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Creed and credibility : aesthetic consequences of faith in the fiction of Graham Greene Newman, Gillian 1978

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CREED AND  CREDIBILITY:  AESTHETIC CONSEQUENCES OF F A I T H I N THE F I C T I O N OF GRAHAM GREENE by G I L L I A N NEWMAN B.A. ( H o n s ) , R h o d e s U n i v e r s i t y , 1969  A T H E S I S SUBMITTED I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS  in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE  STUDIES  Department o f E n g l i s h  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g to  the required  standard  THE U N I V E R S I T Y OF- B R I T I S H COLUMBIA J u l y , 1978 @  G i l l i a n Newman, 1978  In presenting this thesis in partial  fulfilment of the requirements for  an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this  thesis  for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives.  It  is understood that copying or publication  of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e Vancouver, Canada V 6 T 1W5  Date  /  SfpY&t^&y  i i  ABSTRACT  B e l i e f s a w r i t e r holds treatment of ideas examine the and  dear c l e a r l y  in his fiction:  i n f l u e n c e the  s e l e c t i o n and  the purpose of t h i s  e f f e c t of Greene's r e l i g i o u s  sensibility  study  on  theme, mode,  c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n i n a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s e l e c t i o n of h i s From t h e  l a t e 30's  to the  e a r l y 50's,  (1940) he  achieves  r e l i g i o u s paradigms at the success of the  flict  core  a s he  to considerations  Quiet  questions  American of  (1955),  i s l e s s and  Greene e x p l o r e s and  fiction.  i n ways d e t r i m e n t a l  h e r o s u r r o u n d e d by The and  characters an  a s he  assortment of  the  Affair  overzealous  concern  on,  less specifically  t h e more  religious  individual still  Comedians (1966) i t i s  on  the evident  c r i s e s of f a i t h an u n c o m m i t t e d  i d e o l o g i e s and  of experience  In  existentialist  with Catholicism  focuses  differently  con-  the  social kind.  forms of  development i n Greene's r e l i g i o u s v i s i o n has  respond to the w o r l d  the  From t h i s p o i n t  moved e v e n f u r t h e r away f r o m t h e  hounded h i s e a r l i e r  of  to the e s t a b l i s h e d development of  W i t h t h e p u b l i c a t i o n o f The  t h a t G r e e n e has  End  and  contentious  the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of  e x i s t e n c e ; however, h i s l o n g p r e o c c u p a t i o n intrudes  Power  e f f e c t s from  o f a w i d e r m o r a l and  the freedom of c h o i c e  with  l e a d when r e l i g i o u s p r e m i s e s  requirements.  of Greene's n o v e l s  The  deal  I n The  A f t e r the  t o w h i c h an  i s s u e s of d o c t r i n e can  perspective  The  dramatic  of the n o v e l .  the d i f f i c u l t i e s  directly with a r t i s t i c  turns  and  so-called 'Catholic' trilogy,  (1951) i l l u s t r a t e s with specific  startling  novels.  Greene's n o v e l s  dilemmas of f a i t h t h a t b e s e t h i s C a t h o l i c c h a r a c t e r s ; the Glory  i s to  so  that  anti-  commitment.  made h i m that the  see themes.:-  i i i  and  t e c h n i q u e s o f h i s f i c t i o n have changed a c c o r d i n g l y .  of h i s r e l i g i o u s trinaire,  concerns has r e s u l t e d i n f i c t i o n  t h a t i s l e s s doc-  l e s s c o n t r o v e r s i a l , and p e r h a p s more a c c e s s i b l e .  t i v e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e n e c e s s i t y o f any form o f f a i t h anti-heroic c e n t r a l character  'Catholic' period:  The n e g a -  t h r o u g h an  h a s m e a n t some l o s s o f t h e i n t e n s i t y  c o u l d a c h i e v e as a n o v e l i s t o f u r g e n t s p i r i t u a l i t has a l s o meant he c o u l d  i s s u e s o f d o c t r i n e t h a t c o u l d be so b i n d i n g enabling  The b r o a d e n i n g  conflicts transcend  he  in his specific  on h i s l i t e r a r y  imagination,  h i m t o c r e a t e a more d e t a c h e d and w i t t y r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f h i s  broader r e l i g i o u s  ideas.  iv  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Page Introduction  1  C h a p t e r 1:  The P o w e r a n d t h e G l o r y  6  C h a p t e r 2:  The End o f t h e A f f a i r  27  C h a p t e r 3:  The Q u i e t A m e r i c a n  43  C h a p t e r 4:  The C o m e d i a n s  59  Conclusion  75  Selected  79  Bibliography  1  INTRODUCTION  W i t h t h e d e a t h o f J a m e s t h e r e l i g i o u s s e n s e was l o s t t o t h e E n g l i s h n o v e l , and w i t h t h e r e l i g i o u s sense went t h e s e n s e o f t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e human a c t . Graham Greene, " F r a n c o i s M a u r i a c "  No w r i t e r o r g a n i z e s aesthetic perspective:  the m a t e r i a l of h i s f i c t i o n from a purely b e l i e f s d e f i n e s e l e c t i o n and t r e a t m e n t ,  and i f  we a i m t o s e e a w o r k a s a w h o l e , o n e o f o u r t a s k s a s r e a d e r - c r i t i c s i s t o d e t e r m i n e t h e way i n w h i c h a w r i t e r ' s b e l i e f s  i n f o r m and a f f e c t  the raw m a t e r i a l o f h i s a r t . The  w r i t e r ' s task, according  t o Conrad, i s t o "render  kind of j u s t i c e to the v i s i b l e universe of t r u t h through t h e s e n s e s . "  1  . . .  to r e v e a l the substance  Human s i t u a t i o n s a n d r e l a t i o n s h i p s a r e  t h e w r i t e r ' s o n l y means o f p e n e t r a t i n g t o some i m a g e o f a tal reality,  i fthis  didacticism,  By i t s v e r y n a t u r e ,  easily  dear.  On t h e o t h e r  belief  t h a t has q u a l i t i e s  a religious  behind  c o n v i c t i o n can  of abstract discussion or  e x t e r n a l c o n t r o l over a work.  The raw  t o conform t o a v i s i o n t h e w r i t e r  hand, i f t h e w r i t e r uses as h i s r e f e r e n c e  holds point a  of s u r v i v a l because t h e p a t t e r n s o f be-  i t p o s t u l a t e s a r e seen t o r e c u r  i n human e x p e r i e n c e ,  J o s e p h C o n r a d , P r e f a c e , The N i g g e r o f t h e " N a r c i s s u s " New Y o r k : C o l l i e r B o o k s , 1 9 6 2 ) , p. 2 1 . 1  rpt.  i n t o the realm  imposing t i g h t  m a t e r i a l may b e m a n i p u l a t e d  haviour  transcenden-  i s what he sees a s t h e u l t i m a t e meaning  the v i s i b l e universe. lead a w r i t e r very  the highest  such a  (1897;  2  belief  can be  t h e means o f a c h i e v i n g u n i v e r s a l i t y .  can p r o v i d e  a framework f o r the  credibility  inheres  o u t s i d e t h e w o r k by make a w r i t e r s e e artistically  f a c t s of experience  i n t h e e v e n t s t h e m s e l v e s and the author.  and  in  the  respond to the world  study  face or tremble  one  o f how  of e x p e r i e n c e  of the  l i k e l e a v e s , not are untrue."  r e f l e c t a c c u r a t e l y the m a n i f e s t a t i o n s  because these  o f human b e h a v i o u r  of behaviour.  from the  concept t h a t o r i g i n a l s i n i s the reason f o r the  The  o b s e r v e d i n i n d i v i d u a l s and  society.  He  e x p l a i n s how  go  white are to  implies  the reasons behind  and  observations  this  an  such  corruption  Greene's c o n v e r s i o n  intellectual  to  Catho-  convictions i n his  l e d him  i n his novels.  but own  t o become i n c r e a s i n g l y I t was  not  until  of C a t h o l i c d o c t r i n e i n h i s  came a b o u t :  More t h a n t e n y e a r s had ceived i n t o the church.  p a s s e d s i n c e I was r e A t t h a t t i m e , as I have  Graham G r e e n e i n a l e t t e r t o E l i z a b e t h Bowen, Why (London: P e r c l v a l M a r s h a l l , 1 9 4 8 ) , p. 30. 2  my  significantly affect his early writing,  c o n f i r m a t i o n of  experiences  carefully  t h a t G r e e n e b e g a n t o make o v e r t u s e  work.  how  C a t h o l i c w r i t e r , f o r i n s t a n c e , might work  concerned w i t h dilemmas of f a i t h 1938  and  This r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  2  patterns  emotional  beliefs  phrases  r e s p o n s i b l i t y to explore  d i d not  held  tasks of a n o v e l i s t  artistic  g r a d u a l l y the  as  in a belief  sees i t . . . c h a r a c t e r s must not  because they  l i c i s m i n 1926  belief  o f Graham G r e e n e .  t h e t r u t h a s he  c l i c h e s , but  not  I t i s this question  L i k e Conrad, Greene c o n s i d e r e d tell  as l o n g  v i a b l e h i s r e l i g i o u s p e r s p e c t i v e i s t h a t w i l l be  concern i n t h i s  "to  A specific  do  I write?  3  w r i t t e n e l s e w h e r e , I had n o t b e e n e m o t i o n a l l y moved, b u t o n l y i n t e l l e c t u a l l y c o n v i n c e d . I was i n t h e h a b i t o f f o r m a l l y p r a c t i s i n g my r e l i g i o n , g o i n g t o Mass e v e r y Sunday and t o C o n f e s s i o n perhaps once a month. . . . My p r o f e s s i o n a l l i f e a n d my r e l i g i o n w e r e c o n t a i n e d i n q u i t e s e p a r a t e c o m p a r t m e n t s , a n d I h a d no a m b i t i o n t o b r i n g t h e m together. I t was ' c l u m s y l i f e a g a i n a t h e r s t u p i d w o r k ' w h i c h d i d t h a t ; on one s i d e t h e s o c i a l i s t p e r s e c u t i o n o f r e l i g i o n i n M e x i c o and on t h e o t h e r G e n e r a l F r a n c o ' s a t t a c k on R e p u b l i c a n S p a i n i n e x t r i c a b l y i n v o l v e d r e l i g i o n i n contemporary l i f e . I t h i n k i t was u n d e r t h e s e two i n f l u e n c e s a n d t h e b a c k w a r d and f o r w a r d sway o f my . s y m p a t h i e s t h a t I began t o examine more c l o s e l y t h e e f f e c t o f f a i t h on a c t i o n . 3  In that year, plores  the mysteries  become t h e Glory  Greene p u b l i s h e d  subject  ( 1 9 4 0 ) , The  Affair paradox  o f God's g r a c e t o t h e of  three  Heart of  ( 1 9 5 1 ) - — a s he  Brighton  Rock, a n o v e l  undeserving.  that  T h i s was  s u b s e q u e n t n o v e l s — T h e Power and  the Matter  ( 1 9 4 8 ) , and  The  attempted to e x p l a i n i n a r t i s t i c  ex-  End  the  of  terms  to  the Eliot's  that so f a r a s we a r e human, w h a t we do m u s t be e i t h e r e v i l o r g o o d ; s o f a r a s we do e v i l o r g o o d , we are human; a n d i t i s b e t t e r , i n a p a r a d o x i c a l way, to do e v i l t h a n t o do n o t h i n g : a t l e a s t , we e x i s t . I t i s t r u e t o s a y t h a t t h e g l o r y o f man i s h i s c a p a c i t y f o r s a l v a t i o n ; i t i s a l s o t r u e t o say t h a t his g l o r y i s h i s c a p a c i t y f o r damnation.  I t ..is i n t h e metier  and  e x p l o r a t i o n of  t h i s theme t h a t  established himself  mystery s t o r i e s w r i t t e n before  as this  a n o v e l i s t of  Graham G r e e n e , I n t r o d u c t i o n , B r i g h t o n B o d l e y H e a d , 1 9 7 0 ) , pp. v i i - i x . 4  court,  T.S. E l i o t , "Baudelaire," B r a c e and Co., 1 9 5 0 ) , p.  some n o t e .  t i m e seem t o h a v e b e e n  3  and  Greene found h i s  i n Selected 380.  Rock  (London:  Essays  (New  artistic The  cartoons  Heinemann  York:  Har-  •4  f o r mystery s t o r i e s of a t h e o l o g i c a l k i n d . 30's  and  40's,  t h e t e n s i o n b e t w e e n two  In h i s novels  of the  systems of v a l u e s ,  late  between  opposing forces i n v o l v e s a supernatural dimension that extends  and  deepens the c o n f l i c t s .  charac-  t e r s as  they p e r c e i v e  Actions  take  on a new  them a f f e c t i n g  significance for  t h e i r u l t i m a t e s a l v a t i o n or  damnation. I f we "grant  f o l l o w James ( a w r i t e r whom G r e e n e g r e a t l y a d m i r e s ) ,  the a r t i s t  critics  h i s s u b j e c t , h i s i d e a , h i s donnee,"  i s to determine the  concept of r e a l i t y as be  success  literary  j u d g e d as t r u e or f a l s e ,  coherence of t h e w r i t e r ' s b e l i e f s as  and  if  coherence of the  t h e w r i t e r has  life  dependence of these  critic  aspects  and  should not  a t a l i t e r a r y j u d g e m e n t , he  normative standard  the although  to determine the  real con-  Therefore,  aesthetic considerations  concentrate  t r y to separate  ought not  and  The  the relevance,  i t creates.  to use  s t r e n g t h and  H e n r y J a m e s , "The A r t o f F i c t i o n , " i n The E s s a y s on t h e A r t o f F i c t i o n , e d . L e o n E d e l (New 1 9 5 6 ) , p. 17. 