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"In the Third Man, Graham Greene presents ordinary people who have the capacity for both good and evil. Discuss

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Essay: ?In the Third Man?, Graham Greene presents ordinary people who have the capacity for both good and evil. Discuss. The ?Third Man? is a novella written by the famous author Graham Greene (1904-1991). It was first written as a film treatment. Graham Greene was one of the greatest and most popular English writers of the 20th century. In ?The Third Man? he uses many different techniques to present ordinary people with the capacity for both good and evil. He uses the setting, the characters, the context, conflicts, literary techniques, etc. In the novella, Rollo Martins, an American pulp western fiction writer arrives in postwar Vienna, where his childhood friend Harry Lime has promised him a job. On his arrival, Rollo discovers that Lime was killed in a car accident. He meets Major Calloway, a policeman, who tells him that Harry was a thief and a murderer; that he was a racketeer and a drug-dealer, the loyal Martins is first outraged. ...read more.


He is a sort of ?demon?. For example, on his first conversation with Rollo, he maintains a casual look as he opens the Ferris wheel?s door and tells his good friend that he has a gun and that he could eliminate him if he wanted to. Martins tells him that his problems would not end by getting rid of him, this changes completely Harry, who becomes charming and the menace in his voice is replaced by a good cheer and a friendly offer?He is good old Harry again even though he is tainted. The setting of the story plays an extremely important role in intensifying the ?good and bad? and the thriller themes. It takes place in Vienna, after WWII (just before the cold war) when the city was completely destroyed and divided into 4 zones, the American, the British, the French and the Russian zone. The atmosphere at that time was anxiety, pessimism, and suspicion. The majority of the actions take place at night, in the dark and shadowy streets of Vienna. ...read more.


Graham Greene was not only a novelist, he was also a short-story writer, a playwright, a film writer and a journalist. When he was a child, he got constantly bullied by his classmates. He suffered from mental and emotional problems, and he attempted suicide on several occasions. All of this influenced his writing style and the themes of his novels. He often wrote about betrayal, pursuit and death. In the book ?the Third Man? the main theme is betrayal, because Rollo Martins discovers that he was betrayed by his best friend Harry Lime. He was able to depict internal struggles that his characters faced, as well as their external conflicts. His characters often faced harsh, miserable and tragic conditions. Through this novella, Graham Greene paints an incredibly realistic picture of post war Vienna. The story really puts him/her in the context, he feels like he is right there in Vienna at the time. Through the intrigue, he presents with ease the conflict between the characters which show they can be both good and evil. He also uses other techniques to captivate the reader and intrigue him. ...read more.

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