The Illusion Of Escape Illustrated In Graham Greene's The Power And The Glory

1166 words - 5 pages

Plato, the great philosopher, once said, “No one can escape his destiny” (“Destiny Quotes”). No matter how hard a person might try to escape a boundary, be it real or of the mind, they cannot evade the inevitable. In author Graham Greene’s novel, The Power and the Glory, the efforts to escape mentally, geographically, and physically are shown to make an impact on an individual’s life. Greene implies that though the rewards of escape can be seen as an attainable goal, the efforts are futile, almost always ending in failure because of uncontrollable boundaries. Escape seems to be more like a tempting apparition, much like an oasis in the desert. Greene also shows the great lengths a person is willing to go to in order to pursue the illusion or apparition of escape.
While on the run, the priest endures the stress of not only running from the police, but getting caught and released under a false identity. For the priest, physically escaping is a way to live and continue the practices of his faith. The lieutenant views the priest’s lucky encounters as “an appalling mockery. To have had [him] and then let [him] go” cause two innocent people to be killed (Greene 192). The priest continuously tries to escape, but never fully succeeds. The priest and the lieutenant have one common belief, stemming from two diverse realities: the priest is doing more harm than good to the common people while on the run. “You’re a danger” the lieutenant explains, “That’s why we kill you” (Greene 193). For the priest, the only real form of escape presented is death. If he is not dead, he is bound by his religion to function as a priest and to carry on with his duties. Greene shows why not allowing any religious figures to escape Mexico was important to the lieutenant, “It’s your ideas. You’re so cunning you people. But tell me this - what have you ever done in Mexico for us?” (Greene 194). The priest puts every ounce of effort within him towards escaping Mexico, but never evades the end consequence of being captured. The priest becomes exhausted with the process of running, hiding, and lying to everyone around him and eventually knowingly facilitates his own capture in order to mentally escape the torment he has been through.
The priest continuously relies on his faith in God’s will instead his own ingenuity to help decipher the events within his own mind. While in jail, the priest willingly reveals his true identity, reasoning that “if God intended him to escape He could snatch him away from in front of the firing squad” (Greene 129). Relying on God’s will to predict his fate fro him, allows the priest to mentally escape from the situation, easing his worries of the pain that might ensue if he was to be correctly identified by the police. Greene implies that by simply allowing the mind to escape into a belief, it can accept even the most uncommon things in life. In an example brought up by the priest, a rarity of a man’s heart stopping “then somebody [giving] him...

Find Another Essay On The Illusion of Escape Illustrated in Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory

Characters and settings as instruments of revolt against the Catholic dogma in Graham Greene's Brighton Rock

2529 words - 10 pages balance in the trinity. In this sense, Graham Greene's Brighton Rock could be compared to Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon, in the question that is raised: "Maybe man wasn't made to follow every thought down to its last consequence". Maybe what we need is rather a merging of heart, mind and soul.Works citedhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/books/author/greene/pg2.shtmlGreene, Graham. Brighton Rock, Penguin Books:Great Britain, 1981Koestler, Arthur. Darkness at Noon, Bantam Modern Classic Edition, 1968S.E.G., Lea. Instinct, Environment, and Behaviour, Methuen : London, 1984

Graham Greene's The Human Factor Essay

1217 words - 5 pages Graham Greene's The Human Factor   "Love was a total risk. Literature had always so proclaimed it. Tristan, Anna Karenina, even the lust of Lovelace - he had glanced at the last volume of Clarissa [13]." People are torn apart from one another simply because of a lack of understanding or a difference in each individual's definition of life. The highest hopes, dreams, and aspirations of one person may be trivial in the eyes of another

Essay on the Illusion of Escape in The Glass Menagerie

1106 words - 4 pages The Illusion of Escape in The Glass Menagerie     In The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, the characters exhibit a state of delusion that originates from their dissatisfaction with their lives. Tom seeks adventure in the movies. Amanda reminisces often about her days as a Southern Belle. Laura sits in a dream world with her glass collection, and Jim basks in the praises of his high school glory. In their respective ways, they

The Power and the Glory

1632 words - 7 pages goes through some interesting areas of Camden and past landmarks like the old Federal St. Bridge over the Cooper River. As you travel toward State St., you can take in a number of abandoned, dilapidated factories and warehouses that once employed thousands in this once thriving city. Above Camden, there are nice stretches where the train runs along the Delaware River and through wetlands teeming with geese and ducks. If you're not into wildlife

Graham Greene's The Quiet American: Alden Pyle as the Antagonist

1018 words - 4 pages .” Never once did Pyle stop to think about all the harm and chaos he was creating, never once did he contemplate about the terrible effects his ‘Third Force’ would have on the innocent women and children of Vietnam. All this, in my opinion, makes Pyle the ‘bad guy’ of the novel ‘the Quiet American’.Graham Greene's The Quiet American