5  i n h i s work.  d e p e n d s on  experience  bad:  reality  norms of c o n d u c t f r o m t h e  t o m o u l d p h i l o s o p h i c a l and  i n t o a u n i f i e d whole, the  riving  and  cannot  good o r  d i d a c t i c premises w i t h  a work of a r t i t s c r e d i b i l i t y  s i s t e n c y , and  exist  as his  se  i m a g i n a t i v e demands o f a w o r k o f a r t :  a novel derives i t s experience as  they  t o r e c o n c i l e r e l i g i o u s and  sense-perceptible  world,  B e l i e f s per  c r i t i c i s m must c o n c e r n i t s e l f w i t h the a r t i s t i c  w r i t e r has  task  w i t h w h i c h Greene r e a l i z e s  a f f e c t e d by h i s b e l i e f s .  e x t r a c t e d f r o m a w o r k and  our  5  and  on  the  them.  interIn  ar-  some e x t e r n a l  weakness of a  Future York:  particular  of the N o v e l : V i n t a g e Books,  5  creed:  he  should assess the success w i t h which  a d e q u a t e l y f o r t h e e x p e r i e n c e and w h e t h e r o r n o t he  situation  of Greene's r e l i g i o u s  on f o u r n o v e l s t h a t r e p r e s e n t t h e s p e c t r u m Power and  t h e G l o r y ( 1 9 4 0 ) , The  Quiet American  ( 1 9 5 5 ) , a n d The  End  Comedians  of h i s s e r i o u s  of the A f f a i r (1966)—  his  fiction.  With  this  convictions writing—  (1951),  to determine  a e s t h e t i c c o n s e q u e n c e s o f any d e v e l o p m e n t i n t h e r e l i g i o u s of  accounts  of the novel's w o r l d ,  f i n d s such b e l i e f s p e r s o n a l l y p a l a t a b l e .  i n mind, I s h a l l examine the e f f e c t  The  the b e l i e f  The the  premises  6  CHAPTER 1 THE POWER AND THE GLORY  The g r e a t e s t s a i n t s a n d s i n n e r s h a v e b e e n made The p r o s e l y t e s o f o n e a n o t h e r ' s t r a d e . Samuel B u t l e r , M i s c e l l a n e o u s  In  B r i g h t o n Rock, Greene d i s c o v e r e d  the dramatic  a r e l i g i o u s dimension c o u l d add t o h i s f i c t i o n . sal  potential  He a c h i e v e d  of h i svillain-hero, Pinkie;  a rever-  s u c h a n o t i o n was t o  b e c e n t r a l t o t h e drama o f T h e P o w e r a n d t h e G l o r y . Rock, Greene attempted t o i l l u s t r a t e ness o f t h e mercy o f God."  1  In Brighton  "the . . . appalling . . . strange-  by confounding  conventional notions of  ' r i g h t and wrong' w i t h t h e d i v i n e d i s t i n c t i o n s between evil':  i n T h e Power a n d t h e G l o r y h e a c h i e v e s  t h i s same c o n f l i c t b y n a r r o w i n g two d i f f e r e n t d e s i g n a t i o n s .  to  that  o f a n t i c i p a t e d v a l u e s and sympathies i n t h e n o v e l d e s p i t e t h e  repugnant nature  not  Thoughts  appallingly  so.  'good a n d  a heightened  the apparent discrepancy  T h e m e r c y o f God i s s t i l l  B r i g h t o n Rock i s t h e f i r s t  sense o f  between t h e  strange but  o f Greene's  novels  e x p l o r e t h e p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f a r e l i g i o u s theme w i t h i n t h e c o n v e n -  t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e and d e v i c e s o f a t h r i l l e r ; utilizes  thriller  devices  to dramatize  The Power a n d t h e G l o r y  a fiction  t h a t i s r o o t e d and  grounded i n an a r c h e t y p a l r e l i g i o u s framework o f p u r s u i t , b e t r a y a l ,  B r i g h t o n Rock (1938; r p t . Harmondsworth, M i d d l e s e x : Penguin, 1 9 7 7 ) , p. 2 4 6 . A l l s u b s e q u e n t r e f e r e n c e s t o G r e e n e ' s n o v e l s w i l l b e t a k e n f r o m t h e P e n g u i n e d i t i o n s and w i l l be documented p a r e n t h e t i cally within the text. 1  7  and  d e a t h , the v e r y impact of  gruities with  that  constantly  i t s model.  the n o v e l proceeding from the  appear i n the j u x t a p o s i t i o n of  Such a d i s p a r i t y e s t a b l i s h e s  n o v e l ' s s t r u c t u r e and  texture  and  i s the  the  incon-  the  ironic  tale  tone of  the  paradigm from which a l l e l s e  proceeds. The  story relies  the p a t t e r n  of  f o r i t s e f f e c t on  events i n the  t h e p r i e s t i s h o u n d e d by ple;  but,  the  s t o r y of C h r i s t ' s P a s s i o n .  o f f i c i a l d o m and  u n l i k e C h r i s t , who  structure following closely  o p e n l y and  w e l c o m e d by  This  undercover existence  w i t h Mr. is  T e n c h who  t h r o u g h an is first  discovers  that  Eterna Martir.  His  woman " a s couldn't leading  to escape the  t h o u g h u n w i l l i n g l y he p a s s by"  (p.  status  21);  c o m p u l s i o n he  16).  The  had  quo:  on  nion party,  h i s face  r o u n d i n g crowd.  The  p i c t u r e of  to a  b e e n summoned t o a n  ringed,  the  office  f o r b a n k r o b b e r y and the  c r i m i n a l ' s name, t h e  hanging of  occasion  the  he  events legally  advocates is a  of  "picture  homicide"  from the the  easy  dying  p r i e s t at h i s f i r s t  h a l o - l i k e , to s t a n d out  him  fearful  t i m e when he m i s s e s an  lieutenant's  deny.  suggestively  weak and  a common c r i m i n a l b y  w a n t e d i n t h e U.S.  true  cannot  s t r u c t u r a l p a r a l l e l s to the  the w a l l i n the  n e a r b y hangs the  be  carries with  cover of a book  first  taught,  p r i e s t ' s encounter  l u r i d b o o k he  sense of v o c a t i o n ,  Christ,  common p e o -  only  t o C h r i s t ' s c r u c i f i x i o n become more a p p a r e n t a s  o f James C a l v e r , (p.  can  s t a t e i n order to m i n i s t e r  innocent p r i e s t i s aligned with the  the  i t i s , becomes a p p a r e n t f o r t h e  opportunity  inner  and  apparent i n the  a c t u a l l y a b r e v i a r y wrapped i n the  e n t i t l e d La as  furtively,  the  b o l d l y p r e a c h e d and  the p r i e s t e x i s t s i n c o n s t a n t f e a r of c a p t u r e , to h i s vocation  Like  two  commusurportraits  8  t o g e t h e r , and t h e s u g g e s t i o n s o f t h e L a s t Supper  i n the p i c t u r e  t h e p r i e s t r e - i n f o r c e s t r u c t u r a l l y and s e m a n t i c a l l y t h e d e v e l o p i n g echoes  gradually  o f t h e C h r i s t i a n s t o r y , w i t h p a r a l l e l s and  constantly juxtaposed to reveal i r o n i c a l l y the p r i e s t ' s and  of  contrasts  shortcomings  strengths. When t h e p r i e s t a r r i v e s a t a s m a l l v i l l a g e l o o k i n g f o r r e s t  a n d d r i n k d u r i n g h i s t i m e o f e s c a p e a n d h i d i n g , he i s r e c o g n i z e d a n d e a g e r l y welcomed because  of h i s r o l e as a p r i e s t .  cannot escape h i s v o c a t i o n e a s i l y ,  peace,  he  a n d c r i e s o u t a n g r i l y when he i s  p e s t e r e d t o h e a r c o n f e s s i o n and c e l e b r a t e mass: (p. 4 5 ) .  He r e a l i z e s  " I am  your  servant"  E x h a u s t e d f r o m h i s t r a v e l s a n d a n g r y a t h a v i n g no r e s t  t h e p r i e s t b r e a k s down a n d w e e p s ; t h e o l d man  and announces t o t h e v i l l a g e r s : he i s i n my  h u t now  weeping  "He  i s a very holy father.  f o r our s i n s "  other i r o n i c p a r a l l e l of the p r i e s t J e r u s a l e m and wept f o r h e r s i n s .  sees him  crying There  ( p . 4 5 ) , d r a w i n g y e t :an-  t o C h r i s t who  The  and  gazed  over  events preceding the  cruci-  f i x i o n a r e f u r t h e r p a r a l l e l e d by t h e sound o f a c o c k c r o w i n g i n Maria's v i l l a g e :  d u r i n g the t e n s i o n of a p o t e n t i a l b e t r a y a l  as the l i e u t e n a n t p l e a d s w i t h t h e v i l l a g e r s of the p r i e s t ,  to reveal the  a cock i s h e a r d t o crow t w i c e .  The  third  whereabouts cock-crow  i s h e a r d o n l y l a t e r a s t h e p r i e s t and t h e m e s t i z o n e a r t h e o f Carmen w h e r e t h e p r i e s t knows t h a t he w i l l  scene,  village  be b e t r a y e d t o t h e  a u t h o r i t i e s b y h i s c o m p a n i o n whom he h a s a l r e a d y l i k e n e d  in his  mind t o Judas.  malarial  "Across the dark hut  eyes of t h e m e s t i z o w a t c h i n g him. sleeping  i n the garden:  ( h e ) saw  the yellow  C h r i s t would not have found  J u d a s c o u l d w a t c h m o r e t h a n one h o u r "  own  Judas (p. 9 2 ) .  9  Christ-like, himself can  and  o n l y see  the p r i e s t  r i d e s a mule, but  t h e m o d e l w h o s e s t o r y he  200). day  L i k e C h r i s t , he  i s g i v e n no  i n the sentencing,  parallel  between  fair  He  observes that h i s r i d e back  i s "no  i n p r i s o n , , "you've been t r i e d and  his part  s e e s no  i n v o l u n t a r i l y re-enacts.  l a t e r h i s f a i l i n g s when he  to the c a p i t a l , p r i o r to execution,  he  triumphal procession"  trial,  y e t he  found g u i l t y "  i s told  after  (p. 2 0 5 ) .  the l i e u t e n a n t echoes the  The  man  but  the p r i e s t  no  whom he  step  sentiments  recognizes f e e l s no  ' I have done what I have d o n e " as J u d a s b e t r a y s  him  anger or resentment towards him  i n d i g n a t i o n against h i s murderers before  obscurely  the f i n a l p l e a f o r forgiveness  Christ uttered at h i s c r u c i f i x i o n . around such p a r a l l e l s and  and  e c h o e s c r e d i b l e and ter,  The  and  powerful  quite different  expectations from those  that  s t r u c t u r e of the p l o t i s b u i l t  i t s copy.  The  of  similarity  similarities these  irony i n structure,  t h a t a r e n o t met  a n t i c i p a t e d , but  The  o r a r e met  i t i s the very  of the p a t t e r n t h a t g i v e s the a c t u a l outcomes t h e i r i n t h e i r divergence  can  216),  e c h o e s ; t h e d i f f e r e n c e s make  generate p a t t e r n s of  feels  he  (p.  t e x t u r e e s s e n t i a l t o the meaning of the n o v e l .  p a r a d i g m s e t s up  either  a s he  of h i s murderers  that e s t a b l i s h a d e l i c a t e balance  d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n t h e o r i g i n a l and  create s t a r t l i n g  'Excuse'"  220).  authorities,  his execution:  o n l y m u t t e r f e e b l y "a word t h a t sounded l i k e echoing  to the  of  i f he  (p.  1  a  After  P i l a t e a t C h r i s t ' s c o m d e m n a t i o n when he w a l k s f i r m l y away "as were s a y i n g at every  (p.  from i t or i n t h e i r  characPassion  i n ways presence  significance,  identity with i t . c o n c e p t as  The  s p i r i t u a l growth of the p r i e s t  illustrates  this  i t occurs  t h r o u g h a s e r i e s o f e v e n t s and  experiences  w h o s e a c t u a l and a n t i c i p a t e d  10  outcomes a r e n o t i c e a b l y  disparate.  Only through h i s exposure the  priest  t o a n d e x p e r i e n c e o f human s i n d o e s  l e a r n t h e f u l l m e a n i n g o f d i v i n e l o v e and  compassion.  W h i l e p r o t e c t e d from t h e r e a l i t i e s o f s u f f e r i n g i n h i s r o l e as  an  o v e r f e d a n d a d u l a t e d p r i e s t , he knows o n l y t h e l o n g i n g s o f p r i d e ambition:  exposed  t o t h e raw  e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e p e a s a n t s and  and  forced  to  f a c e t h e h o r r o r o f h i s v e n i a l and m o r t a l s i n s ,  to  u n d e r s t a n d t h e s e l f l e s s n e s s and commitment r e q u i r e d i n h i s v o c a -  t i o n a n d h i s own night i n j a i l ,  unworthiness to f u l f i l l  i n the midst of f i l t h  periences h i s f i r s t  and  such a r o l e .  and  begins  During h i s  sordidness, the p r i e s t  r e a l s e n s e o f community and  much he s h a r e s w i t h t h e g u i l t y  the p r i e s t  s i n f u l around  ex-  love, realizing  how  him.  T h a t was a n o t h e r m y s t e r y : i t s o m e t i m e s seemed to him t h a t v e n i a l s i n s — i m p a t i e n c e , an i m p o r t a n t l i e , p r i d e , a n e g l e c t e d o p p o r t u n i t y — c u t you o f f f r o m g r a c e more c o m p l e t e l y t h a n t h e w o r s t s i n s of a l l . T h e n , i n h i s i n n o c e n c e , he h a d f e l t n o l o v e f o r a n y o n e ; now, i n h i s c o r r u p t i o n he h a d learnt . . . ( p . 139) What he l e a r n s i s n o t v e r b a l i z e d ; a c t i o n s as t h e n o v e l p r o c e e d s . licism belief: to  i n t h i s Mexican  Ironically,  through h i s  the a b o l i t i o n of  s t a t e has n o t seen t h e t e r m i n a t i o n o f  Cathoreligious  f o r t h e p r i e s t i t h a s meant t h e e n d o f h i s s e c u l a r a m b i t i o n ,  a d v a n c e i n t h e h i e r a r c h y o f t h e c h u r c h and  r e a l f a i t h i n t h e God power, t h e p r i e s t , and w e a l t h and the  i t becomes a p p a r e n t  he h a s m i s r e p r e s e n t e d f o r s o l o n g .  While i n  l i k e t h e c h u r c h he r e p r e s e n t s , i s s e d u c e d  status:  " t h e t r i t e r e l i g i o u s word upon t h e  j o k e t o e a s e t h e way,  homage" ( p . 22)  the b e g i n n i n g of h i s  by  power  tongue,  the ready acceptance of other people's  i s h i s d a i l y round.  