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The Power and the Glory" by Graham Greene centres around a shabby, weary whisky priest struggling to escape the clutches of the military government who have excised religion from the Mexico of the 1930's

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Introduction

"The Power and the Glory" "The Power and the Glory" by Graham Greene centres around a shabby, weary whisky priest struggling to escape the clutches of the military government who have excised religion from the Mexico of the 1930's. The whisky priest has many chances to escape from the dark world but, the main themes Sin and Guilt keep on surrounding him leading us to his final capture and death. The Setting has a significant part to play in conveying the main themes and characters. In the opening chapter, Graham Greene uses a cinematic technique to create a harsh and no life setting- "blazing Mexican Sun... the bleaching dust...hard sunlight...the heat and forgetting." The words "blazing", "bleaching", "hard" and "heat" all have negative connotations, which suggest that the heat/sun saps the life and spirit causing people to be torpor and ennui. Mr. Tench is a minor character who has been affected by the heat-"what am I here for? Memory drained out of him in the heat" Here, it suggests that Mr. Tench's boredom, depression and loneliness, having a bad memory and the feeling that he is trapped in town and cannot escape has been caused by the heat. In the next chapter, more thoughts and feelings are being revealed by the Whisky Priest which show that he is trapped - "they were carried like children in a coach through the huge spaces without any knowledge of their destination" The Whisky Priest regards himself as completely unworthy as he thinks life is pointless if there is no destination. ...read more.

Middle

power has been destroyed, this scene also shows us how the Whisky Priests moves from the power to the glory- "Oh, I don't know, all the hope of the world draining away." This shows that the Whisky Priest is tenuous because he doesn't have money, doesn't have wine it is like the alcohol is going away, everything is happening to him but he doesn't know how to control or to defend it. "He could feel the old life hardening round him, like a habit, a stony cast... He could hear authority, the old parish intonation coming back into his voice" These quotes show that he feels like restriction, he is holding himself back and is trapping himself. He is acting this way because he doesn't know what to do and how to act. All of this conveys that the Whisky Priest is leading towards his true faith, true power and the glory of God. In part 2, chapter 3, the setting is very significant because it puts the Whisky Priest under the microscope "It was like the end: there was no need to hope any longer. The ten ears' hunt was over at last." This quote shows that the Whisky Priest is already in hell because he is surrounded by darkness and been put into a timeless world where he could hear people but not see them. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Whisky Priest is said to be a sinner but he is also a martyr because he recognises his human frailties, he craves absolution, he respects Padre Jose, he disarms the lieutenant by his forgiveness, tries to pray and also accepts his death. In the denouement, another priests knocks on the door "an odd frightened smile, and suddenly lowering his voice he said to the boy, 'I am a priest" This setting shows that the church will never be entirely stamped out. There will always be someone willing to carry on the faith, and people willing to listen and give shelter. The settings in the novel clearly state the failure of the Lieutenant because he isn't able to eradicate the religion and the religious feelings in the people. It is like a life cycle because if the Lieutenant keeps on killing priests, there will always be someone filling up the space, just like another priest knocking on the boys door. The setting had also helped me understand the title of "The power and the Glory." The "Power" is the Priest's ability to surmount difficulties, and have the power to keep his faith and never give up on running away. Where the "Glory" means that the priest had the glory of dying a martyr and died with his faith and his death had positively impacted the lives of the young boy and Mr Tench. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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