Money is the root of all evil. It is the most powerful thing in the world besides love. Sometimes money can ruin love in a friendship, relationship, or even worse family. Money can even decide the fate of a human’s life. “There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.” (Elizabeth Gilbert). In the movie, “No Country for Old Men,” A character by the name of, Llewelyn Moss, is caught in the cross fires of money, his actions, his thoughts, and most of all his own fate.
Throughout the movie he is in a constant rat race with a man who goes by the name of, Anton Chigurh, who is a hit man that was hired to get the money that moss had stumbled upon and taken. Ofcourse Moss did not have to take this money and if he didn’t he wouldn’t be dealing with money, power, or the very predetermined fate of himself throughout the movie. Chigur also acts an officer of fate making up his own rules as he sees fit. Although Moss’s character may represent free will he also represents the fate that people make on their life after making one poor decision. Not only does this money ruin the fate of moss but it always toys with the fate of Moss’s wife, the owner of the gas station, and the children who were paid off to keep quiet. Some may say that it is not money that is the root of all evil but it is power. So does money and power go hand in hand? With money you have the power to control whatever you want, and with the most power you gain fear in others as well as continue to gain money from those who fear you.
In “No Country for Old men” there is a constant battle between the power money holds on oneself as well as the fate of a life through money. The first time money determines a person’s fate is during the coin flip at the gas station. When Chigurh realizes that the man working at the counter knows where he is from, he now becomes a witness of who Chigurh is and where he may be from. Maybe if the man would have just been quiet in the first place instead of trying to use the small talk and be friendly Chigurh would have never even have to have the thought of killing the man in the first place. But because the man is the person he is and just wanted to help “time pass” it pulled a spark and brought the whole conversation in another direction. Chigurh then begins to question the man. What time do you close? Do you stay out back? What time do you go to sleep?
The Owner knew he was in some type of trouble and quickly tries to hurry the man out of his store so that he can reach some type of safe zone between him and Chigurh. The conversation continues and that’s when it starts to get a little interesting. Chigurh finds out that the man was married into the business. He didn’t want it nor did he save his earnings but fate brought him to that gas station and Fate would determine his life in a coin toss. “It is interesting, however, to note the way Chigurh and the Proprietor discuss the stakes of the game. The Proprietor is no doubt aware of the danger he’s in, but is carefully trying to determine the nature of the danger. They both avoid talking about the stakes of the game directly — the Proprietor, because if he says it, it might happen; Chigurh, because he considers himself an agent of Fate. Discussing it directly would make him responsible, and he’s not; the evil swirling through the film is bigger than this one man” (goodreasonblog.blogspot.com). Fate had played a life saving role in this man’s life but so did money.
The flip the coin would determine his fate and that is when we right back on the subject of how which played a bigger role? The coin had all the power, although it was an instrument of the fate the man would determine on his own it still had the power. So can we really say that his fate was the reason this man is still alive? In the owners good graces he won the coin coin flip and his life was spared. But what if he had lost that coin flip? Do you really think Chigurgh would have killed an innocent man just because he noticed where he was from? Well that question could have been answered at the end of the movie when Chigurgh shows up at Moss’s wife, Carla Jean’s, house. Carla Jean finds herself seated across from the emotionless Chigurh. Chigurh had promised Moss that he would allow Carla Jean to live if the money was returned to Chigurh. He assures Moss that it is the best deal he has to offer.
Moss would have died either way but Chigurh promises Moss that he would not harm his wife as long as Moss listened to him. But of course determining the fate of himself and his wife Moss chooses not to listen to Chigurhs orders. It is really heartbreaking at this point in the movie because we all know Carla Jean is going to die. The power money has on a person is quite disgusting in this movie because we see that Moss truly chose his money over his wife. Chigurh tells Carla Jean that Moss could have saved her but the power of money had taken over Moss’s mind and moss made a decision for them both to suffer. “You don’t have to do this” Carla jean tells Chigurh. Chigurh then chooses to offer her the same coin flip option that he had previously offered the lucky old man at the gas station.
Unlike the old man, Carla Jean refuses to call it when asked, even after the coin had been flipped and was just waiting to be called “The coin don’t have no say in it – it’s just you.” Chigurh again points out that he “got here the same way as the coin did.” Fate brought him to her house because of her husband and the power of money is what would kill Carl Jean in the end. Not only doe Chigurh try determining the fate of others, He also tries to determine the fate of himself. At the end of the movie when Chigurh is hit he pays a boy to keep quiet and act like nothing ever happened. Why would Chigurh do this? He is using his money to determine his fate. Chigurh knows that the lower his profile the less chances he will have of getting caught and going to prison for the illegal activity he has had going on.
All in all none of these people had to do what they did. These were the choices they made and because of that, fate had a new twist on their life. Moss did not have to steal the money but he knew with more money came the happiness him and his wife had been working for. Maybe he did it out of love or maybe he was just being greedy we will never really know. Even Chigurh had the choice to not kill all those people because of Moss. All of those people who had died was a predetermined fate that was out of their control. Fate, in this movie, obviously came in more than one sub category.
The money meant power and the power controlled ones fate. “Every moment in your life is a turning and every one a choosing. Somewhere you made a choice. All followed to this. The accounting is scrupulous. The shape is drawn. No line can be erased. I had no belief in your ability to move a coin to your bidding. How could you? A person’s path through the world seldom changes and even more seldom will it change abruptly. And the shape of your path was visible from the beginning.” (coen 259)