The  s p i r i t u a l s t r e n g t h of  the  11  c h u r c h seems t o b e i n i n v e r s e r e l a t i o n t o i t s m a t e r i a l w e l l - b e i n g , f u n c t i o n i n g b e s t when i t i s o n t h e s i d e o f t h e o p p r e s s e d , n o t t h e p o w e r f u l , a n d when i t makes demands o n i t s p r i e s t s , n o t when i t c o n f e r s b o u n t i e s o n them. the f a i t h f u l r e a l growth  Thus, i n s t e a d of stamping  out the l a s t vestiges of  i n o u t l a w i n g t h e church, the s t a t e has encouraged o f one o f i t s most u n l i k e l y  the  champions by c u r b i n g a l l t h e  m e c h a n i c a l and h i e r a r c h i c a l t r a p p i n g s o f t h e c h u r c h . When we f i r s t meet t h e p r i e s t , h e i s s t i l l tiges of h i s o l d l i f e  clinging  to the ves-  i n t h e h i e r a r c h y of t h e C a t h o l i c Church.  He  c a r r i e s h i s b r e v i a r y d i s g u i s e d as a p o p u l a r novel,.has an a l t a r , stone w h i c h he c a r r i e s f o r u s e i n c e l e b r a t i n g m a s s , a n d k e e p s a s c r a p o f paper  testifying  to h i s priestly ordination.  Without  t h e s e he  feels  he w i l l b e n o t h i n g , a n d y e t i t i s o n l y a s h e d i s c a r d s t h e s e t r a p p i n g s one  b y o n e t h a t he f i n a l l y  vocation, realizing rituals.  comes t o f a c e t h e s t a r k r e a l i t y o f h i s  t h a t t h e c h u r c h i s much m o r e t h a n h e r s y m b o l s  and  Thoughts o f evading c a p t u r e and e s c a p i n g t o t h e asylum o f  a s y m p a t h e t i c s t a t e m o t i v a t e t h e p r i e s t ' s movements t h r o u g h t h e c o u r s e of  t h e n o v e l ' s a c t i o n , b e l i e v i n g , a s he d o e s ,  means a r e t u r n t o f r e e d o m in  safety.  and t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o p r a c t i s e h i s v o c a t i o n  I n s t e a d he d i s c o v e r s how e a s y  f o r t and c o r r u p t i o n , and r e a l i z e s such a . l i f e : and  that crossing the border  i t i s t o b e e n t i c e d b y com-  t h e t e m p o r a l i t y and b r i t t l e n e s s o f  "The s h i n y m a g a z i n e l e a v e s c r a c k l e d a s t h e y t u r n e d "  "a t u l i p a n t r e e blossomed  and faded d a i l y a t t h e g a t e "  a s he t a k e s r e f u g e a t t h e L e h r ' s .  With t h e i r  ( p . 161)  concern f o r p r o p r i e t y  and o r d e r , t h e L e h r s r e p r e s e n t a n o t h e r v e r s i o n o f t h e g o o d l i f e t h e p r i e s t h a d known.  As a L u t h e r a n , Mr. L e h r i s q u i c k t o c r i t i c i z e t h e  12  hypocrisy  of  while  people starve, yet  the  of the  the  C a t h o l i c Church, i n d u l g i n g  good l i f e "  (p.  161).  he  himself  As  the  he  him  a stony cast"  a habit  ...  a h a n d , p u l l i n g away t h e spends w i t h  cast,  t h e L e h r s and  f e e l the  defence  i n the  little  old l i f e hardening  (p.  167)  while  e x p o s i n g him"  h i s contact  luxury  i s "cunning i n the  p r i e s t indulges  l u x u r i e s o f f e r e d him," like  could  i t s desire for  with  (p.  the  around  "memory was  168).  The  corruption  time  of  people p r a c t i s i n g t h e i r f a i t h  i n r e l a t i v e comfort contribute  necessary d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t the  p r i e s t has  ning  to the  s t a t e w h e r e he  c a p t u r e w h i c h he  can  no  longer  that  "he  wasn't ready yet  with  the  opportunities  b r i b e God it  with  i s only  resist  f o r the  inherent  (p.  i n h i s f i n a l c a p t u r e t h a t he  f r e e . f o r the  sentative The  of the reality  first  opposing of  the  83).  vividly with  the  m a r t y r , J u a n , whose p i o u s s t o r y has plot i n stark contrast  in  While s t i l l  piety"  (p.  i t s perfection.  He  felt  himself  trying  "to  paradoxically, to  viable alternative,  p r i e s t ' s l a s t moments as  contrasts  and  had  lieutenant,  repre-  regime.  (p. 2 1 6 ) ,  humilty  final  free, free  openly the  w a l l because " h i s l e g s were not  towards death.  Yet,  is finally  execution  the  E a r l i e r he  the  retur-  for his  f r e e d o m and  h i s only  time to confront  to  surrender," deluding  in political  choose d e a t h , however u n w i l l i n g l y , as and  or avoid.  final  promises of f i r m n e s s "  him  he  the  to experience before  i s outlawed, preparing  like  26),  fully  he  i s helped to  under h i s  r o m a n t i c and  unreal  a boy, and  control" d e a t h of  been woven t h r o u g h t h e  t o the weak-kneed p r o g r e s s of y o u n g J u a n "was  i s n e v e r t e m p t e d , he  action  the  noted f o r  practises a f a i t h that  is  the  the of  priest his  ludicrous  n e v e r d o e s w r o n g , and  he  13  chooses  t o " c r e e p away w i t h a h o l y p i c t u r e - b o o k " ( p . 26)  playing with other children.  While " s a i n t " Juan p i o u s l y  wards d e a t h i n c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f h i s martyrdom and and happy and  s m i l i n g a t the C h i e f of P o l i c e "  c o n s c i o u s o n l y o f h i s own " o n l y one he w o u l d (p.  thing  s i n and  looks to-  s a i n t h o o d , "calm  feeling  finally  that  beyond him and  empty-handed, w i t h n o t h i n g done a t  However, t h e p i c t u r e of a c t u a l s a i n t h o o d i m p l i c i t  p r i e s t ' s death, with a l l  of  (p. 2 1 7 ) , t h e p r i e s t i s  t h a t c o u n t e d — t o be a s a i n t " was  h a v e " t o go t o God  210).  inadequacy,  instead  i t s admissions of the l i m i t a t i o n s  that all"  i n the  of  fallen  human n a t u r e , b e c o m e s f a r m o r e p l a u s i b l e b y c o n t r a s t , a n d  certainly  i m p r e s s e s and a f f e c t s  artifically  t h e boy, L u i s , more d e e p l y t h a n t h e  h e r o i c death of the " i d e a l "  s a i n t , whose s t o r y ,  ironically,  had  be s m u g g l e d i l l e g a l l y  i n t o t h e s t a t e i n o r d e r t o be r e a d a s a n  of  The  p i e t y and p u r i t y .  little  f o n d l y i m a g i n e t h a t " t h i s was  life"  them t h a t t h e w h i s k e y p r i e s t was It  girls  t o whom t h e s t o r y  be r e q u i r e d o f t h e s a i n t . "  i s read  w h i l e t h e mother i m p r e s s e s upon  "a t r a i t o r  t o God"  t h e s e l f l e s s n e s s and 2  (p. 2 6 ) .  g r a c e a n d t h e r e b y become s o m e t h i n g  up h i s l i f e  for his faith.  d e v o t i o n he f e e l s  O n l y t h r o u g h d e p r i v a t i o n and  c a n t h e p r i e s t g r o w i n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f h i s own  lels  u n w o r t h i n e s s and  o f a s a i n t a s he f i n a l l y  through the tenuous  to  suffering need  gives  By means o f s t r u c t u r a l c o n t r a s t s a n d  throughout the n o v e l — i m p l i c i t l y  paral-  likening  K e n n e t h A l l o t t & M i r i a m F a r r i s , The A r t . o f Graham G r e e n e (London: H a m i s h H a m i l t o n , 1 9 5 1 ) , p. 189. 2  example  i s "a q u i n t e s s e n t i a l i r o n y t h a t o n l y t h r o u g h h i s s i n does t h e  priest reach anything l i k e  of  to  14  of  t h e p r i e s t t o C h r i s t , and e x p l i c i t l y  life  t o t h a t o f an " i d e a l "  a bald  through the contrasts  saint's—-Greene achieves  n a r r a t i o n of a c t i o n could  never accomplish.  the p r i e s t ' s attempt t o escape t h e l i e u t e n a n t recognize the  against  a dimension  i s h e i g h t e n e d a s we  o f t h e n a t u r a l and s u p e r n a t u r a l  Christ's passion  that  The t e n s i o n o f  i t a s a n a t t e m p t t o f l e e f r o m God a n d m a r t y r d o m .  interweaving  of h i s  pursuit,  I ti s echoed  and t h e i d e a l i z e d Juan's i m i t a t i o n o f i t ,  t h a t p r o v i d e s t h e p a r a d o x e s and i r o n i e s o f s t r u c t u r e  central to the  n o v e l ' s meaning. The c o n s t a n t  . juxtaposing  o f s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s  t h e movement o f t h e p r i e s t w i t h establishes sites.  the pattern  village,  not  episodes i n C h r i s t ' s  o f t h e n o v e l a s one o f c o u n t e r p o i n t e d  The a c t i o n o f t h e n o v e l i s s t r u c t u r e d  tings of the lieutenant  at  the last  and t h e p r i e s t :  the lieutenant neither  recognizes  mee-  meeting i n a  nor arrests the p r i e s t ;  t h e second m e e t i n g i n t h e c a p i t a l , he a r r e s t s t h e p r i e s t b u t does recognize  him; a t the t h i r d  and f i n a l m e e t i n g , t h e l i e u t e n a n t  a r r e s t s t h e p r i e s t b e c a u s e he h a s r e c o g n i z e d thus over.  cations  so t h e c h a r a c t e r s  ; and v o -  o f t h e two a r e s e e n t o b e i r o n i c a l l y a l i k e i n t h e i r  ferences.  This  link i s first  forged  when t h e p r i e s t s e e s h i m s e l f  dif-  i n the r e a d e r ' s mind i n chapter  "like  the king  See R.W.B. L e w i s , T h e P i c a r e s q u e S a i n t L i p p i n c o t t C o . , 1 9 5 9 ) , pp. 2 5 1 - 5 2 . 3  him and t h e p u r s u i t i s  As t h e a c t i o n depends f o r i t s advancement on t h e s e  movements o f c o n v e r g e n c e a n d s e p a r a t i o n ,  one  life oppo-  around t h e three  at their f i r s t  in -  o f a West A f r i c a n  (New York:.  J.P.  15  tribe,  the  s l a v e o f h i s p e o p l e , who  the winds should  fail"  lieutenant, walking tal,  " w i t h an  seeing  i n the  20).  lieutenant  mark"  (pp.  longing being secret  15  as  and  e v e n l i e 'down i n c a s e  as He  and  "something of a p r i e s t i n h i s  24).  B o t h men  are  on  described  B r i g i t t a as  describes he  tries  her  earlier  the  l i e u t e n a n t had  a symbol of t h e i r  as b e i n g  that  Catholicism  hope:  to d i v u l g e  t h e i r c h i l d r e n m i g h t be  i n the  own  beat w i t h i t s  w a l k e d away a f t e r  d i f f e r e n c e s between the p o l i t i c a l  r e l i g i o u s concern f o r the of c o m p a r i s o n an  individual.  a s p e c t of  the  ( p . 82)  ideology  two  i d e o l o g i e s and  by  juxtaposing  roles.  56).  In f a c t ,  and the  as  The  Brigitta when he  f o r the  muses  state  and  f a c t that each uses  other's  philosophy  e v i d e n c e of Greene's i r o n i c method of h i g h l i g h t i n g the between the  (p.  lieutenant  s t a t e ; the p r i e s t sees h i s a t t i t u d e to  over the  a point  the  love"  f r e e d from the bondage of  "more i m p o r t a n t t h a n a w h o l e c o n t i n e n t "  as  of  the p r i e s t ' s where-  as being  the  se-  " w o r t h m o r e t h a n t h e P o p e i n Rome" ( p . 75)  to persuade the v i l l a g e r s  a b o u t s so  on  a  i n t o the w e l l -  h i s awkward e n c o u n t e r w i t h L u i s " c a r r y i n g h i s s e c r e t o f B o t h see  as  question-  of h i s i l l e g i t i m a t e daughter, the p r i e s t ' s " h e a r t (p. 6 2 ) ;  forged  comfortless  enquiring  to  intent  both experience s i m i l a r sentiments  they f i n d d i f f i c u l t . ; to express:  love"  capi-  l i n k to the p r i e s t i s f u r t h e r  (p.  the  m i g h t have been c h a i n e d  l o o k i n g l i k e a "dark" or a " b l a c k  35),  meet  they r e t u r n to the  n o t i c i n g t h a t h i s room i s " a s  p r i s o n or a monastic c e l l " occasions  The  not  I m m e d i a t e l y a f t e r t h i s we  a i r of b i t t e r d i s t a s t e .  o b s e r v a n t w a l k " and  parate  19).  i n f r o n t o f h i s men  them u n w i l l i n g l y " (p. by  (p.  may  often equating  their  i s further  difference disparate  l i e u t e n a n t o f t e n appears to  be  16  everything mission  that a priest  should  be.  He i s f i r e d w i t h a s e n s e o f  and i s determined t o a b o l i s h c o m p l e t e l y  c r i s y he a s s o c i a t e s w i t h t h e c h u r c h , from t h e a l t a r  r e m e m b e r i n g t h e "demands made  a s a m y s t i c who h a s a c e r t a i n t y o f  vacancy i n s t e a d o f G o d , a n d b e l i e v e s " a g a i n s t s e n s e s i n t h e c o l d empty e t h e r . j s p a c e s " s a c r i f i c e anything  their  o f hypo-  s t e p s b y men who d i d n ' t know t h e m e a n i n g o f s a c r i f i c e "  ( p . 2 2 ) . He t h i n k s o f h i m s e l f  children:  the trappings  f o rthe welfare  " i t was f o r t h e s e  childhood  the evidence of h i s  ( p . 2 5 ) . He i s w i l l i n g t o  of h i ssociety, e s p e c i a l l y for the  h e was f i g h t i n g .  He w o u l d e l i m i n a t e f r o m  e v e r y t h i n g w h i c h h a d made h i m m i s e r a b l e ,  poor, s u p e r s t i t i o u s , and c o r r u p t "  (p. 5 8 ) . H i s p i t y  a l l t h a t was  and l o v e f o r t h e  oppressed and poor a r e i r o n i c a l l y apparent i n h i s a c t s o f  kindness  towards t h e p r i e s t , r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of t h e oppressor  he h a t e s s o  vehemently.  