Power and Glory I- introduction II- Setting A. How setting shows the main theme 1. the jail scene 2. the traveling scenes III- Symbolism A. How symbolism shows the main theme 1. liquor B.
How characters show symbolism 1. a quote IV – Characters A. How characters show the main theme 1. The lieutenant 2. Brigitta 3.
The mestizo B. Minor characters 1. Mr. and Mrs. Fellow, Mr. Tench 2.
Towns people V – Theme A. What makes up the main theme 1. Setting 2. Characters 3. Symbolism B.
A quote from a book VI – Conclusion In the novel “The Power and the Glory”, Graham Greene uses the elements of fiction to show a main theme. Some of the elements he uses are them, characters, symbolism, and setting. The way Greene uses these elements to show a main theme for his novel, is very good. The elements come together to show the theme, which is pity. Pity for a fellow human being. Setting is a major element of fiction.
The setting of a piece of literature can set the mood of the scene. Setting, can also make the reader feel a certain way. Some of the scenes in “The Power and the Glory” evoke certain feelings in the reader. In the scene when the whiskey priest was put the crowded jail, for having liquor on him, Greene makes the scene so horrible that you cant help but feel sorry for the priest. As Kenneth Allott said, “The crowded unseen figures in the dark seem like shapes from a Dore hell.”(182).
In the scenes when the priest is traveling from town to town, the setting is very rough. Through dense forests and complete darkness, he travels and again, the reader feels pity for someone he doesnt know but feels connected to because of being human. As Kenneth Allott said, “There is a blanketing sense of crueltys omnipresence .. and very frequently this mood is symbolized by a peculiar background of squalor ..”(15). Some critics think that the novel is “a melodramatic thriller about a policeman chasing a priest, romanticized by its religious significance and its exotic Mexican setting.”(Pryce-Jones, 58).
Another important element of fiction is symbolism. Symbolism in a novel can bring some insight to what its theme might be. A lot of the characters, atmospheres, and objects contain symbolism in the novel. The liquor that the priest is drinking is highly symbolic. It is a symbol of how the priest pities himself. He feels his life is not worth much, so he drinks.
He makes himself feel worthless. Neil McEwan said, ” The novel firmly connects the consolations of alcohol and religion.. those who need to suppress both have cut themselves off from suffering.”(59). That statement shows the priests pity on himself. Another symbol in the novel is the scene in the jail. This is a symbol of the priests lose of faith.
He feels as if his life has no more meaning and he might as well give up. Characters are also symbolic in the book. As Allott said, “There is a sense in which other characters in the book can be regarded as symbols..”(174). A novel wouldnt be complete without characters. And, characters in “The Power and the Glory” play an important role to evoke pity for the priest.
First is the Lieutenant, whose relentless pursuit of the priest makes you pity him. The lieutenant even starts to kill innocent people in hopes to find the priest. You can not help but feel sorry for the priest because of the lieutenant. Another character in the novel is Brigitta. Brigitta is the child of the priest, who obviously is illegitimate. The priest wants badly to love the child, but he cant. He is caught between his child and the sin he has committed.
She also,.. “Stands for the early corruption of innocence.”(Alott, 174). This alone makes us pity the poor whiskey priest. Another character in the novel is the mestizo. The mestizo, who follows the priest to turn him in for a reward and then to get him to bless a dying criminal, represents a ..
“Judas figure..”(McEwan, 92). We pity the priest even more because the mestizo is after him just like the lieutenant does. He represents “..evil and treachery..”(Alott,174). Some small characters play an important role in the novel. The people in the towns, who have rejected the priest in fear of being killed, makes us pity the priest because of their acts of rejection.
Mr. Fench, Mr. Fellows, and Mrs.Fellows, all show that most of humanity has given up hope. John Atkins said, “Mrs.Fellows knew that death was coming nearer, and that she lived in a cemetery..”(182). These are the people who the priest is trying to save, not himself. This is why we pity him.
He is trying to save people who do not want to be saved. The priest can leave the state and be safe, but he chooses to stay and try to save them. This eventually leads to his death. He trys to save a criminal, but it ends up to be a trap. This is why we ultimately pity him, because he knows he is being set-up, but he gives in because he is tiered of running.
He has given up hope. Theme is another important element of fiction. There has been many themes that people have put to “The Power and Glory”. Some of them include life, death, religion, sin, politics, and everything else you can think of. Pity is a major theme to this book. Greene uses all the elements of fiction to show this. The characters, setting, and symbolism all show the universal theme of pity.
All of these elements show pity for the priest as Kenneth Allott said best, The whiskey-priest is driven to sin and despair; he is made to lose everywhere”something he had hoped to keep”. After the night in prison, when his bargain with God reveals his distrust, his discovery of desolation in the Fellows house signifies his entry into a spiritual desert; the comparative calm of his sojourn with the Lehrs is the doldrums of self-deception; his return with the mestizo to the banana plantation represents his heroic reawakening to duty. But, there is no operatic grand finale. The martyr does not die in a blaze of faith. He goes out wretchedly, smelling of the brandy which he has failed to drown his fear, with an enormous sense of anticlimax and a feeling that he has”missed happiness by seconds at an appointed place”.
The world ends- it is the only conceivable ending- “not with a bang but with a whimper.”..(193) This quote, though long, shows exactly why we pity the priest, and why pity is the main theme of the novel. The novel “The power and the Glory”, by Graham Greene writes with the elements of fiction. He uses them to show a main theme in his novel. The elements come together to show a main theme of pity. Bibliography Allott, Kenneth.
“Art of Graham Greene” 1963 there is no publishing information due to the fact that the pages were ripped out from the book Atkins, John. “Altogether Amen: A reconsideration of The power and the Glory.” From “Graham Greene; some critical considerations.” Evans, Robert Owen Again, there is no publishing information due to the pages being ripped out. McEwan, Neil “Modern Novelists: Graham Greene.” General editor: Norman Page. The Macmillisn Press Ltd. London, 1988 Pryce-Jones, David. “Graham Greene.” Oliver and Boyd LTD New York 1967.