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2014 | 2(6) | 163-186
Article title

Can a Sinner Be a Saint? Graham Greene’s Unorthodox Saints in The Power and the Glory and Brighton Rock

Content
Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
The article addresses the theme of unorthodox saints in Graham Greene’s novels – Brighton Rock and The Power and the Glory and also deals with the author’s attitude to religious problems, particularly his views on salvation and damnation. There is also a discussion of the question whether the title of “a Catholic writer” has been rightly used in Greene’s case. The first part of the paper presents the character of the whisky-priest from The Power and the Glory. Particular attention has been paid to the author’s use of two perspectives upon the figure of the priest: one shows the character in his mundane existence, with all his human weaknesses and vices, whereas the other view stresses the character’s moral and religious superiority which testifies to his sainthood. This point is argued with numerous references to the Bible and to the philosophy of Charles Peguy which underline the martyrdom of the sinful priest and his similarity to Jesus Christ. The second part of the article focuses on the figure of Rose from Brighton Rock, highlighting a contrast between the weakness of her character and the strength of her convictions. The fact that she is torn between good and evil has been pointed out as well as the power of her feelings which is the reason of both her fall and her salvation. Similarly to the analysis of The Power and the Glory, references to the Bible and to Peguy’s philosophy have been used in order to underline Rose’s motivation which was rooted in her love of God. The final part of the article presents similarities between the two characters; what they have in common is both a human, sinful nature as well as the ability to offer superhuman love and self-sacrifice. The conclusion of the article underlines the fact that although both characters have sometimes acted in the ways questioning the principles of faith and the teaching of the Church, they can be perceived as saints because of the superiority of their morality with regard to their love of God and love of their neighbours whose good they put above their own.
Contributors
References
  • Greene Graham, Brighton Rock, Penguin Group (USA) Inc., New York 1992.
  • Greene Graham, The Lost Childhood and Other Essays, Viking Press, New York 1952.
  • Greene Graham, The Power and the Glory, Penguin Group (USA) Inc., New York 2003.
  • Allot Kenneth and Farris Miriam, The Art of Graham Greene, London: Hamish Hamilton,1951.
  • Bergonzi Bernard, A Study in Greene. Graham Greene and the Art of the Novel, Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Boardman Gwen R., The Aesthetics of Exploration, University of Florida Press, 1971.
  • Bosco Marc, Graham Greene’s Catholic Imagination, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2005.
  • Davis, Deryl, Instruments of Grace: For novelist Graham Greene and his characters corruption could be a path to salvation, “Sojourners”, 1 July 2005. 30 May 2010 http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magazine.article&issue=soj0507&article=050738. [Access: 01.05.2014]
  • Donaghy Henry J., Graham Greene, an Introduction to His Writings, Rodopi, Amsterdam 1986.
  • Ellis Peter F., Seven Pauline letters, Liturgical Press, Collegeville (Minnesota) 1982.
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  • Kunkel Francis, The Labyrinthine ways of Graham Greene, Sheed & Ward, New York 1959.
  • McCann Janet, Graham Greene. The Ambiguity of Death, “The Christian Century”, April 30,1975, p. 432-435.
  • Mudford Peter, Graham Greene, Northcote House in association with the British Council, Plymouth [England] 1996, x, 70 p. Series: Writers and their work.
  • Péguy Charles, Basic verities. Prose and poetry, rendered into English by Ann and Julian Green, Pantheon Books, New York 1943. pp. 179.
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  • Sequeira Jessica, Faith Noir. On Graham Greene and the Catholic Novel, “The Harvard Advocate”, Fall 2009. http://www.theharvardadvocate.com/content/faith-noir-graham-greene-and-catholic-novel [Access: 14.05.2010].
  • The English Standard Version Bible. Containing the Old and New Testaments with Apocrypha, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2001.
  • Villiers Marjorie, Charles Péguy. A Study in Integrity, Harper&Row, New York 1965.
  • Waugh Evelyn, Felix Culpa? [in:] Graham Greene: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Samuel Hynes, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs 1973, p. 95-102.
  • Wyndham Francis, Graham Greene, Published for the British Council and the National Book League by Longmans, Harlow, England, Green [1968], 32 p. bibliography: p. 30-32, Series: Biblio-graphical series of supplements to British book news on writers and their work, no. 67.
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
ISSN
2299-9922
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.desklight-d5ca9b34-f321-4647-91bb-3d52d38a5ac0
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