he g i v e s h i m f i v e  Unaware o f t h e p r i e s t ' s r e a l i d e n t i t y ,  pesos on h i s r e l e a s e from p r i s o n , a g i f t  that astonishes  the priest  who c a n o n l y b l u r t o u t ,  " Y o u ' r e a g o o d man" ( p . 1 4 0 ) . A f t e r t h e  l i e u t e n a n t has captured  the priest  deceived  b y h i m o n two p r e v i o u s  p a s s i o n by t h e p r i e s t ' s p l i g h t : goes p e r s o n a l l y t o f e t c h F a t h e r  and d i s c o v e r e d  occasions,  how h e h a d b e e n  he i s s t i l l  the night before  moved t o com-  h i s e x e c u t i o n he  Jose t o hear the p r i e s t ' s f i n a l  f e s s i o n , and b r i n g s him a b o t t l e o f brandy t o calm h i s nerves, actions being  against  t h e law.  The p r i e s t  c o m p a s s i o n a t e man ( h a v i n g r e c o g n i z e d b e t r a y e r , he s t i l l  both  i s a l s o seen as a k i n d ,  the mestizo  as h i s p o t e n t i a l  s a c r i f i c e s h i s m u l e t o t h e man a n d w a l k s t h e  stony, r o a d w i t h b l e e d i n g different  con-  f e e t ) , b u t G r e e n e i s c a r e f u l t o show how  i s h i s m o t i v a t i o n and source  of conviction.  Whereas t h e  17  l i e u t e n a n t i s moved b y create  a f r e e and  the  s i g h t of  s u f f e r i n g and  c o n t e n t e d s o c i e t y on  earth,  m o t i v a t e d by  the  desire  t h e p r i e s t : i s moved  the  r e c o g n i t i o n of the  common s i n f u l n e s s o f man  and  the  i m p o r t a n c e o f e a c h i n d i v i d u a l i n God's s i g h t :  by  h i s awareness  of  C h r i s t had d i e d f o r t h i s man t o o : how c o u l d he p r e t e n d w i t h h i s p r i d e and l u s t and c o w a r d i c e t o b e a n y more w o r t h y o f t h a t d e a t h t h a n t h e h a l f - c a s t e ? This man i n t e n d e d t o b e t r a y h i m f o r money w h i c h he n e e d e d , and he b e t r a y e d God f o r w h a t ? N o t e v e n f o r r e a l l u s t . ( p . 99) • This  same s e n s e moves h i m  woman he gunman a t  had  left  to return i n high  a l o n e on  fever  t h e p l a t e a u when he  to protect  remembers t h e  the  old  American  large: He was t o r m e n t e d by i d e a s ; i t w a s n ' t o n l y t h e woman: he was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e A m e r i c a n a s w e l l : t h e two f a c e s — h i s own and t h e g u n m a n ' s — w e r e h a n g i n g t o g e t h e r on t h e p o l i c e s t a t i o n w a l l , a s i f t h e y w e r e b r o t h e r s i n a f a m i l y p o r t r a i t g a l l e r y . You d i d n ' t p u t t e m p t a t i o n i n a b r o t h e r ' s way. (p. 156)  The  priest,  stand  the  in his f a l l  f r o m p o w e r and  s u f f e r i n g f r o m w h i c h he  t i o n of p r i v i l e g e i n the thority, by  the  church.  can  only  s h a r e and  separated himself  The  l i e u t e n a n t , i n h i s r i s e to  replace  the  f e a r and  in his posi-  i t w i t h a t o t a l i t a r i a n regime fear.  wants to a b o l i s h from s o c i e t y every t r a c e of  that  nize that the  the  the  corrupt,  seeds of  e s t a b l i s h e d power.  educating  au-  s u f f e r i n g engendered  d e p e n d s f o r i t s c o n t i n u a n c e on a u t o c r a t i c a u t h o r i t y and  associates with  under-  had  i s determined to eradicate  church, but  a u t h o r i t y , can  corruption  e s t a b l i s h e d c h u r c h , but  he  He he  cannot  recog-  c o r r u p t i o n e x i s t i n human n a t u r e r e g a r d l e s s He  believes that  changing s o c i a l  people to develop t h e i r reasoning  s u p e r s t i t i o n w i l l wipe out  a l l m i s e r y and  p o w e r s , and  that  of  conditions, abolishing  s u f f e r i n g from s o c i e t y .  to  18  Corruption  comes f r o m o u t s i d e  w a l l i n h i s land  "with  s t e e l u n t i l he  t h i n g w h i c h reminded him child"  (p. 25).  The  create  a perfect  nize h i s innate else.  He  has  no  o f how  priest,  t a t i o n s o f man's n a t u r e , can  o f man,  and  the  had  eradicated  His  s i n f u l n e s s and  he  other  thus see  i n new  miserable  hand, r e c o g n i z e s amount o f  limi-  reform  should  recog-  above a l l  s o c i a l change:  leaders  to the m e s t i z o ' s c o n f e s s i o n ,  the  social  h i s n e e d o f God  power o f  to  from i t every-  c o n c e r n i s t h a t man  i n the h e a l i n g  longs  once appeared to a  knows t h a t no  same c o r r u p t i o n s w i l l r e m a i n b u t While l i s t e n i n g  b e l i e v e s , and  i t had  on  society.  faith  he  he  and  i n new  the  forms.  muses:  Man was so l i m i t e d he h a d n ' t e v e n t h e i n g e n u i t y t o i n v e n t a new v i c e : t h e a n i m a l s knew as much. It was f o r t h i s w o r l d t h a t C h r i s t had d i e d ; t h e m o r e e v i l y o u saw and h e a r d a b o u t y o u , t h e g r e a t e r g l o r y l a y around the death. I t was t o o e a s y t o d i e f o r w h a t was g o o d o r b e a u t i f u l , f o r home o r c h i l d r e n o r a c i v i l i z a t i o n — i t n e e d e d a God t o d i e f o r t h e h a l f - h e a r t e d and t h e c o r r u p t , (p. 97) Because of  t h i s understanding, the  h i s o p p r e s s o r s and corruption  e l s e of a n y t h i n g  o f h i s own  tenant does not The  that  the  t h a t tempts the p o w e r f u l :  expected nothing standing  betrayers  p r i e s t cannot f e e l the  wine i n the  for  l i e u t e n a n t f e e l s , knowing "he  b o r e no  human" (p.  sinfulness that gives  him  198).  the  grudge because It i s this  the h u m i l i t y the  he  underlieu-  display.  l i e u t e n a n t ' s d e l u s i o n of a s o c i e t y purged of  d r a m a t i c a l l y and  hatred  impurity  i s made  i r o n i c a l l y m a n i f e s t when t h e p r i e s t a t t e m p t s t o  capital.  Disguised  i n a shabby d r i l l  ficulty  i n discovering  a source of  illicit  cousin,  a high-ranking  representative  s u i t , he  has  d r i n k through the  of the  no  buy dif-  governor's  s t a t e on w h o s e b e h a l f  the  19  priest of  i s arrested  later  for possession  t h e p r i e s t ' s i n t e n t i o n and  the wine i s poignantly Governor's cousin  has  purchased a t such a h i g h p r i c e f o r use the  t a s t e of the wine  the  a child.  source of  treated approvingly  f o r not  known.  of  The  fallacy  full  f o r c e of  t h o r i t y provides l i e u t e n a n t and t u r e and  the  use  an  the  the  the  of power.  The  remains the  re-  church  of the  m a r k e d e f f e c t on  the  From t h e b e g i n n i n g ,  purchased,  s e l l e r who  by  and  i s already  well-  church, i s apparent.  priest points ideology are  he  the  secular  discussion  f i n a l capture, out  to the  depends on  the  (p.  of h i s m i n i s t e r s .  the  about the  lieutenant  na-  that  goodness of i t s  and  yet,  195).  By  contrast,  perfect, despite He  uses himself  ironically,  connection  an  i t :is his  s e c u l a r , humanist i d e o l o g y , w h i c h have the l a r g e l y secular bystanders i n the  he  the  as  strong, well-intentioned lieutenant,  i t i s the  au-  i n power, " y o u ' l l have a l l the  i s d i v i n e and  such poor r e p r e s e n t a t i o n ,  presentative  had  c o r r u p t i o n under a m i l i t a n t l y  same a s  a c t i o n s , f a r more t h a n t h e  he  l i e u t e n a n t ' s v i s i o n of a pure s t a t e , purged  get-rich-anyhow"  c o r r u p t i o n or cowardliness example of  s p i r i t s he  p r i e s t have, a f t e r the  starvation, beating, God  of  the wine  t a k i n g communion w i n e i n t h e  i d e n t i f y i n g the  r u l i n g a g e n t s ; o n c e c o r r u p t men  says,  obtaining  i n c e l e b r a t i n g mass.  e a r l y d r a m a t i c enactment of  the goodness of h i s s e c u l a r  old  in  (whose p u r p o s e i s unknown t o h i m )  c o r r u p t i v e i n f l u e n c e s of the  The  purity  A f t e r h i s a r r e s t , the p r i e s t i s questioned c a u t i o u s l y  sergeant about the  of the  of  The  self-sacrifice  t h e j e f e i n d u l g i n g t h e m s e l v e s on  minds the j e f e s e n t i m e n t a l l y as  liquor.  through h i s helpless witnessing  the  Ironically,  illicit  h i s measure of  illustrated and  of  final  remost  analysis.  of these bystanders to  the  20  c e n t r a l a c t i o n that r e - i n f o r c e s or h i g h l i g h t s the  similarities  d i f f e r e n c e s between the p r i e s t and.the l i e u t e n a n t . able  effect  that  t h e p r i e s t has  t h a t makes c o n v i n c i n g In Part first  three  of t h i s  I, these bystanders are  are  l i n k e d by  section,  forms of  'The  isolation,  introduced  'The  Port',  Bystanders'.  l o n e l i n e s s , and  his  room a f t e r t h e p r i e s t l e a v e s , Mr.  his  own  apart  J u a n , and ment"  was  no  the  (p. he  he was 18).  anywhere l e f t  f o r him Mr.  o f f from a l l t h e i r world:  standers  hearts" first  (p. 39).  through t h i s  t i o n through the  i t was  pain"  s t a r e s at the  chapter  "the  that  of  Mrs.  l i n k s are  Fellows,  restlessly  s t o r y of their  Saint  abandonnagging "there  town, i n  too,  the  experience  no m e a n i n g a n y w h e r e forged  outside  between the  i s o l a t i o n , and  ( p . 47);  to  "They w e r e c o m p a n i o n s  r e c o g n i t i o n of p a i n :  his profession"  to  "loneliness  Luis, shifts  extent  isolation:  crosses  Going back  thinking r u e f u l l y that  and  various  l i n k e d to the p r i e s t  i n h i s home, i n t h e  sense of  e x p e r i e n c e or  used to p a i n : ( p . 54),  final  the  'The  accustomed t o b o t h as boy,  t h e r e was  The  through  h e l p l e s s l y back to h i s  him,  t h i s same s e n s e o f a b a n d o n m e n t and  t h e i r own  as  The  Father Jose'shuffles  w h o l e a b a n d o n e d s t a r " ( p . 30).  cut  are  hears h i s mother read the  l o c a l c h i l d r e n taunt  respect  one  C a p i t a l ' , and  Tench r e f l e c t s  l a t e r h i s f a t h e r r e f l e c t s on  (p. 28).  w i f e as  But  i n the g l a s s "  f r o m h i s s i s t e r s as  by  common s e n s e o f d e s e r t i o n .  there, vacancy.  face  'The  p a i n , and  the  him  one  These b y s t a n d e r s r e p r e s e n t  and  forced  stand.  s t r u c t u r a l c o n t i g u i t y i n the  lieutenant i n their  notice-  t h i s c r o s s - s e c t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l s  t h e u n c o n s c i o u s power of h i s  chapters that cover  R i v e r ' , and  on  I t i s the  and  by-  i n the next "Mr.  Tench  C o r a l , " i n her  t h e p r i e s t has  chalked  on  secwas  woman's the  21  barn  floor;  and  the l i e u t e n a n t , attempting a gesture of  towards t h e boy, The  Luis,  "saw  f l i n c h away w i t h t h e p a i n " ( p .  t o be  faithful  the whiskey  p r i e s t experiences  to h i s vocation.  h a v e moved i n q u i t e o p p o s i t e d i r e c t i o n s was  i n power:  priest, any  F a t h e r J o s e had  amount o f m o c k e r y "  ( p . 94)  by  the l o c a l c h i l d r e n , unable  abandoned and  had  been " f i l l e d  l i v e s a wretched  and  safety"  the s o l u t i o n the l i e u t e n a n t sees  church whiskey  accept over-  i n preference life,  ( p . 49)  taunted  utterly  he h a s  chosen.  to the h y p o c r i s y of  " l e a v e the l i v i n g w i t n e s s to the weakness of t h e i r  i n s i n that to repent  foil  to the whiskey  p r i e s t who  girls,  C o r a l and  immense r e s p o n s i b i l i t y "  H i s own  that b e l i e s her y e a r s , but  i s impossible.  He  him-!  i s the  faith.  are contrasted i n t h e i r C o r a l has  r e a d i l y takes over  f o r t h e p r i e s t and  daughter,  Brigitta,  "a l o o k o f from  committing  her herself  i s a l s o s e e n as a  i n s t e a d o f b e i n g aged by  the p r i e s t recognizes i n her  feels  r a t h e r than compromise h i s  to the p r i e s t .  ( p . 3 3 ) , and  father i n organizing a hideout his protection.  life  Brigitta,  i n t h e i r responses  who  faith"  c h o o s e s p e r s e c u t i o n a b o v e s a f e t y and  t o s a c r i f i c e h i s own  two  n a t u r e s and  to  feeling  Y e t G r e e n e p a i n t s h i m w i t h s y m p a t h y a s a man  is willing  priest  w i t h an  tormented  t o t r u s t anyone, and  so f a r s t e e p e d  to  ready  chosen marriage  self  The  the whiskey  s i n c e t h e d a y s when t h e  a l o n e i n t h e " c o n t e m p t and  illustrates  25).  and  (p. 9 5 ) ; h a v i n g  execution, Father Jose  (p.  and  b e e n " s o h u m b l e t h a t he was  to  the church:  He  in his  i n c o n t r a s t to the ambitious complacency of the  w h e l m i n g s e n s e o f God"  He  58).  