‘No Country for Old Men’: Chigurh's Character Analysis
In today’s time, it is very easy for someone to be a bully or harass a person over social media. Before the popularity of social media, this type of insults to people would be done directly face to face with the person. The movie ‘No Country for Old Men’ displays representations of the different levels of harassment along with what it was like to be harassed in person before social media.
One short clip from the movie ‘No Country for Old Men’ Anton Chigurh walks into a convenience store and starts to talk with the store owner. The conversation goes back and forth between Chigurh and the store owner. Chigurh makes fun of the store owner and insults him with his questioning. Chigurh mocks the store owner by repeating and questioning the store owner’s response to his questions. He intimidates the store owner with his louder voice and direct stares. You can visually see the store owners posture shrink and he tries to distance himself from Chigurh. From this clip, it appears that Chigurh is an amoral person because of the insults that he said to the store owner. However, Chigurh does make some moral sayings throughout the movie clip. Chigurh goes between his amoral to his moral self-multiple times within the clip. For example, one of the most iconic parts from the clip is the coin flip. In this part, Chigurh says some amoral statements, such as: “You married into it?” and “You stand to win everything, call it”. Most people would think that these statements are made to spark a conversation, however it is actually a direct insult to the store owner. The first reference, “You married into it?”, is making fun of the store owner and that he was just given this job opportunity and did not have to work hard to get where he is right now. The second reference, “You stand to win everything, call it”, infers that the store owner does not make a lot of money and even a quarter is worth a lot to him. These examples demonstrate how Chigurh can sometimes be thought of as an amoral person with his direct insults and harassment of the store owner.
There are also examples in this clip where Chigurh proves that he does have some morals. In the same scene Chigurh tells the store owner to call the coin toss and the owner argues back that Chigurh should actually call the coin toss. Chigurh responds by saying, “You need to call it. I can’t call it for you, it wouldn’t be fair”. This demonstrates where Chigurh is actually trying to teach the store owner a valuable lesson. Chigurh’s lesson is to not allow other people define who you are and do not allow them to make decisions for you. I believe Chigurh is teaching the owner to not be afraid of people like himself and to stand his ground when encountering people like him. Chigurh tried to teach the store owner by initially bullying him. For example, a baby is not going to learn that fire is hot unless the baby touches the fire and learns what the word hot means. That is what I believe Chigurh did in order to teach the store owner a lesson and by doing this, it demonstrates Chigurh’s moral character.
Summarizing, I can say that Chigurh’s character can sometimes be considered an immoral person, but he still has morals.
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