• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The subject of death is often present in Greene's stories. Explore how Greene handles the idea of death with close reference to any three stories.

Extracts from this document...


The subject of death is often present in Greene's stories. Explore how Greene handles the idea of death with close reference to any three stories. Greene's stories are notorious for exploring dark and negative themes such as corruption, fear, violence and death. Greene associates death with depression and disease. He also questions the afterlife, which we believe awaits us after death. Death is not solemn at all in 'Greeneland'; Greene almost makes fun of any solemnity associated with it. In the story "Proof Positive", Greene plays with people's idea that when we perish, it is only our body that actually dies, and that our soul lives on in the spirit world. Greene twists this belief round by giving us this story and saying that "without the body's aid, the spirit...decayed into whispered nonsense." While giving a speech to a psychical society, Major Philip Weaver, a retired army officer, declares that he will present proof to the society that the soul lives on when the body 'dies'. ...read more.


One day, he goes to the cinema, where a man starts talking rubbish next to him. By his words and "damp and sticky" hand, Craven thought that he was a murderer who was recently featured in the news. When the strange man leaves a smear of blood on his hand, Craven leaves and phones the police, who tell him that the murderer had already been caught. After being told that the victim's body couldn't be found, Craven remembered the man's "damp breath", and looking into the mirror saw "tiny drops of blood" on his face. The truth finally dawns on Craven and he realises that the man in the cinema was actually the dead victim and not the murderer. At that point, Craven goes crazy, and screams, "I won't go mad. I won't go mad. I'm sane. I won't go mad." Again in this story, Greene tells us of how the soul lives on even when the body dies. ...read more.


Greene again brings out the idea of the afterlife, and toys with it. The story also has a strong element of religion in it, partly because it is based on the story from the Bible. For the first time in his stories, Greene brings out a guilt feeling in his character before he passes away, suggesting that he felt remorse for leading the sinful life he led. As seen from these stories, death was something that Greene was not sure about. He had mixed feelings about the afterlife, and didn't know whether it really existed or not. An element of disgust and rot is associated to the body with these stories, especially in "A Little Place of the Edgware Road". Greene also seems to make fun of death, and in the story "A second Death", he says that there is nothing solemn about death. Death is almost seen as only a phase of life. Josephine Borg 1st Yr. Adv. Group 4.2 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE War Poetry essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    "Ambulances" by Philip Larkin.

    5 star(s)

    This really hits home that what Larkin is suggesting is not just appropriate to the poem, but might apply to our own lives as well. In the final two stanzas Larkin focuses on the dying patient, and how the patient and the people around feel a "sudden shut of loss".

  2. The theme that links my three chosen poems, 'Cold in the Earth', 'TheToys' and ...

    Instead he went to material possessions for comfort. Instead of being angry, the father feels deep sadness and forgiveness. He then realises that he in turn should go to God for comfort, strength and forgiveness, but he does not. He realises that the Bible says he will go to hell if he does not do as God commands and seek forgiveness for sins from Him.


    " Tate's "genteel driver" embodies the Southern ideal of chivalry. It is essential to his view of the poem that it has a rural, and specifically agricultural, setting: "The sharp gazing before grain instills into nature a cold vitality of which the qualitative richness has infinite depth" (Man of Letters, p.

  2. Discuss the idea of innocence and experience in Mansfield's work

    They are either exploitive of women - the porter and the old man, or they are malicious and cynical, like the waiter and the group of young men that was on the train. Her reactions to them were childish, she pretended to act like a adult but was obviously fighting underneath.

  1. Compare Christina Rosetti's Approach to the Subject of Death in 'After Death', 'Remember', 'Song' ...

    One was the pure, dutiful helpmate and the other was the exciting but dangerous sex object. As time passed on the lives of some women changed due to growth of industry, as this created jobs for them. These jobs were difficult and also poorly paid, but they gave women a taste of life outside of the home.

  2. To what extent can a near death experience be considered a religious experience?

    However there could be some disagreements to this view. On the other hand, others merely argue that people can have near death experiences and they can also be considered a religious experience. A near death experience, for many, is life changing, as they believe God is reaching out to them.

  1. Does the death of the body constitute death of the person?

    Defining death is a complex process, especially when it is impossible to exclude moral, philosophical and religious attitudes towards life and death, regardless of scientific objectivity. However, in 1968 the Harvard Committee proposed a universal term, including a set of tests, to confirm the end of life and avoid confusion

  2. Prize Giving - review.

    As before, Harwood is regretting the dissociation of humanity and nature's creatures, and (like Keats) even sets her beloved music at a disadvantage in comparison with the unpremeditated art of birdsong. So the setting is at best "ambiguous" with elements both of hope (the presence of the violets for example)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work