p a i n F a t h e r J o s e e x p e r i e n c e s as a renegade p r i e s t c o n t r a s t s  sharply w i t h the s u f f e r i n g attempts  him  affection  girl  responsibility,  " a d e v i l r y and m a l i c e b e y o n d h e r  age.  22  A y o u n g woman s t a r e d o u t o f t h e c h i l d ' s e y e s " n e x t t o t h e r u b b i s h heap a t h i s d e p a r t u r e mortal  s i n l o o k back a t him,  without  (p. 6 3 ) . Seeing her  was " l i k e  contrition"  seeing  h i s own  (p. 6 7 ) ; she i s t h e  b e i n g who r e m i n d s a n d c o n v i c t s h i m o f h i s f a l l e n n a t u r e  while  i n h i m a l o v e o f h i s own k i n d t h a t h e h a d n o t known b e f o r e . moves h i m t o t h e p o i n t o f r i s k i n g "0  already betray  save t h i s c h i l d "  evident  he how is  contrition,  i n a state of  ( p . 8 2 ) . W h i l e he l a m e n t s t h e c o r r u p t i o n  i n h i s own c h i l d ,  and r e c o g n i z e s  h e r easy a b i l i t y t o  h i m t o t h e a u t h o r i t i e s , he admires t h e i n n o c e n t  C o r a l and r e l i e s  She  h i s own d a m n a t i o n f o r h e r s a l v a t i o n :  God, g i v e me a n y k i n d o f d e a t h — w i t h o u t  sin—only  arousing  maturity of  on h e r s e n s e o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o p r o t e c t him.  r e t u r n s t o t h e banana s t a t i o n and f i n d s i t d e s e r t e d , much h e h a d c o u n t e d o n t h i s c h i l d " C o r a l who s e r v e s  (p. 141);  him wine a t t h e a l t a r  When  "he r e a l i z e d  i n h i s f i n a l dream i t  and i n t e r p r e t s f o r h i m t h e  c o d e d m e s s a g e h e h e a r s a s t h e g o o d news h e i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r c a r r y i n g . Through t h e i r standers  common e x p e r i e n c e  are linked to the central,  b e t r a y a l , and death.  archetypal story of pursuit,  These m o t i f s , t h a t are..linked s t r u c t u r a l l y and  t h e m a t i c a l l y by echoing gether  o f i s o l a t i o n and p a i n , t h e b y -  or paralleling  dramatically during  each other, a r e brought t o -  the priest's overnight  w h e r e t h e s t o r y o f h i s own l i f e  appears i nmicrocosm:  j a i l e d because of t h e r u l e s of r e l i g i o u s w a i l s h i s f a t e of having in  the squalour  episode  a couple  a woman i s  t h a t hates him, and  copulates indulgently.  forms a t u r n i n g p o i n t i n t h e n o v e l as t h e p r i e s t  aware o f t h e n a t u r e  i n jail,  i n t o l e r a n c e , a n o l d man b e -  an i l l e g i t i m a t e c h i l d  of the c e l l ,  experience  This  becomes  o f d i v i n e c o m p a s s i o n for t h e s i n f u l and g u i l t y .  23  His  own  that his  c o m p a s s i o n i s m a n i f e s t i n t h e way  t h e o l d man  may  sleep  f e l l o w p r i s o n e r s , who  the  his  end.  faith  devotee, L u i s , are  lieutenant, felt out  His  flat  "the  and  do  not  dead"  i s an  (p. 2 2 0 ) ,  ironic  had  L u i s f e e l s an  had  tising  on  the  the  lieutenant  out  of  the world"  disappear:  " I see  133).  Having heard of  p r i e s t and  (p.  crime other  and  sees the  the  the  hopeful  eyes"  l i e u t e n a n t as  (p. 5 2 ) ,  t h e r e who  them.  followed  i n d i c a t e s h i s n e w - f o u n d i n s i g h t s by  shooting  the the  and  felt  l e a r n t h a t C o r a l had  the  of of hours, formerly-  spitting  on  the  the  asked strange  who  pracof  soldiers with  " i t was  deceived"  i n c i d e n t p r e p a r e s L u i s t o t a k e on  we  the  representative  lieu-  people  (p. 2 2 0 ) ,  like  and  lieutenant's  rifle  r o l e o f C o r a l when  f u g i t i v e p r i e s t s e e k s a s y l u m i n t h e i r home t h a t n i g h t . Fellows  to  L u i s r e a l i z e s , watching the  He  This  c r u e l t y o f k i l l i n g a man  t h a n b e l i e v i n g i n God  Having o r i g i n a l l y  with-  207).  a r e p u l s i o n from the  killed  Mrs.  felt  . . . a l l the hope  t h e man  a new  the  communion w i n e ,  t h i n k i n g of dead h e r o e s , t h a t  This  and For  the p r i e s t g i v e s  t e n a n t m a r c h by w h i l e  butt.  bystanders  the p r i e s t .  h u n t o v e r , "he  explanation  Luis recognizes  civil  a heartless order.  out  the  on  ser-  t a k e n s h e l t e r i n t h e i r house f o r t w e n t y - f o u r  his vocation,  " e x c i t e d and  with  drained  a t t r a c t i o n to the  c o m m i t t e d no  condoned:  to the  has  f o r h i s t e a r s a s he w a t c h e s t h e  admired l i e u t e n a n t . has  and,  echo of the  d r a i n i n g away" ( p .  p r i e s t who  e f f e c t t h a t he  s i g n i f i c a n t l y a f f e c t e d by  symbol of C h r i s t ' s blood,  the  his effect  reveal his real identity  i s concretely  if life  Governor's cousin  the world  and  order  d y n a m i c l o v e w h i c h u s e d t o move h i s t r i g g e r - f i n g e r  a p u r p o s e , as  feeling  e n d u r e s cramp i n  q u i e t l y on h i s s h o u l d e r ,  geant next morning, presages the in  he  questions  Through and  24  behaved v e r y her  d i f f e r e n t l y a f t e r her  father's recognition that  lieutenant"  (p. 3 5 ) .  E v e n Mr.  loneliness" after witnessing that He  "the  felt  little  f e l l o w had  deserted"  she  contact  Tench f e e l s an  similarities  i n a t t i t u d e and  the  the  paradigm f o r the  has  e s t a b l i s h e d the  o f s i m i l a r i t y and that gives the  achieving visible of  expectations its viability  and  spiritual.  p r i e s t r e t a i n s the  the  very  of the  tension  sacred  and  the  b e t r a y a l , and  c o n f l i c t s of  death  the n o v e l , created  a  i t s u n i t y and  effect.  The  t h e y a p p e a r and their  The  paradigm  balance  m o d e l . i s not  used  between  and  the  defines  lieutenant.  The  between  didactically:  i s a p p a r e n t i n t h e p r o b a b l e and  t h e p r i e s t and  style  establishes  a c t u a l l y are,  similarities,  logical  the  charac-  whiskey  r e a d e r ' s s y m p a t h y t h r o u g h o u t b e c a u s e , as A l a n  c o n c l u d e s , "however g r a v e the p r i e s t ' s o f f e n s e s , stantially mitigated  by  hardship  and  finally  they are  a b s o l v e d by  as  Greene  i n s t r u c t u r e , c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , and  fiction  and  form.  a c t u a l outcomes.  a t t i t u d e s of  But  that the p r i e s t  s e q u e n c e o f a c t i o n w i t h i n a s e t t i n g t h a t f o r m s and t e r s and  of  remembering  d e l i c a t e b a l a n c e of  a dialectic  different despite  i n the  the  knew a b o u t h i s c h i l d r e n .  c e n t r a l f o c u s o f h i s w o r k , and  contrast  are  the  r e l a t i o n s h i p s and  the novel  who  priest,  Christ's persecution,  t e n s i o n between e v e n t s as  characters  the  hope f o r o t h e r s  l i e u t e n a n t s h a r e a r e what c r e a t e  With the pattern  despite  P a r a d o x i c a l l y , i t i s the p r i e s t ' s humanity  achieves a triumph f o r the  i n concrete,  priest,  " a p p a l l i n g sense  s p o k e n E n g l i s h and  that f i n a l l y  secular  the  s h a r e d "more i n common w i t h  the death of  (p. 217).  throughout the n o v e l ,  with  t o us the  Grob sub-  heroic  25  fidelity  of h i s l a s t a c t s . " * 1  from h i s sense of redeems him  total  f o r the  s c i o u s l y s e r v e d as The  The  inadequacy f o r the  p a r t he  k i n g d o m t o w h o s e p o w e r and  i s c a l l e d to  g l o r y he  conflicts,  P o w e r and  the  pursuits, betrayals,  and  not  a l s o from the paradox of  saint,  a c t i o n but  h e r o i c mode o f  even because o f ,  t h e n o v e l so  t h a n i f he  the n o v e l c o n t r i b u t e s  had  drama o f  the  that  the  and  depth from the  Catholicism  as  decision  the p r i e s t .  for  The despite, Greene  specific Catholic  presented  springs  sinner  to i t s powerful impact of  the  the n o v e l  b e e n a s a i n t l y man.  the u n h e r o i c c h a r a c t e r  achieves t e x t u a l richness of  uncon-  provides  the whiskey p r i e s t ' s weakness making h i s u l t i m a t e  martyrdom more i m p r e s s i v e  or  has  play,  sacrifices central  structure.  from the  The  Glory  t o i t s n a r r a t i v e , t h e m e , and only  emanating  witness.  C a t h o l i c p a r a d i g m o f The  terms f o r the  priest's very humility,  focus  is  n o t a b o d y o f b e l i e f r e q u i r i n g e x p o s i t i o n and demanding c a t e g o r i c a l a s s e n t or d i s s e n t , but a s y s t e m o f c o n c e p t s , a s o u r c e o f s i t u a t i o n s and a r e s e r v o i r o f s y m b o l s w i t h w h i c h he ( G r e e n e ) c a n o r d e r and d r a m a t i z e c e r t a i n i n t u i t i o n s a b o u t t h e n a t u r e o f human e x p e r i e n c e . 5  In seeing  t h e w h i s k e y p r i e s t as  altruist-executioner, character  as w e l l as  Greene d r a m a t i z e s the the  17  the  lieutenant  conflicts within  the Glory: ( 1 9 6 9 ) , 1.  as  each  c o n f l i c t s that a r i s e from t h e i r s i m i l a r  ** A l a n G r o b , "The P o w e r and m e n t f r o m D e s i g n , " C r i t i c i s m , 11  No.  s i n n e r - s a i n t and  yet  Graham G r e e n e ' s A r g u -  D a v i d L o d g e , Graham G r e e n e , C o l u m b i a E s s a y s on M o d e r n (New Y o r k : C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 6 6 ) , p. 6.  Writers,  26  different  ideologies.  The  f o c u s on t h i s c e n t r a l a n t i t h e s i s  an e n v i r o n m e n t o f r e l i g i o u s p e r s e c u t i o n gives  the novel i t s aesthetic  that  within  s h a p e s and d e f i n e s i t  u n i t y and i n t e n s i t y .  27  CHAPTER 2 THE  END OF THE A F F A I R  The g r e a t e s t s a i n t s h a v e b e e n men w i t h m o r e t h a n a normal c a p a c i t y f o r e v i l . Graham G r e e n e , " F r e d e r i c k R o l f e : Edwardian Inferno"  The  paradigmatic  q u a l i t i e s o f T h e P o w e r a n d t h e G l o r y g a v e way  t o a more r e a l i s t i c  a p p r o a c h i n Greene's n e x t n o v e l , The H e a r t o f  the Matter  T h i s work d e a l s w i t h t h e m o r a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l  (1948).  e f f e c t o f a d u l t e r y on t h e c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r , S c o b i e , a b e l i e v i n g C a t h o l i c , and whose s e n s e o f p i t y i s h u r t i n g , lead him f i n a l l y  ner  This novel  com-  o f Greene's C a t h o l i c n o v e l s , but, i n  t h e c y c l e was n o t c o m p l e t e :  implicit  f o r t h e two women h e  t o d e s p a i r and s u i c i d e .  pleted the so-called 'trilogy' fact,  whose g u i l t a s  the notion of the sanctified  sin-  i n T h e P o w e r a n d t h e G l o r y was t o become t h e e x p l i c i t  theme o f h i s n e x t n o v e l , T h e E n d o f t h e A f f a i r  (1951).  e f f e c t o f The Power a n d t h e G l o r y a r i s e s d i r e c t l y p o i n t i n g , paradoxes, and i r o n i e s  Whereas t h e  from t h e counter-  that i s s u e from t h e r e l i g i o u s  a t i t s c e n t r e , t h e p r o b l e m s o f The End o f t h e A f f a i r  arise  motif  directly  f r o m t h e i n t r u s i o n o f r e l i g i o u s dogma i n t o t h e i m a g i n a t i v e b o u n d s o f the r e a l i s t i c n o v e l .  When G r e e n e i n t r o d u c e s  s o l v e s human p r o b l e m s b y g r a c e ,  a s he does i n The End o f t h e A f f a i r ,  he moves o u t o f t h e d o m a i n o f t h e n o v e l handled d i s c u r s i v e l y by t h e o l o g i a n s . Affair  God a s a c h a r a c t e r a n d  and i n t o an area  better  The p r o b l e m s o f The End o f t h e  c a n be a t t r i b u t e d t o t h e u n s u c c e s s f u l  reconciliation of  28  r e l i g i o u s c o n v i c t i o n s and p e r c e p t i b l e requirements An but  author  d i d a c t i c premises  t o t h e r e a l i s t i c and  of the n o v e l .  i s essentially  f r e e t o w r i t e o f a n y t h i n g he  once h a v i n g s e t the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s  act according to  n a t u r e s and n o t a c c o r d i n g t o a p r e c o n c e i v e d p l a n o f h i s  C h a r a c t e r s cannot  be m a n i p u l a t e d  by an a u t h o r  tically.  C h a r a c t e r s i n The  End  but  in part attributed s u c h a n a r g u m e n t may credibility  sons and  are almost  be  premises  Although  i t creates problems  demands i m a g i n a t i v e l y p r o b a b l e  rea-  P s y c h o l o g i c a l c o m p l e x i t y cannot  to the c l a i m s of orthodoxy.  choice, characters exist  programmed  as an i n f a n t .  d o c t r i n a l l y defendable,  f o r a r e a d e r who  artis-  conversion, for instance, i s  to her C a t h o l i c baptism  resolutions i n a novel.  