No Country for Old Men

Uncle Ellis Character Analysis

Sheriff Bell’s uncle, Uncle Ellis is a retired sheriff who uses a wheelchair since being disabled by a gunshot wound in the line of duty. Ellis lives in the family homestead, and Bell visits him to seek guidance and ask questions about his family history. Bell imagines Ellis as an old-timer who upholds a view of justice, faith, and morality that is fading from society. Although Ellis is a moral man who loves his country, he is not as nostalgic as Bell about the past. He is a realist, noting the way in which this country is hard on its people and God does not seem to meddle in human affairs.

Uncle Ellis Quotes in No Country for Old Men

The No Country for Old Men quotes below are all either spoken by Uncle Ellis or refer to Uncle Ellis. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of No Country for Old Men published in 2006.
Chapter 9 Quotes

How come people dont feel like this country has got a lot to answer for? They dont. You can say that the country is just the country, it dont actively do nothing, but that dont mean much…This country will kill you in a heartbeat and still people love it. You understand what I’m sayin?

Related Characters: Uncle Ellis (speaker), Sheriff Ed Tom Bell
Page Number: 271
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 10 Quotes

I thought about my family and about [Ellis] out there in his wheelchair in the old house and it just seemed to me that this country has got a strange kind of history and a damned bloody one too.

Related Characters: Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (speaker), Uncle Ellis
Page Number: 284
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Uncle Ellis Character Timeline in No Country for Old Men

The timeline below shows where the character Uncle Ellis appears in No Country for Old Men. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
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
The narrative jumps to Bell as he visits his Uncle Ellis who still lives in the family homestead. His uncle Ellis is a former sheriff, and... (full context)
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Fate, Chance, and Free Will Theme Icon
Changing Times: Past, Present, and Future Theme Icon
Bell asks Ellis what his biggest regret in his life is. Ellis tells him he does not have... (full context)
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
Bell and Ellis continue talking while they drink some coffee out of the same porcelain cups that had... (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
Ellis tells Bell that his grandfather did not ask him, (Ellis) to become a sheriff. Instead,... (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
Ellis tells Bell that he thought God would come into his life when he was older,... (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
Ellis tells a story about another relative whom Native American’s killed in 1879. This story clears... (full context)
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
Bell tells Ellis about how we got his decoration as a war hero. He was in an abandoned... (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
Bell tells Ellis about the shame he feels about receiving the bronze star for his heroics in battle.... (full context)
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Fate, Chance, and Free Will Theme Icon
Changing Times: Past, Present, and Future Theme Icon
Ellis tells Bell he didn’t have a choice, but Bell says he could have stayed behind.... (full context)
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Justice and Higher Law Theme Icon
Changing Times: Past, Present, and Future Theme Icon
Bell asks Ellis what he thinks his father would have done in that situation. Bell thinks he would... (full context)
Chapter 10
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
Bell reflects on his conversation with Ellis. They talked about growing old, and how being hard on oneself is a sign of... (full context)
Philosophy, Morality, and Ethics Theme Icon
Justice and Higher Law Theme Icon
Bell thinks about what Ellis said about waiting for God to come into his life. He comments that God comes... (full context)