Thomas Hardy's The Son's Veto, Graham Greene's The Basement Room and alan Sillitoe's Uncle Ernest

1354 words - 5 pages Thomas Hardy's The Son's Veto, Graham Greene's The Basement Room and alan Sillitoe's Uncle Ernest In each of the three stories, 'The Son's Veto' by Thomas Hardy, 'The Basement Room' by Graham Green and 'Uncle Ernest' by Alan Silitoe, the respective writer conveys a sense of isolation regarding the central character. There are numerous similarities between the characters based on their common plight, but each story differs in the

Existentialism and the Power and the Glory

1019 words - 5 pages leaves little challenge, application, or relation to both the characters in the story and the impact it makes on the audience. They’re experiences that a normal individual could never expect to have, leading many to frustration and confusion. Graham Greene plants The Power and the Glory firmly in reality, and while we still may find his character’s experiences outside of likelihood in context of our own, they remain realistic. They doubt God for

The Power and the Glory: Understanding Holiness

712 words - 3 pages represent the holiness in him, through the symbolization of Christ. Moving onto the Lieutenant, he is a power-hungry mogul who believes in empowering the poor through a totalitarian regime and oppression of faith. He does not understand the holiness in others because he, himself, is unholy. He may have noble motives, but his execution is devoid from logic. He murders the same people he is trying to redeem through political and social standings

Relationships, Love and Death in Graham Greene's Stories

1126 words - 5 pages Greene's notion of life as a moral drama is reflected in his treatment of death and dying in the novels. His main characters usually meet sudden and violent ends, but their aftermaths or deaths are almost always accompanied by hints of hope. Through his treatment of his characters' deaths, he makes known the nature of that great gap he finds between the actuality of life in the world, with its disappointments and limitations, and the

Glory in the Iliad

929 words - 4 pages the Iliad this way, based on it’s many vivid battle descriptions and apparent lack of remorse for the deaths that occur. This, however, is not how war is presented in the Iliad. Homer presents a very practical outlook on war countering the attainment of the glory with the reality of its price and the destruction it causes. He successfully does this by showing the value of the lives of each person that dies and, in a sense, mourning their

The illusion of youth

3705 words - 15 pages , who lives a very humdrum life and finds joy creating an unrealistic world, where she envisions herself as an actress. She uses illusion as not only an escape from her reality but also from herself. Miss. Brill creates an illusion in order to escape the reality that she is losing her youth. Although, Miss. Brill is knowledgeable of the world, where she imagines that she isn’t really an actress, she continues to spend her Sunday afternoons in the

Similar Essays

"The Power And The Glory" By Graham Greene. Includes Bibliography

1171 words - 5 pages it again. Even after killing a number of the hostages from the village the lieutenant still is set in his beliefs that that is what he must do to rid his country of the menace. If it causes the distress of people in his country and the lives of some fellow countrymen, so be it. It was still not enough to alter his views to what he had to do. He had to portray the "power" within the story and end the corruption that the church has been spreading through his homeland.Sources CitedGreene, Graham. The Power and the Glory. London: Penguin Books Ltd. 1991

The Book Report On "The Power And The Glory" By Graham Greene

1730 words - 7 pages Mexico. It is very hot and dry. The landscape, like one on the cover, is very typical for Mexico.III.The Power and The Glory, first published more than fifty years ago in a modest English edition of 3,500 copies, is Graham Greene's masterpiece, his most popular book. Based upon less than two months spent in Mexico in March and April of 1938, the novel of Greene is his 'least English', containing only a few minor English characters. And when I read

Historical Critism Of The "Power And Glory" By Graham Green A Story That Depicts A Catholic Priest Who Struggles With Life's Problems

1592 words - 6 pages Graham Greene and The Power and the GloryIn gaining an understanding of Graham Greene, there was much to be discovered about this man and author. Greene had the inherent ability to take his many life experiences and apply them to thought provoking novels that, at times, seem to challenge mainstream religion or government politics. The Power and the Glory, published in 1940, is one of Greene's more popular novels. It is a story that depicts a

A Review Of Graham Greene's The Comedians

1261 words - 5 pages The ComediansByGraham GreeneComedian: a writer of comedies, an actor who plays comic roles, a comic individual?The irony in naming a book based on the ugliest dictatorship in Haitian history The Comedians is typical of the author. From what I have read about him this irony and his almost prophetic ability to see future events is a trademark. The characters pre-occupation with an American invasion did in fact come to pass. He did this previously