sacrificed from  Sarah's  own.  improbable  move i n a c e r t a i n d i r e c t i o n b e c a u s e o f t h e r e l i g i o u s  p r o p e l l i n g the novel forward:  of  of the A f f a i r  their  i n t o p o s i t i o n s or a c t i o n s  that are e f f e c t i v e f o r h i s r e l i g i o u s statement  to  wishes,  t o w o r k , he m u s t a l l o w  c h a r a c t e r s t h e f r e e d o m t o t h i n k , d e c i d e , and own  P r e d e s t i n a t i o n takes  be  over  t o embody t h e o l o g i c a l d o c t r i n e s , and  t h u s emerge a s p u p p e t s b e i n g a w k w a r d l y h a n d l e d  to i l l u s t r a t e  conceived p a t t e r n of events. G l i c k s b e r g s t a t e s the problem  as  a  prefollows:  I f a n o v e l i s t o r e t a i n i t s u n d e r l y i n g d r a m a t i c power, i f i t i s t o g i v e a f a i t h f u l and dynamic p o r t r a i t o f t h e d i l e m m a s o f t h e human s i t u a t i o n , i t m u s t f o c u s a t t e n t i o n on t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n s o f human n a t u r e , i t s i r r a t i o n a l i m p u l s e s , t h e e f f o r t o f p e o p l e t o l i v e up to t h e i r f a i t h , e t c . otherwise the n o v e l t u r n s i n t o a r e l i g i o u s t r a c t i n w h i c h t h e dogma i s t h e o l o g i c a l l y sound but a r t i s t i c a l l y u s e l e s s . 1  C h a r l e s G l i c k s b e r g , Modern L i t e r a t u r e and (The Hague: M a r t i n u s N i j h o f f , 1 9 6 6 ) , p. 130. 1  sense-  the Death of  God  29  I n The End o f t h e A f f a i r , ficulty  of dramatizing  Greene c r e a t e s  f o r himself  the dif-  Sarah's i n t e r n a l c o n f l i c t s and s p i r i t u a l  s t r u g g l e , and e l i m i n a t e s f a i r l y  e a r l y i n the progress  of the novel  t h e more e a s i l y d e p i c t a b l e e x t e r n a l c o n f l i c t s w i t h B e n d r i x . her  passionate  meetings w i t h her l o v e r , i t i s d i f f i c u l t  After  to infuse her  s t r u g g l e s t o l o v e God a n d t o come t o t e r m s w i t h H i m w i t h t h e same i m m e d i a c y a n d u r g e n c y o f h e r a c t u a l human c o n t a c t w i t h Sarah's keeping  o f a d i a r y i s t h e means G r e e n e c h o o s e s t o r e v e a l some-  t h i n g o f h e r s t r u g g l e , b u t t h i s method i s m a n i p u l a t e d for c r e d i b i l i t y :  i ti s not a l i t t l e  too conveniently  s u r p r i s i n g that Sarah should not  n o t i c e t h e absence o f so i n t i m a t e and p r e c i o u s her  Bendrix.  a possession,  p e r s o n a l maid, e n t r u s t e d w i t h v a r y i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s  125),  should  h a p p i l y hand o v e r t h e document t o a  and t h a t  ( s e e p.  stranger.  Greene i n g e n i o u s l y d e v e l o p s t h e i d e a o f t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a continuum of human-divine l o v e , suggesting is a natural extension i s with passions  him  of her desire f o r her lover.  of the f l e s h ,  the c a r n a l aspects  t h a t S a r a h ' s d e s i r e f o r God  S a r a h f r e q u e n t l y makes m e n t i o n o f  o f C h r i s t ' s i m a g e — " c o u l d anybody l o v e him o r h a t e  i f he h a d n ' t g o t a b o d y ? "  (p. 112). B e n d r i x  unconsciously r e -  i n f o r c e s t h i s n o t i o n o f t h e c o n t i n u u m b e t w e e n t h e two opposite  apparently  f o r m s o f l o v e when h e w r i t e s t h a t " h e r a b a n d o n m e n t  that strange mathematical point of endlessness, occupying  C a u g h t up a s s h e  no s p a c e "  (p. 5 1 ) .  touched  a p o i n t w i t h no w i d t h ,  I r o n i c a l l y . l i e a l s o speaks of t h e s i m i -  l a r i t i e s b e t w e e n human a n d d i v i n e l o v e f r o m t h e o p p o s i t e  extreme,  u s i n g t h e e x a m p l e o f t h e O l d T e s t a m e n t w r i t e r s , who w e r e " f o n d o f using  t h e words  'a j e a l o u s God', a n d p e r h a p s i t was t h e i r r o u g h a n d  30  o b l i q u e way o f e x p r e s s i n g b e l i e f  i n t h e . . l o v e o f God f o r man"  (p.  42).  Although such n o t i o n s a r e designed t o prepare t h e reader f o r Sarah's t r a n s f e r e n c e o f a l l e g i a n c e , B e n d r i x i s unprepared f o r t h e change and so n a t u r a l l y assumes t h a t t h e s c r a p o f p a p e r d i s c a r d e d by S a r a h i s part of a l e t t e r  w r i t t e n t o h e r new  lover:  I have no need t o w r i t e t o y o u o r t a l k t o y o u , y o u know e v e r y t h i n g b e f o r e I c a n s p e a k , b u t when o n e l o v e s , o n e f e e l s t h e n e e d t o u s e t h e same o l d w a y s one h a s a l w a y s u s e d . I know I am o n l y b e g i n n i n g t o l o v e , b u t a l r e a d y I want t o abandon e v e r y t h i n g , e v e r y b o d y b u t y o u : o n l y f e a r a n d h a b i t p r e v e n t me. Dear. ...... ( p . 5 3 ) . Such an a s s u m p t i o n i s a l s o a n a t u r a l consequence  of Sarah's  r e f e r e n c e t o M a u r i c e a s ' Y o u ' — " S h e h a d a l w a y s c a l l e d me 18)—and  such an i d e a i s undermined  i t s duration that i tgives l i t t l e  f a c t i o n i f Sarah's subsequent  However, t h e a c c e p t a b i l i t y  u n h a p p y c o u r s e f o r much  p r o m i s e o f permanence and  The v e r y word  affair  temporary, and has c o n n o t a t i o n s o f d o u b t s , m i s -  u n d e r s t a n d i n g s , r e s e n t m e n t s , and j e a l o u s i e s . m i s g i v i n g when h e s p e a k s o f " t h e w o r d a f f a i r  Bendrix expresses  this  with i t s suggestions of  a b e g i n n i n g and an end" (p. 5 7 ) . H a v i n g e s t a b l i s h e d t h i s continuum  satis-  " a f f a i r " w i t h God i s t o b e m e r e l y a  n a t u r a l extension of her a f f a i r w i t h Bendrix. denotes something  that  by t h e p r e c a r i o u s n a t u r e o f t h e Sarah-  M a u r i c e a f f a i r , w h i c h runs such an uneven, of  'you'" (p.  i s o b v i o u s l y d e s i g n e d by Greene t o r e - i n f o r c e t h e i d e a  Sarah's c o n v e r s i o n i s n o t u n l i k e an a f f a i r . of  consistent  t o make S a r a h ' s c o m m i t m e n t c r e d i b l e ,  the idea of t o make h e r  s t r u g g l e s d r a m a t i z a b l e i n a h u m a n - l i k e way, G r e e n e i n f a c t m i n i m i z e s the  f o r c e and e f f e c t o f d i v i n e l o v e , a n d , by making  S a r a h g i v e up  M a u r i c e f o r God, i n f a c t i m p l i e s t h a t c a r n a l a n d d i v i n e l o v e a r e  31  mutually into  e x c l u s i v e o r even i n t e r c h a n g e a b l e ,  the other.  and n o t a s h a d i n g  o f one  Compare t h e s i m i l a r y e t d i f f e r e n t . s i t u a t i o n i n T h e  Power and t h e G l o r y where t h e p r i e s t ' s  experience  l o v e leads him t o a deeper understanding"of  of corrupt  the nature  and e x t e n t o f  God's l o v e f o r man a n d how t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n i s c o n s e q u e n t l y i n h i s c o n c e r n f o r t h e human b e i n g s cation of d i s c o n t i n u i t y :  around him.  human  T h e r e i s no  reflected impli-  l o v e o f God a n d l o v e o f man a r e i n t i m a t e l y  related. The  novel  towards f a i t h ,  i s e s s e n t i a l l y a record of Bendrix's  r e l u c t a n t move  but, because h i s growth i s d i r e c t l y dependent on what  happens t o Sarah, i t i s e s s e n t i a l t h a t Sarah's c o n v e r s i o n and  h o t a weak l i n k i n t h e c h a i n o f e v e n t s .  Sarah's s e l f - s u r r e n d e r i s inadequately us  be c r e d i b l e  However, t h e p r o c e s s o f  prepared  for.  Bendrix  tells  t h a t s h e was a b l e t o t h r o w h e r s e l f i n t o h e r a f f a i r w i t h h i m w i t h  a great  s e n s e o f abandonment a n d " u n h a u n t e d by g u i l t .  when a t h i n g was d o n e , i t was d o n e :  remorse  (p. 5 0 ) . Her m o r a l l o g i c i s c o n f u s e d :  I n her view  died with the act"  she f e e l s a s t r o n g o b l i g a t i o n  a s H e n r y ' s w i f e n o t t o d e s e r t h i m ( a r e we m e a n t t o b e l i e v e t h a t , her  baptism,  yet  s h e s u f f e r s no g u i l t  like  she has been c o n d i t i o n e d by r e c e p t i o n o f a s a c r a m e n t ? ) ,  moment o n l y m a t t e r e d " memory n o r h o p e .  or remorse i n committing  (p. 51) f o r h e r ,  Bendrix  adultery.  "The  and she l i v e s n e i t h e r on  i s not her f i r s t  l o v e r , and h e r d e s i r e f o r  him  i s s o s t r o n g t h a t " s o m e t i m e s s h e w o u l d come i n b e t w e e n two q u e u e s ,  and  we w o u l d make l o v e b e t w e e n t h e g r e e n g r o c e r ' s  (p. 3 4 ) . Y e t t h i s  and t h e b u t c h e r ' s "  i s t h e same women t h a t P a r k i s r e v e r e d ,  t h e p r i e s t c a n s a y , "She was a g o o d woman"  a n d o f whom  ( p . 1 8 0 ) . T h e r e seems t o  32  be a p e c u l i a r d i s c r e p a n c y h e r e b e t w e e n goodness  and v i r t u e .  apparently a r b i t r a r y nature of the grace extended t o Sarah m i n e s i t s d r a m a t i c power i n t h e n o v e l :  in life  The under-  o n e may a c c e p t t h e  m y s t e r i o u s ways o f God, b u t i n f i c t i o n t h e y m u s t b e e x p l i c a b l e i n moral..logic or a t l e a s t  i n terms o f p s y c h o l o g i c a l need.  conviction that "the greatest normal capacity f o r e v i l " sufficient the  2  Greene's  s a i n t s h a v e b e e n men w i t h m o r e t h a n a  made h i m c r e a t e a s a i n t o f S a r a h w i t h i n -  reason to j u s t i f y  n o v e l s e t s up f o r i t s e l f .  such an a c t i o n i n terms o f t h e l o g i c Her easy s u r r e n d e r and r e s p o n s e t o  human l o v e i s meant t o b e s e e n a s a p r e s a g e o f h e r s u r r e n d e r t o d i v i n e l o v e , b u t when B e n d r i x s a y s t o h e r , " y o u s i m p l y h a v e n ' t up y e t o n o r d i n a r y human e m o t i o n s "  caught  ( p . 5 5 ) , he i s summing h e r up m o r e  a c c u r a t e l y t h a n Greene p r o b a b l y i n t e n d s .  T h e p r i e s t may b e l i e v e  B e n d r i x has "a v e r y s t r a n g e s e t o f v a l u e s " t a i n l y u n d e r s t a n d a b l e i n human t e r m s :  that  (p. 155), b u t they a r e c e r -  i t i s Sarah's v a l u e s that a r e  strange. Two t h i n g s a r e p u z z l i n g a b o u t bombing r a i d . life for  First,  S a r a h ' s vow t o God d u r i n g t h e  s h e h a s n e v e r shown a n y g u i l t  f o r h e r way o f  (cf. p p . 50 a n d 51 q u o t e d e a r l i e r ) , n o r h a s s h e e x p r e s s e d a n e e d some s o r t o f s p i r i t u a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n .  Why  should she suddenly  a n d u n e x p e c t e d l y make s u c h a s a c r i f i c i a l p r o m i s e t o God? was b a p t i s e d a C a t h o l i c a s a t w o - y e a r the  o l d i s p o s s i b l y meant t o e x p l a i n  dormant c o n v i c t i o n r e a d y t o s p r i n g t o l i f e ,  Graham G r e e n e , " F r e d e r i c k R o l f e : L o s t C h i l d h o o d and O t h e r E s s a y s (London: p. 93. 2  That she  but t h i s i s not  E d w a r d i a n I n f e r n o " i n The Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1951),  33  sufficient  cause  explanation  o r  psychologically.  a f f i r m s Sarah's h a b i t of l i v i n g should  S a r a h make a vow  struggle to maintain on  previous told), a  f o r t h e moment o n l y ;  i n a moment o f c r i s i s and  i t once the c r i s i s  the assumption t h a t Bendrix  room h u r t b u t  alive,  Bendrix  she  accepts • h i s  therefore,  She  ' r e t u r n ' as a m i r a c l e .  .realizing  t h a t i t was  the  possibility  t h a t her  p e r c e p t i o n was  Sarah perseveres  w i t h her  v e r s i a l e v i d e n c e o f an sensual nature. pleasure does"  She  Her  apparent  c o m m i t m e n t t o God ' m i r a c l e ' , and  o r a b i d i n g p e a c e — ' " p a i n b e l o n g s t o You  (p.  122)—  and  i n d i c a t e s t h a t she Because of t h i s  the  was  l a c k of any  and  i s r e - i n f o r c e d by state.  She  to r e s i s t the  diary  never  certainly grace.  strong p s y c h o l o g i c a l i n c e n t i v e , Sarah's  l i k e a disease"  (p.  basis for continuing  i t o r make a r e a s o n a b l e  her  choice  There commitment, about i t  imagery of i n f e c t i o n used to d e s c r i b e  t e l l s Bendrix 147);  in a letter Mrs.  hoped S a r a h ' s b a p t i s m "would  the  apparent  s i n n i n g t h a n i n a s t a t e of  r a t i o n a l or emotional  this inability  had  strongly  persistence i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p i s i n s u f f i c i e n t l y explained. seems l i t t l e  a  contro-  as h a p p i n e s s  s u f f e r i n g expressed i n her  happier  the  no  as  94).  