The Fragile World of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men

Main Article Content

Saffeen N. Arif


In Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men (2005), not only old people’s life is fragile in that they have no place or country to live comfortably in, but also almost everybody’s life is at stake. The purpose of this article is to explore the nature of the fragile world in addition to the forms and causes which McCarthy depicts in his novel from perspectives other than the ones addressed previously by the majority of McCarthy’s critics and scholars. Those critics attempt to refer to outside or external forces to account for the fragility of the world which the novel vividly delineates. Among such approaches to the novel is the overemphasis on the destructive power of fate and chance over the inhabitants of that world. In this regard, other scholars try to shed light on the meaning of the story and its characters against an allegorical background. The current paper, however, approaches McCarthy’s novel aiming at internalizing the causes behind the weakness and vulnerability of characters and the insecurity of the world where they live. The article tries to suggest other factors, such as inaction and lack of communication, whose roles are by no means less effective than the external ones in portraying the fragility of McCarthy’s fictional world.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Arif, S. N. (2022) “The Fragile World of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men”, Koya University Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 5(1), pp. 12-20. doi: 10.14500/kujhss.v5n1y2022.pp12-20.
Author Biography

Saffeen N. Arif, Department of English, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Koya University, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Saffeen N. Arif, is an academic staff at the Department of English Language, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Koya University in Kurdistan Region, Iraq. He has been teaching at Koya since 2012. He had a teaching experience in both the University of Anbar, College of Arts, Department of English (2006) and the University of Baghdad, College of Languages, Department of English (2011). He obtained his BA degree in English from the University of Baghdad, College of Languages, Department of English (2000), his MA in English literature from the same university and college (2004), and his Ph.D. degree in English and American literature from the same university, College of Arts, Department of English (2010). He has published several papers in local and international journals. He took part in a conference in Turkey (2017) and in the Fulbright Visiting Scholar in USA. (2014)


Bloom, H. (2009) Bloom’s modern critical views: Cormac McCarthy. New York: Infobase Publishing.

Greenwood, Willard P. (2009) Reading Cormac McCarthy. Colorado: Greenwood Press.

Hage, E. (2010) Cormac McCarthy: A literary companion. Jefferson, North Carolina, and London: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers.

Hawkins, T. (2017) Cormac McCarthy’s philosophy. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hillier, Russell M. (2017) Morality in Cormac McCarthy’s Fiction: Souls at hazard. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Lincoln, K. (2009) Cormac McCarthy: American canticles. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

McCarthy, C. (2005) No Country for old men. London: Picador.

Murnighan, J. (2009) Beowulf on the Beach: What to love and what to skip in literature’s 50 greatest hits. New York: Three Rivers Press.