The Role Of Sheriff Bell In No Country For Old Men

1010 Words5 Pages
W.B Yeats tells us “the aged man is but a paltry thing”, in his poem Sailing the Byzantium. Cormac McCarthy bases his novel, No Country for Old Men, off of this concept. Sheriff Bell, the narrator of the novel, feels outdated and worthless as he tries to solve many murders involved in a drug deal gone wrong. But he is unsettled when he realizes that his old methods may not work on the now corrupted youth. Towards the middle of his journey Sheriff Bell begins to doubt that society will ever be able to liberate itself, earths inhabitants will forever be irredeemable and that this world is unsuitable for “oldtimers”, a very pessimistic outlook to have. After retiring from his sheriff duties he realizes that the world is a cold and hostile place,…show more content…
Many times throughout the novel you are given Sheriff Bells’ dated ethics. For example, when he is telling us about the new up-to-date technology he tells us, “I’d stick with what I had. That aint always a good policy. But it aint always a bad one either”(62). Even though Sheriff Bell knows that it might not be smart to stick with what is old and what he has, he feels it would be better than updating and having to deal with the new equipment. Another instance where Sheriff Bell shows his morals is when he finds the hawk on the side of the road; he “pulled over… and looked at it…He picked it up by one wingtip and carried it to the bar ditch and laid it on the grass. [Hawks] would hunt the black top…any small thing that might venture to cross. Closing on their prey against the sun…Lost in concentration of the hunter. He wouldn’t have the trucks running over it”(44-45). He describes the hawks hunting styles and techniques, how even with its large wings, shadow less flight and predator eyes it is still no match for the trucks that come flying on the highway. He shows compassion here where many others of youth would not show compassion. But like any other protagonist Sheriff Bell too has a backstory showing a spot of weakness for him. After sharing his tale with his uncle about how he left all his comrades in war and received an honorary medal for it…show more content…
But in the final chapters he finally begins to see some sort of light and purpose in his life. When he sees the carved water trough he begins to think of the person who carved it, about how he, “sat down with a hammer and chisel and carved out a stone water trough to last ten thousands of years…” he then continues to say about the carver, “…the only thing I can think is that there was some sort of promise in his heart…But I would like to be able to make that kind of promise. I think that’s what I would like most of all”(308). Sheriff Bell describes the time and effort put into making the trough and how even when the stone started as nothing the carver could see something in it because he had dedication, determination, and a promise in his heart that he would complete his vision. Sheriff Bell wishes that he had this determination and promise in his heart to continue being Sheriff but he has become too defeated by the failures he has endured trying to catch Chigurh. But before he retires he answers some questions for a reporter, one of the questions being why he let the crime get so out of hand in his county. He says, “It start when you begin to overlook bad manners. Any time you quit hearin Sir and Mam the end is pretty much in sight” (304). Sheriff Bell brings up a good point here because the youth has become disrespectful and that all starts when their parents allow them to get away with such behavior. He also

    More about The Role Of Sheriff Bell In No Country For Old Men

      Open Document