d e s p i t e her  o f f e r s her  of  later  despite  no  are  Bendrix  t o " h y s t e r i a " (p.  r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h God  With  a misconception  herself recognizes  due  the  situation  moment p e r f e c t l y e x p l i c a b l e i n r a t i o n a l t e r m s a f t e r w a r d s : m e r e l y been knocked u n c o n s c i o u s .  vow  ( a s f a r a s we  i t i s s u r p r i s i n g t h a t S a r a h so b l i n d l y a c c e p t s i n s t e a d of  makes t h e  when he w a l k s i n t o  h i s t o r y of s p i r i t u a l l o n g i n g or c u r i o s i t y  'miracle'  why  remember i t and  i s over?  i s d e a d , and  repeatedly  t h a t she  "has  B e r t r a m t e l l s him 'take'.  caught  t h a t she  Sarah's belief  had  L i k e v a c c i n a t i o n " (p.  always 164),  34  w h i l e H e n r y l i k e n s i t t o "an of p r e s e n t i n g  infection"  own  reasons f o r b e l i e f  Smythe, t h e r a t i o n a l i s t p r e a c h e r , cogent case f o r atheism,  rationalist  produced a formula.  The  He  i s not  possibility  given a f a i r  i s never allowed  had  to put  p r i e s t who  appears a f t e r  laid  power  a n n o y e d c h i e f l y by  so  explanation:  that l a t e r  hearing. a  Sarah's  rigorous  S a r a h ' s d e a t h seems "Father  i t down l i k e a b a n k n o t e .  t h e b a p t i s m o f d e s i r e ' " (p. 1 5 3 ) ,  Sarah  forward  opted f o r i t d e s p i t e  i n d i f f e r e n t o r o p p o s e d t o argument and  nothing  one  thus undermining the dramatic  c o u l d have i f she  argument.  b e l i e v e I was  The  a v i a b l e r a t i o n a l a l t e r n a t i v e to f a i t h to f o r c e  i n t o examining her  leap of f a i t h  (p. 187).  'We  Bendrix  h i s complacency, the  Crompton recognize  can  say,  sense  that  intellectual  could ever  t r o u b l e him"  wanted to i l l u s t r a t e  the b e l i e f  that reason i s u l t i m a t e l y i r r e l e v a n t  to the to  faith,  a f a c t possibly true to f a i t h  c r e d i b i l i t y of f a i t h be  given a f a i t  that gives a novel  accompli;  and  understanding  i t i s the process  in fiction,  relies  and  s u f f e r s as  as a c h a r a c t e r . life  T h e r e has  Perhaps Greene  insufficient for  i t i s not  sufficient  of reaching  that  credibility.  a p p e a r t o be  statement r a t h e r on an  i n t e n t i o n s but  de-  than  ere-.:  Sarah from  her  to serve  her a  o u t s i d e her a u t h e n t i c i t y  been i n s u f f i c i e n t p o r t r a y a l of  to prepare f o r her miraculous  a  extra-fictional  a r e s u l t of d e t a c h i n g manipulating  end  Without  I t seems t h a t t h e b a s i c  l o g i c a s a p e r s o n a l i t y and  f u n c t i o n w i t h i n the author's  but  c o n v i c t i o n can  for i t s credibility  of C a t h o l i c d o c t r i n e .  of the n o v e l  established  'saintly'  In f i c t i o n  S a r a h ' s s a n c t i t y f i n a l l y r e s t s on  demonstration  dibility  in life,  i t s essential conflict  rational basis for faith lusion.  in fiction.  (p. 180).  "I  p o w e r s , and  Sarah's to  convince  35  us i m a g i n a t i v e l y r a t h e r t h a n d o c t r i n a l l y o f t h e c o n c e p t o f a tified fiction  sinner'.  M o r t o n Dauwen Z a b e l s t a t e s t h e p r o b l e m o f  'sanc-  such  succinctly: Grace i s always h e l d i n r e s e r v e as a p r i n c i p l e of s a l v a t i o n , a p r i n c i p l e w h i c h s o o n becomes t o o a r b i t r a r y and c o n v e n i e n t t o f i n d j u s t i f i c a t i o n i n conduct or purpose. I t descends l i k e a C h r i s t i a n i z e d d e u s ex m a c h i n a t o r e d e e m i t s v e s s e l s when they have d r i v e n themselves i n t o the impasse or s a c r i l e g e t h a t w o u l d , on m o r a l g r o u n d s a l o n e , b e s u f f i c i e n t t o damn them . . . g r a c e i s c a l l e d u p o n t o do t h e w o r k t h a t n o r m a l l y w o u l d b e a s s i g n e d t o m o r a l l o g i c and n e m e s i s . 3  Or, as t h e r e v i e w e r f o r t h e Times L i t e r a r y the  Supplement  at the time of  n o v e l ' s p u b l i c a t i o n p u t i t p e r h a p s more w r y l y : The common-sense p o i n t o f v i e w i s s u r e l y t h a t whatever t h e inward marks of s a n c t i t y , the o v e r r u l i n g o u t w a r d one i s t h a t i n some way t h e c a n d i d a t e ' s l i f e s h o u l d b e more t h a n o r d i n a r i l y e d i f y i n g . I s a m a r r i e d woman who g i v e s up h e r l o v e r f o r t h e l o v e o f God a s a i n t ? As I b s e n ' s Nora s a y s i n a l m o s t the o p p o s i t e c o n t e x t : " T h o u s a n d s o f women h a v e done s o . " 4  C l o s e l y connected to the problem of the c r e d i b i l i t y terms of Sarah's s a n c t i f i c a t i o n i s the v a l i d i t y 'miracles'  i n the novel.  of the  in fictional  so-called  As S a r a h ' s b e a t i f i c a t i o n depends more  on  a c c e p t a n c e o f C a t h o l i c d o c t r i n e t h a n on t h e l i m i t s d e f i n e d i n t h e w o r l d o f t h e n o v e l , so t h e m i r a c l e s depend f o r t h e i r a c c e p t a n c e an e x t r a - f i c t i o n a l r e a l i t y . terms of Greene's  faith,  on  Even i f t h e y a r e p e r f e c t l y p o s s i b l e i n  the m i r a c l e s f a i l  t o be an o r g a n i c p a r t  of  M o r t o n Dauwen Z a b e l , "The B e s t a n d t h e W o r s t " , i n Graham Greene: A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l E s s a y s , ed. Samuel Hynes ( E n g l e wood C l i f f s , N . J . : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1 9 7 3 ) , p. 44. 3  ** " P a i n f u l S a n c t i t y , " T i m e s L i t e r a r y 1 9 5 1 , p. 5 6 3 .  Supplement,  7 September  36  the n o v e l , and  and  agents of  s t r i k e the the p l o t .  adequate p o r t r a y a l of r e n c e , o r by t i o n of  the  are not  Sarah's s a i n t l y  f i n a l miracles  them a s a n y t h i n g As  other  the m i r a c l e s  o c c u r r e n c e , and  our  miracles  apparently  i n the n o v e l  t h o s e t h a t o c c u r as  her  death.  The  their  perception  s u g g e s t s , by  i n t h e way has  the  r e a d e r as  the  plot.  on h e r  l e a v e no  God  Greene i n t e n d e d , incidences  room f o r  intera  their  are  caught i n a c i r c u l a r  on  argu-  are  o f two  kinds:  those that  In the  are  Sarah's  death,  Sarah's s a i n t l i n e s s a f t e r the  open-ended-  case of B e n d r i x ' s  'miraculous'  reason f o r h i s escape from death i s by  S a r a h and  the  change  this  subsequent behaviour;, whether i t i s viewed i s not  Sarah should  a v i t a l a s p e c t of scepticism  the  the  reader  s e r i e s of  life.  can  of  experiences Be-  event could If this  be  a l s o be  used  i s what  subsequent e v e n t s , e x p l i c a b l e as  w i t h i n the framework of the n o v e l ,  by  credibility  suddenly b e l i e v e i n miracles.  h i s d i v i n e purpose f o r her the  interpreted  premises.  More i m p o r t a n t i s t h e  to f u l f i l l  accumula-  Sarah's s a n c t i t y f o r  c a u s e S a r a h h e r s e l f v i e w e d i t as m i r a c u l o u s , . t h i s by  be  an  Sarah's s a n c t i t y r e s t s f i n a l l y  i t i s perceived  a miracle  t h a t a woman l i k e  action  occur-  an  events could  former are b e t t e r handled because of  r e v i v a l a f t e r the bombing, the significant  that  a d i r e c t r e s u l t of  interpretation.  the  their  c a u s e d by God's i n t e r v e n t i o n i n e v e n t s b e f o r e  and  ness of  of  t h a n m i r a c u l o u s i n t e r v e n t i o n by  d e p e n d on  i t s own  to j u s t i f y  of h e a l i n g  a c c e p t a n c e o f t h e s e m i r a c l e s , we  The  life  that the  c o n v i c t i o n of  ment t h a t c o l l a p s e s on  credibility  p r e p a r e d f o r t h e m e i t h e r by  c r e a t i o n of a context  the  dead s a i n t .  the  We  explicable co-incidences,  as m i r a c l e s : preting  f i n a l blow to the  co-  interpreted  37  in  the l i g h t  o f one  another  T h r o u g h S a r a h ' s d i a r y we  as  i n d i c a t i v e of d i v i n e i n t e r v e n t i o n .  learn that, after  the bombing r a i d ,  she  had  c h a l l e n g e d God  b y p h o n i n g B e n d r i x , v o w i n g , " I f he a n s w e r s , I ' l l go  back tomorrow"  (p. 1 0 0 ) .  borrowing  A young g i r l  B e n d r i x ' s f l a t w h i l e he  a n s w e r s and  tells  Sarah  i s away f o r a f e w w e e k s .  she  is  God's  answer t o Sarah's c h a l l e n g e o r a p e r f e c t l y a c c e p t a b l e  co-incidence?  When B e n d r i x  she has  him, (p.  takes  Sarah  a f i t of coughing 33).  The  p o s s i b l e and  prevents  cough has likely  o u t t o l u n c h two  occurrence,  but  I  told  declaring:  I ' l l go  "I'm and  going  i f you  can,  to Henry t e l l i n g  p a c k s a s u i t c a s e , and  " I f he  day  s t o p me  sees  (p. 116). any m o r e  him  t h a t she  can"  me,  She and second  (p. 116).  i s . l e a v i n g him  She  for  i s a b o u t t o l e a v e when H e n r y u n e x p e c -  about Sarah.  H i s p l e a to Sarah  the response  " I won't l e a v e you. and  to the P o n t e f r a c t  t u r n s a r o u n d and  i f you  sen-  records  ( B e n d r i x ) h a p p y , t h a t ' s my  t e d l y r e t u r n s e a r l y a f t e r an e m o t i o n a l  again circumstances  t h i s o c c a s i o n , Sarah one  neces-  the p l e a s u r e s of  t o w o r r y a b o u t God  t o make h i m  i s therefore a  thing v i t a l l y  i n , b u t he d i d n ' t t u r n a r o u n d "  s t o p me  writes a letter Maurice,  After  o n c e a g a i n c h a l l e n g e d God:  God,  God,  from t a s t i n g  followed Maurice  t h e n r e t u r n s home, d e c i d i n g n o t  vow,  i s i t t h e one  Sarah  s u a l contact w i t h Bendrix again? i n h e r d i a r y t h a t she had  left  t h e m k i s s i n g a t a n o p p o r t u n e moment  b e e n m e n t i o n e d p r e v i o u s l y and  sary at t h i s stage to prevent  Arms and  years a f t e r  not  confrontation with  t o l e a v e him  I promise"  co-incidences prevent  Maurice.  Taken t o g e t h e r , these events  miracles,  t h e i n t e r v e n t i o n o f God  c a n be  Bendrix  e l i c i t s from  (p. 119), her  and  so  once  r e t u r n i n g to  i n t e r p r e t e d as  i n the events  her  of l i f e ,  even  minor though  38  G r e e n e seems t o b e . r e l y i n g t o o  h e a v i l y on  a s u p e r s t i t i o u s s t y l e of  faith. The  same e x p l a n a t i o n s  Bertram at  can  be  g i v e n for t h e a p p e a r a n c e o f  S a r a h ' s f u n e r a l , a t t h e moment when B e n d r i x ,  f o r h a v i n g become e n t a n g l e d w i t h a r e v i e w e r ' s S a r a h , "Get miracles  me  out  of  of h e a l i n g  i t " (p.  that  leave  t h e i r occurrence w i t h i n the healed overnight " i t was the  Mrs.  one  M i l e s who  up,  suddenly, i n a night.  not  given  the novel.  a c h a n c e by  S a r a h ' s h a i r , and  (p.  ...  I t was  knows w e l l e n o u g h why  Both these h e a l i n g m i r a c l e s  alternative explanations, dubious premise of these miracles  on  P a r k i s ' s boy  pain—touching  (p.  188).  and  as  on  Bendrix  " I t cleared He  is  Bendrix  c o n t a i n i n g .a l o c k  of  Smythe t h i n k s t h e h e a l i n g o c c u r w i t h o u t any  depend e n t i r e l y  Sarah's s a n c t i t y . the novel  189)  that  him  Smythe p h o n e s  a . . ."  is  is told  B e n d r i x t o l a b e l i t a m i r a c l e , but (p.  two  possibility.of  the doctor  178).  himself  implores"  final  t r e a t e d t h e m a r k on h i s f a c e ;  remembers " h i s c l e n c h e d r i g h t h a n d "  a miracle.  of  t o o k away t h e  stomach . . . "  t h a t n o b o d y had  girlfriend,  i n doubt about the  context  came and  hating  However, i t i s the  o f a c u t e a p p e n d i c i t i s , and  r i g h t s i d e of the  t o t e l l him  159).  Mrs.  on  accepting  Z a b e l sums up  the  leeway the  e f f e c t of  follows:  . . . the i n t r o d u c t i o n of the m i r a c l e . . . r i s k s the d i s s o l u t i o n of the e n t i r e c o n f l i c t i n an a r bitrary conclusion. The s y m b o l i c e f f e c t t h a t m i g h t make s u c h a n e v e n t c o n v i n c i n g i s w e a k e n e d by t h e r e a l i s t i c b a s i s on w h i c h t h e d r a m a i s b u i l t ; i t ends . . . i n an u n p r e p a r e d s h i f t f r o m r e a l i s m t o d i d a c t i c i s m , a n . a r b i t r a r y c h a n g e o f m o r a l (and c o n s e q u e n t l y of d r a m a t i c ) p r e m i s e s w h i c h has the  is for  39  e f f e c t of detaching the c h a r a c t e r s from t h e i r est a b l i s h e d l o g i c a s p e r s o n a l i t i e s and f o r c i n g them to serve a function outside themselves. 