The stage of the work itself is influenced by a vital concern with the nature of the devil. In this case, this concern takes shape in the territories of the southeastern United States, where a briefcase full of money circulates from hand to hand across the border deserts in search of the temptation of men. The landscapes of this work are landscapes where violence and horror take shape, landscapes that for some are a transposition of the landscapes of the Old Testament. In the words of Manuel Broncano, Cormac McCarthy constructs a work that could be considered a Genesis story adapted to the present.
The historical context is also important when it comes to understanding this work. Both world wars on a more general level and the Vietnam War as a backdrop swarm throughout the work as the old ghost of a country in agony. The significance of this war is such that Moss’s father describes it as the symptom of the nation’s decay. We do not find, however, features of the heroism of war, but havoc, negative and deplorable consequences, hatred and ruin. Later we will make a more exhaustive analysis of these characteristics through the symbols that the novel contains. In addition to this, the whole work is covered with the human condition of the present centered on aspects such as evil, greed, violence, honor, guilt or the influence of destiny.
The current world imposes itself on an ancient world cracked by the force of violence and ambition. The nostalgia for the old days of brave Sheriffs and old figures of the Western dress the story of an attractive but at the same time melancholic Romanticism. At first sight and through a quick reading we can not appreciate them but the work is covered with details that make evident all the historical scenery of the south. In the first place, still in the south there is a racist feeling despite all the advances that have been made to try to alleviate this evil of the American society. This many times is concretized in the superiority of whites against blacks, as we can appreciate in some words of Llewelyn: You are a white woman and free and of legal age, with which I suppose you can do what you want.
The racist feeling is also reflected in the moment in which Bell discusses the meeting of the remains of the shooting in the desert and Wendell, his assistant, clarifies: They are nothing more than Mexican narcos. These words demonstrate, on the one hand, that the feeling of the border is still evident in the southern United States as a place of conflict that has not yet been resolved. On the other hand, they contain a derogatory tone that establishes a superiority of the whites of the United States and an inferiority of the Mexicans, that is, a racist criticism expressed this time not in the black-white conflict but in the United States-Mexico conflict. Add to that that his derogatory words reduce to a lower link still in the social hierarchy the Mexican drug traffickers. Further clarify that these words come from an authority, so the implications of the racist tone of these words are not included only in the average social classes but in the very authorities that participate in racism.
Thus, what we find in the state of Texas, specifically in the border region between the United States and Mexico, is the persistence of racism in two aspects: white-black and white-Mexican. In any case, we always find the highest position of the target with respect to any other individual. Second, we find a gender distinction and an inequality between man and woman that has not yet been overcome. Remember that the expansion of the West occurred at a time when the United States was growing as a power and was basing its conquest on the violence exerted on the Indians. The leading role of these individuals was men, something that is still present in the southern mentality. The previous words of Llewelyn besides showing a racist tone enclose a way to appreciate the genre. The independence of women from men in the United States is a fact that, as in the rest of the Western sphere, has not yet been achieved.