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A Closer Look Into Morality Essay

1937 words - 8 pages

Today’s society focuses on studying human behavior, moral values, and ethics. The novel, No Country for Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy, is constantly referred to for the morality issues that are presented. Morality is essentially the knowledge of knowing what is right and what is wrong. It is extremely important since it directly affects human behavior and minds. According to the article, “What is Morality and Where Does Morality Come From?”, moralities in human society are inherent and internal within us, which literally means that the mechanism that creates morality is built in (Joseph). Moralities may also be considered interpersonal value systems because each person has his/her very own set of moral values. In a way, morality reveals what people are like because “[it] is part of their personality” (Joe). In No Country for Old Men, the two main storyline characters, Llewelyn Moss and Anton Chigurh, both have one thing in common: they want to end up with the satchel full of money. Chigurh practically hunts Moss down using his professional and sociopathic hitman skills while Moss continues to run for his life with the money. Throughout the story, morality plays an important role because it justifies the actions of all the characters, especially Moss and Chigurh. They both have their own moral compass that they use to determine further decisions. Morality is a characteristic that changes whenever different situations arise and also explains what kind of personality a character takes on. Cormac McCarthy incorporates morality in order to individualize the two main plot characters in No Country for Old Men. However, Chigurh plays his character with a much stronger moral code.
Anton Chigurh has a very strict moral code that he follows no matter what the situation is. As Moss calls Carson Wells, another hitman and former lieutenant, to negotiate the exchange of money, Chigurh picks up and keeps a tranquil tone while indirectly telling Moss that he is going to kill his wife, Carla Jean, unless he hands over the satchel of money. Since Moss does not actually give Chigurh the money, he still pays a visit to Carla Jean. While sitting at a little desk in her bedroom, he tells her to “not worry about it,” implying that he is going to end it all for her. Chigurh states that he “gave his word” and even though Moss is already dead and it should not matter anymore, he still goes with it because his “word is not dead [and] nothing can change that” (McCarthy 255). It is clear that Chigurh is a man who does not break promises whatsoever. He is completely ruthless and will go to extremes in order to go through with what he says he will do, which means that he has the most stable moral code. Morality is the belief that certain behaviors are either good or bad. However, according to the article, “Moral or Value Conflicts,” not everyone has the same perception of what is “good” and “bad” and may have different standards (Maiese). Chigurh, being a sociopathic...

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