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No Country for Old Men | Study Guide

Cormac McCarthy

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Course Hero. "No Country for Old Men Study Guide." May 24, 2017. Accessed February 22, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/No-Country-for-Old-Men/.


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Cormac McCarthy

Year Published






Perspective and Narrator

Events in No Country for Old Men are narrated by an omniscient third-person narrator and a first-person narrator, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell. The third-person narrator covers events at the beginning of the story while Bell narrates after all the events of the story are over.


No Country for Old Men uses the present tense with first-person narration and past tense with third-person narration.

About the Title

The phrase No Country for Old Men comes from the first line of W.B. Yeats's poem "Sailing to Byzantium," which begins, "That is no country for old men." In the poem, old men are contrasted with the young, who are full of love. Sections of No Country for Old Men are narrated by 57-year-old Sheriff Ed Tom Bell. Bell believes he has seen "a true and living prophet of destruction" in the course of his duties as sheriff. The encounter convinces him policing the borderlands is no longer a job for an old man.


This study guide and infographic for Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents, Q&A pairs, and flashcards created by students and educators.

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