in his dream, he is riding with his father in olden times, it is cold and harsh. the world is cold and harsh. but his father carries hope in the form of fire, fire can keep you alive in the cold, provides comfort.
his father is going on ahead to prepare a better, comfortable and warm world for him. it is like the previous generation shapes the world we live in for their children, which is him. so he is dreaming that his father, who was also a lawman, helped build a safe and comfortable world for him from the harsh one that existed. it is a hopeful dream.
when he says he woke up, it means that it was just a dream, and in reality, the world he lives in is a disgusting and horrible, and violent place. when he says he woke up, it is haunting because for the whole film, he has seen how violence rules the world he lives in, not the world of his father or his world, but of chigurghs and moss, and the only time he can see a safe and comfortable world is in his dreams. that is why the last shot of him in the film, he looks so depressed, because he knows it is a not a world that he belongs in anymore.
his wife says he has lots of time to dream, he has just retired, which means that for the rest of his days he can dream of a better world, and he will never have to participate in the violence again. which means he is no longer a part of this world. thats why its called no country for old men, because it is not a country he can be a part of anymore
· 1 decade ago