No Country for Old Men

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Loretta Bell Character Analysis

Sheriff Bell’s Wife, Loretta is a strong and spiritual woman. Through the novel she provides support for her husband, who often takes note of her spirituality and strong faith. Loretta is involved in her husband’s professional life as well, cooking meals for prisoners in the county jail, and making sure they are cared for. These prisoners often return to visit her after they have turned their lives around. Loretta stands by Bell after he quits his job as sheriff, and helps him come to terms with his grief.

Loretta Bell Quotes in No Country for Old Men

The No Country for Old Men quotes below are all either spoken by Loretta Bell or refer to Loretta Bell. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage edition of No Country for Old Men published in 2006.
Chapter 8 Quotes

The point is there aint no point.

Related Characters: The Young Hitchhiker (speaker), Loretta Bell
Page Number: 227
Explanation and Analysis:

In this chapter, Llewellyn Moss crosses paths with a young female hitchhiker. They drive together, not even bothering to share names. In the car, Moss begins to talk about the "one who follows"--a figure whom the young woman thinks is God, but whom we know to be Anton Chigurh. Eventually, the young woman asks Moss what's the point of his ramblings--Moss responds that there is no point.

The quote encapsulates the bleak nihilism of the novel. There is no "point"--no moral or intellectual meaning--inlife, Moss seems to suggest. He's going to die because he's stolen money from drug dealers, and there's basically nothing he can do about it except wait for death.

And yet Moss's quote suggests that there is a kind of freedom in accepting that life has no point. Moss seems to be accepting his fate, where before he tried to avoid it by running away. Moss's observation also sums up Chigurh's nihilistic philosophy. Chigurh doesn't believe in religion or philosophy of any kind--and yet his lack of belief becomes a kind of religion, a belief in the power of chance and randomness that acts as Chigurh's guiding principle. In short, at the end of his life, Moss seems to accept some of the same depressing ideas about life that Chigurh upholds.

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Loretta Bell Character Timeline in No Country for Old Men

The timeline below shows where the character Loretta Bell appears in No Country for Old Men. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Justice and Higher Law Theme Icon
Changing Times: Past, Present, and Future Theme Icon
Corruption, Greed, and Power Theme Icon
The narrative moves back to Bell’s monologue in the present tense. He contemplates whether working in law enforcement is more dangerous... (full context)
Chapter 3
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Fate, Chance, and Free Will Theme Icon
Justice and Higher Law Theme Icon
...during dinner about a reported car fire. He finishes his meal, and asks his wife, Loretta, if she’d like to come along. They drive down to the scene together. When they... (full context)
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Justice and Higher Law Theme Icon
Changing Times: Past, Present, and Future Theme Icon
The next morning, Bell tells Wendell to get his wife Loretta’s horse saddled. They drive with the horses in a trailer down to the burned car.... (full context)
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Fate, Chance, and Free Will Theme Icon
Justice and Higher Law Theme Icon
...Bell has Wendell take the horses back to his house. He tells him to thank Loretta since the county doesn’t pay for the use of her horse. (full context)
Chapter 4
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Fate, Chance, and Free Will Theme Icon
Justice and Higher Law Theme Icon
Bell talks about his thirty-one year marriage to Loretta. They lost a little girl, he says, but he doesn’t want to talk about it.... (full context)
Chapter 5
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Changing Times: Past, Present, and Future Theme Icon
...and does some paperwork, and on the way home it begins to snow. He finds Loretta looking out the kitchen window when he pulls in. Inside, they eat dinner while listening... (full context)
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Justice and Higher Law Theme Icon
Changing Times: Past, Present, and Future Theme Icon
Corruption, Greed, and Power Theme Icon
Toward the end of dinner, Loretta tells Bell he might never hear another word about all of the trouble that has... (full context)
Chapter 6
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Justice and Higher Law Theme Icon
Changing Times: Past, Present, and Future Theme Icon
...the world but the second coming of Christ. He reflects on what a good wife Loretta is. She cooks for the men in the local jail, and sometimes they come back... (full context)
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Justice and Higher Law Theme Icon
Corruption, Greed, and Power Theme Icon
...Bell says they will sell them at auction. He asks her if she would call Loretta and tell her he has gone to Eagle Pass. He says he would call her,... (full context)
Chapter 7
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Fate, Chance, and Free Will Theme Icon
Justice and Higher Law Theme Icon
Changing Times: Past, Present, and Future Theme Icon
...just buried something, and says he doesn’t know a damn thing. When Bell gets home, Loretta gives him a message from Carla Jean written on a piece of paper. Bell asks... (full context)
Chapter 9
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Justice and Higher Law Theme Icon
Changing Times: Past, Present, and Future Theme Icon
Corruption, Greed, and Power Theme Icon
...years ago after being thrown from a horse onto a cactus. Ellis tells Bell that Loretta has been writing him letters, and he has heard that Bell is thinking about quitting... (full context)
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Fate, Chance, and Free Will Theme Icon
Changing Times: Past, Present, and Future Theme Icon
...be another. Ellis asks what it would take for Bell to lose his marriage to Loretta. Bell says it would take a lot more than things getting a bit rough. (full context)
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Justice and Higher Law Theme Icon
Changing Times: Past, Present, and Future Theme Icon
...his father that might change his mind, but Bell doubts if he could. Ellis says Bell’s father lived in a different time, but if he had been born fifty years later... (full context)
Chapter 10
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Justice and Higher Law Theme Icon
...which is not easy to accept, particularly as it applies to someone like his wife, Loretta. (full context)
Chapter 11
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Corruption, Greed, and Power Theme Icon
Bell tells Loretta that he is quitting his job as sheriff. He doesn’t feel right taking the people’s... (full context)
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Fate, Chance, and Free Will Theme Icon
Changing Times: Past, Present, and Future Theme Icon
When Bell gets home, he notices that Loretta has taken her horse out for a ride. He worries that maybe she has been... (full context)
Chapter 12
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Justice and Higher Law Theme Icon
Changing Times: Past, Present, and Future Theme Icon
Corruption, Greed, and Power Theme Icon
Bell reflects on his relationship with Loretta, noting that she is more spiritual than he is. For a long time, he thought... (full context)
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Justice and Higher Law Theme Icon
Changing Times: Past, Present, and Future Theme Icon
...trade without drug users, and drug users come from every walk of life. Bell asks Loretta if there is anything in the Book of Revelation about the kids with green hair... (full context)