On its surface, Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men appears to be a thoroughly grim and even fatalistic novel, but read in conjunction with W.B. Yeats' "The Second Coming"—a work with which the novel has a number of intertextual connection—it becomes clear that there is a distinct optimism at the heart of the novel. Approaching McCarthy's novel as an intertext with Yeats' poem illuminates an apparent critique of eschatological panic present in No Country for Old Men, provided mainly through Sheriff Bell's reflections on the state of society.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Davis, Connor Race, ""Goin' to Hell in a Handbasket": The Yeatsian Apocalypse and No Country for Old Men" (2017). All Theses and Dissertations. 6512.
Cormac McCarthy, W.B. Yeats, Sheriff Bell, Lewelyn Moss, Anton Chigurh, eschatology, apocalypse, adaptation theory