychopathic murderer who chases Moss to get the money.

Llewellyn Moss—young man who steals the drug money.

Carla Jean Moss—Llewellyn’s wife, who runs to Odessa before Chigurh finds her.

Ed Tom Bell—sheriff of Sanderson, who tries to save Moss.

Loretta Bell—Sheriff Bell’s wife.

Jack Bell—Sheriff Bell’s grandfather, who also was a sheriff at one time.

Ellis Bell—Sheriff Bell’s uncle, whom he visits near the end of the story.

Harold Bell—Sheriff Bell’s uncle, who died in World War I.

Wendell—Sheriff Bell’s deputy.

Torbert—Sheriff Bell’s deputy.

Molly—Sheriff Bell’s office assistant.

Marvin—Sheriff of Eagle Pass, who tells Bell of the massacre there.

Carson Wells—free-agent hit man who tries to get the money from Moss.

David DeMarco—one of the boys who saw Chigurh’s car accident but refuses to describe what Chigurh looks like.

Character Analysis

Llewellyn Moss is a likable young man with a few flaws. He is full of self-confidence, is comfortable out in an isolated desert, and has a wife who loves him. Those are his strengths. But he is a tad bit too confident. And in the desert, with no one watching, he refuses a dying man a drink of water and steals a suitcase full of money. When he goes home to his loving wife, he is clipped in his dialogue with her, forcing her to trust him, which she probably should not do.

Because Moss has experience from Vietnam, he believes he is as tough as anyone else around. He thinks he can get away with the theft, even though he knows it is drug money. It takes a while for it to dawn on him that he is a man marked by death. There is no place for him to go, and his opponent is a man who does not stop until he has killed those who oppose him. Perhaps readers fall for Moss because he is flawed. Maybe they feel sorry for him, knowing that his simple flaws in the wrong situation will mean the end of him. But in the end, there is less reason to like Moss. As Chigurh points out, just before he kills Moss’s wife, Moss could have saved her. Moss could have given the money to Chigurh. But Moss refused.

McCarthy seems to have created the character of Moss as someone caught in between good and evil. Moss even might represent a younger version of Sheriff Bell, but just a bit more vulnerable. Both men had war experiences that shaped them. Whereas Bell was humiliated and humbled by his time in war, Moss seems to have come out in awe of himself. Maybe if Moss had loved his wife a little more or had a little more love of humanity, he would have lived a little longer. But Moss had a big dream. He wanted to be a little like Chigurh too.

Anton Chigurh, on the other hand, has nothing that makes him likable. Chigurh is evil itself. He kills for the pleasure of seeing people plead for their lives. Or he...

(The entire section is 784 words.)