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The Power And The Glory (1939) Compare and Contrast the Priest and the Lieutenant.

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GCSE ENGLISH LITERATURE COURSEWORK Graham Greene (1904-1991) The Power And The Glory (1939) Compare and Contrast the Priest and the Lieutenant When the powers of good and evil collide, a battle is inevitable. At first glance, Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory appears to agree with this idea. However, under closer observation of the two great adversaries in the novel, the priest and the lieutenant, it would be difficult to say clearly who is good and who is evil. Graham Greene tends to take the sides of both characters, creating an interesting conflict. In an initial comparison, the two seem to be opposites (the priest playing the criminal and the lieutenant playing the cop). However, is the criminal bad and the cop good? Or are both good and both bad? When both personalities are examined, their equality becomes clear. The main unnamed characters of the story are 'the whisky priest,' the last working priest, who is being pursued by the 'lieutenant'. The priest is a small, shabby, smelly, dirty, and alcoholic man, whose appearance is a reflection of the turmoil of his inner self. The lieutenant, whom is a well-groomed 'dapper fellow', is a stark contrast to the priest. ...read more.


priests). 'A lot of them would die of course.' 'Wouldn't it be worth it? To be rid of those people forever.' By the end of the novel, the lieutenant has accomplished his mission, but he feels a strange sense of emptiness and despondency. Without a target, his life has no meaning or sense of purpose and Greene suggests that lingering doubts fill the lieutenant's mind troubling him about whether he has done the right thing by killing the priest: 'The pictures of the priest and the gunman were still pinned up on the wall: he tore them down - they would ever be wanted again, Then he sat at his desk and put his head upon his hands and dell asleep with utter weariness.' The other main character of this novel, 'the whisky priest', is a small, shabby, putrid, dirty and alcoholic man. The priest is a paradox. Being a holy man, he is obliged to server the poor and the defenseless at to put others before himself. On the other hand, 'whisky' implies something altogether unholy. Drunkenness was one of his great sins, and he openly admits it: 'He was a bad priest, and he knew it. ...read more.


The resemblances of the lieutenant and the priest are paralleled in they both desire happiness for mankind. They are both kind men and they have a similar integrity in their dedication to their duty. A difference between the two protagonists is that they live lifestyles that you would expect of their adversary. You would expect the priest to be living an austere and celibate lifestyle, when really; this is the lifestyle that the lieutenant chooses to live. The priest is a timid man. He is scared of being caught and dying, and is also very scared of being alone. He uses brandy to ease all of his fears and take the pain away. The priest's adversary, the lieutenant, doesn't ever seem to be afraid. He always holds his head up high. He has a strong sense of dedication and determination to make the world a better place for the children of the present and the future. Overall, it appears that the priest and the lieutenant had very different views and opinions, yet both of them shared a passion for religion. The lieutenant was against religion, and the priest was for religion. It is because of religion, that these two protagonists were brought together. On the whole, both men have different allegiances. The lieutenant's allegiance is to the state, whereas the priest's allegiance is to the church. Sahil Singh 07/05/2007 1 ...read more.

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