5  G r e e n e , . h i m s e l f was  obviously  of  the A f f a i r ,  made some c h a n g e s t o t h e  He  explains  and  the  not  happy w i t h  the m i r a c l e s 1974  r e a s o n s f o r t h i s move i n t h e  i n The  e d i t i o n of  End  the  novel.  Introduction:  The i n c i d e n t o f t h e s t r a w b e r r y m a r k s h o u l d h a v e no p l a c e i n t h e b o o k ; e v e r y s o - c a l l e d m i r a c l e , l i k e t h e c u r i n g o f P a r k i s ' s b o y , o u g h t t o h a v e had a completely natural explanation. The co-incidences should have c o n t i n u e d over the y e a r s , b a t t e r i n g the m i n d o f B e n d r i x , f o r c i n g on h i m a r e l u c t a n t d o u b t o f h i s own a t h e i s m . So i t i s t h a t i n t h i s e d i t i o n I h a v e t r i e d t o r e t u r n n e a r e r t o my o r i g i n a l i n t e n t i o n . Smythe's s t r a w b e r r y mark has g i v e n p l a c e t o a d i s e a s e of t h e s k i n w h i c h m i g h t h a v e had a n e r v o u s o r i g i n and be s u s c e p t i b l e t o f a i t h h e a l i n g . 6  This  change does not  reason behind the the problematic  s o l v e the problem of  cure,  but  n a t u r e of  S a r a h ' s s a n c t i t y as  a  does i n d i c a t e the n o v e l i s t ' s p e r c e p t i o n  the m i r a c l e s  and  their  dubious e f f e c t  of  on  Bendrix. The  character  of the n o v e l . his first the  He  of Bendrix  i s , in fact,  i s convincingly  p e r s o n n a r r a t i o n , and  and  one  of  the  strong  points  consistently.portrayed  h i s s c e p t i c i s m as n a r r a t o r  through provides  d r a m a t i c t e n s i o n n e c e s s a r y i n a s t o r y of growth towards  belief. truth,  As and  turning to  5  a n o v e l i s t he i t i s to t h i s the  Zabel,  The End 1 9 7 4 ) i p. i x . 6  constantly  p.  stresses his desire for  influence that  " t r u t h " i n the  letter  spiritual  Sarah a t t r i b u t e s her  she  writes before  her  the own  death:  46:  of the A f f a i r  {London:  H e i n e m a n n and  B o d l e y Head,  40  Y o u t o o k away a l l my l i e s a n d s e l f - d e c e p t i o n s l i k e t h e y c l e a r a r o a d o f r u b b l e f o r somebody t o come a l o n g i t , somebody o f i m p o r t a n c e , a n d now h e ' s come, b u t y o u c l e a r e d t h e way y o u r s e l f . When y o u w r i t e y o u t r y t o be e x a c t a n d y o u t a u g h t me t o w a n t t h e t r u t h , and y o u t o l d me when I wasn't t e l l i n g the t r u t h . ( p . 147) An  ironic  commentary t h a t t h e s c e p t i c  It  i s h i s o c c u p a t i o n as a n o v e l i s t  p e r c e p t i o n s of l i f e  s h o u l d be  an a g e n t o f  belief.'  t h a t makes B e n d r i x d o u b t h i s  own  too:  I f I w e r e w r i t i n g a n o v e l I w o u l d end i t h e r e : a n o v e l , I u s e d t o t h i n k , h a s t o end s o m e w h e r e , b u t I'm b e g i n n i n g t o b e l i e v e my r e a l i s m h a s b e e n at..fault a l l these years, f o r nothing i n l i f e now e v e r seems t o end . . . so w h a t a n o p t i m i s t I w o u l d be i f I t h o u g h t t h a t t h i s s t o r y e n d e d h e r e , (p. 147). A t t h e end  o f t h e n o v e l , h i s own  belief  i s prepared  t i o n o f God's w a y s a s b e i n g a k i n t o t h e m e t h o d s o f a  f o r by h i s novelist:  I c a n i m a g i n e a God f e e l i n g i n j u s t t h a t way a b o u t some o f u s . The s a i n t s , one w o u l d s u p p o s e , i n a sense c r e a t e themselves. T h e y come a l i v e . They a r e c a p a b l e of the s u r p r i s i n g a c t or word. They s t a n d o u t s i d e t h e p l o t , u n c o n d i t i o n e d by i t . But we h a v e t o be p u s h e d a r o u n d . We h a v e t h e o b s t i n a c y of n o n - e x i s t e n c e . We a r e i n e x t r i c a b l y b o u n d t o t h e p l o t , a n d w e a r i l y God f o r c e s u s , h e r e and t h e r e , according to h i s intention, characters without p o e t r y , w i t h o u t f r e e w i l l , whose o n l y i m p o r t a n c e i s t h a t s o m e w h e r e , a t some t i m e , we h e l p t o f u r n i s h t h e s c e n e i n w h i c h a l i v i n g c h a r a c t e r moves and s p e a k s , p r o v i d i n g p e r h a p s t h e s a i n t s w i t h t h e opportunities for their free w i l l . (pp. 1 8 5 - 1 8 6 ) . The  comparison  i s a n u n f o r t u n a t e one  t h i s case  i t i s t h e s a i n t who  a r o u n d by  God.  his  God  never  percep-  :  f o r the r e a d e r , however: comes a l i v e and who  in  i s pushed  i s the a r c h - n o v e l i s t o n l y i n the sense t h a t  i n f l u e n c e on B e n d r i x a l t e r s r a d i c a l l y  planned  t o w r i t e , moved by h i s a n g e r and  seen by  B e n d r i x a s b e i n g much n e a r e r  the s t o r y Bendrix hate.  originally  Hate i s f r e q u e n t l y  to love than to  indifference  41  ( " H a t r e d seems t o o p e r a t e t h e same g l a n d s a s l o v e : the  same a c t i o n s "  i t even produces  ( p . 2 7 ) ) , a n d h i s own s c e p t i c i s m a n d h a t e a r e t h e  major f a c t o r s i n h i s f i n a l h i n t of c a p i t u l a t i o n to b e l i e f a t the e n d — " 0 God . . . alone f o r ever"  I'm t o o t i r e d  and o l d t o l e a r n t o l o v e , l e a v e  (p. 1 9 1 ) — t h u s p r o v i d i n g  the reader with  me  the neces-  s a r y b a l a n c e t o Sarah's unprepared and r a p i d c o n v e r s i o n .  The s t y l e  of Bendrix's account of events  (the frequent  trophes,  a n d c y n i c a l comments) r e f l e c t s c l e a r l y  the  r h e t o r i c a l questions,  " s p i r i t u a l t u r m o i l o f t h e w r i t e r , who  betraying  himself  should  into subjective analyses^"  S a r a h ' s vow p r e v e n t s t h e r a n g e o f s u g g e s t i o n counterperspectives priest's struggles contrary  could  have c r e a t e d  c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , apos-  be o b j e c t i v e ,  but the very  7  nature of  and i n s i g h t t h a t  Bendrix's  i n h e r , as t h e n a t u r e of t h e  a r e h i g h l i g h t e d and i n f l u e n c e d by t h e l i e u t e n a n t ' s  v i e w s i n The P o w e r a n d t h e G l o r y .  Greene has taken t o an extreme i n t h i s n o v e l The P o w e r a n d t h e G l o r y : sion that  the greater  capacity  a theme b a s i c t o  f o r l o v e and compas-  i s p a r a d o x i c a l l y the a t t r i b u t e of the sinner.  v i n c i n g n a t u r e o f t h e s i n n e r - s a i n t , S a r a h , and t h e e x t e n t  The u n c o n to which  d i v i n e i n t e r v e n t i o n u s u r p s and c o n t r a d i c t s t h e r o l e o f n a t u r a l nation  i s the stumbling  block  to the c r e d i b i l i t y of the novel.  R e l i g i o u s o r t h o d o x y , a f t e r a l l i s n o t synonymous with a r t i s t i c merit. And i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r c a s e t h e r e seems a n i n t i m a t e c o n n e c t i o n b e t w e e n i t s r e l i g i o u s e m p h a s i s a n d w h a t we m u s t r e g a r d a s i t s l i t e r a r y f a i l i n g s . . . T h e r e i s no a p r i o r i r e a s o n why s u c c e s s f u l n o v e l s s h o u l d n o t b e w r i t t e n  A.A. de M t i s , p.  106.  Graham G r e e n e  (New Y o r k :  Twayne,  1964),  expla-  42  a b o u t t h e l i f e o f g r a c e , a b o u t s a i n t s and s i n n e r s . B u t t h e i r s u c c e s s w i l l d e p e n d on t h e i r p o w e r o f c o m m u n i c a t i n g t h e i r d r a m a i n human t e r m s ; i n a r t t h e r e i s no o t h e r p e r s p e c t i v e . 8  The . c o n c e p t u n d e r l y i n g Bendrix's  scepticism provides  miraculous  occurrences  what t h e r e  i s of  and  disbelief  recorded,  are challenged.  C a t h o l i c i s m has but  the necessary and  compelling.  doubt about the a l l e g e d l y  his implacability  establishes  t h e c e n t r a l t e n s i o n of t h e n o v e l as h i s  of Sarah's c h a r a c t e r  Affair,  t h e n a r r a t i v e i s d a r i n g and  i s has  However, t h e a u t h o r i a l m a n i p u l a t i o n  diminishes  provided  the  l i t e r a r y w o r t h of the  G r e e n e w i t h h i s theme i n The  also conditioned his imagination  the e x t r a - f i c t i o n a l terms of  cynicism  End  novel. of  to f o l l o w  i t s d o c t r i n e to the detriment  of  work of a r t .  I a n G r e g o r a n d B r i a n N i c h o l a s , The (London: F a b e r , 1 9 6 2 ) , p. 203.  Moral  and  the  Story  the closely the  43  CHAPTER 3 THE  QUIET AMERICAN  The b l o o d - d i m m e d t i d e i s l o o s e d , and e v e r y w h e r e The c e r e m o n y o f i n n o c e n c e i s d r o w n e d ; The b e s t l a c k a l l c o n v i c t i o n , w h i l e t h e w o r s t Are f u l l of passionate i n t e n s i t y . Yeats,  W i t h t h e p u b l i c a t i o n o f The t h a t Greene had explicitly new  novel  quently on  C a t h o l i c i n The  End  Set  secular novel that are  Quiet  . . . the c o n f l i c t  i s dramatized  d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h any 1  and  Miriam  is left  i n the end,  like  p u r e l y human e x p l a n a t i o n  Allott  L o d g e , pp.  so the  is  fre-  opinion David purely i n terms  theological perspective; Bendrix, of critics'  s t a t e s t h a t " i n s p i t e of i t s  c e n t r a l characters, i t gives a f r e s h focus  w h i c h Greene e x p l o r e s  a  analysed  T h i s o p i n i o n i s e c h o e d i n a number o f o t h e r  assessments of the n o v e l : non-Catholic  Critical  American i s f a r from being  the a g n o s t i c n a r r a t o r , Fowler,  experience."  and  meaning of the n o v e l d i f f e r s q u i t e w i d e l y .  c o n s i s t e n t w i t h Greene's e a r l i e r  t r o u b l e d and  become  i n Indo-China,  ideological conflicts  r e f e r r e d to as Greene's " p o l i t i c a l " n o v e l . and  i t seemed  c o n c e r n s t h a t had  of the A f f a i r .  deals with p o l i t i c a l . a n d  the nature  1  Second Coming"  A m e r i c a n i n 1955,  abandoned the r e l i g i o u s  L o d g e c o n t e n d s t h a t "The  and  Quiet  "The  i n his 'Catholic' novels  2  to  themes  . . . where the  author  35-36.  M i r i a m A l l o t t , "The M o r a l S i t u a t i o n i n The Q u i e t A m e r i c a n , " i n Graham G r e e n e : Some C r i t i c a l C o n s i d e r a t i o n s , e d . R o b e r t 0. E v a n s (Lexington, Kentucky: U n i v e r s i t y o f K e n t u c k y P r e s s , 1 9 6 3 ) , p. 188. 2  44  i s occupied with the a l l i e d justified of  i n risking  p r o b l e m s o f p a i n a n d o f how f a r man i s  damnation f o r t h e sake o f r e l i e v i n g  h i sfellow creatures."  R.W.B. L e w i s  the d u s t - j a c k e t o f t h e American  the suffering  r e f u t e s t h e c l a i m made o n  e d i t i o n o f t h e n o v e l t h a t Greene "has  e n t e r e d a new v e i n w h e r e r e l i g i o n p l a y s l i t t l e  o r no p a r t , ' !  asserting  t h a t " t h e absence o f r e l i g i o u s u n d e r s t a n d i n g and t h e h o v e r i n g sibility  of acquiring i t play a v i t a l part." * 1  However, t h e r e a r e as  many G r e e n e c r i t i c s who s e e t h e n o v e l a s e s s e n t i a l l y m o r a l rather than s p e c i f i c a l l y r e l i g i o u s . "Greene's f i r s t  s e r i o u s attempt  i n a moral predicament V i t i s notes  the.  Pryce-Jones  f o r twenty  or e t h i c a l  sees Fowler as  y e a r s t o d r a w a man who i s  without r e l i g i o u s resources"  5  a n d A.A. de  i n f l u e n c e o f S a r t r i a n e x i s t e n t i a l i s m on Greene's  conception of Fowler's e t h i c a l dilemma. f u r t h e r by Robert  E v a n s who a l s o  in existentialist  terms:  6  This p o i n t i s developed  sees t h e r a i s o n d ' e t r e o f t h e n o v e l  "the story i s not r e l i g i o u s ,  f o rFowler i s  no n e a r e r t o God a t t h e e n d t h a t h e was a t t h e b e g i n n i n g , " "Fowler  pos-  7  and  i s n o t i n c a p a b l e o f f e e l i n g p a i n , t h o u g h he e x p e r i e n c e s n o -  t h i n g r e m o t e l y r e s e m b l i n g C h r i s t i a n r e m o r s e . . . The s u f f e r i n g i s  3  ..Allott,  p . 198.  "* L e w i s , p . 2 7 0 . D a v i d P r y c e - J o n e s , Graham G r e e n e , W r i t e r s a n d C r i t i c s ed. (Edinburgh: O l i v e r a n d Boyd, 1 9 7 3 ) , p. 93. 5  2nd  6  Series,  d e V i t i s , p. 116.  R o b e r t 0. E v a n s , " E x i s t e n t i a l i s m i n The Q u i e t A m e r i c a n , " i n Modern F i c t i o n S t u d i e s , 3 ( 1 9 5 7 ) , 242. 7  45  existentialist; has  done."  there  i s no r e m o r s e a n d h e w o u l d n o t undo w h a t h e  A c a r e f u l examination of t h e growth of Fowler's moral  8  awareness and e t h i c a l a n g u i s h demonstrates t h a t t h e n o v e l tainly  " n o n - r e l i g i o u s " i n c o m p a r i s o n t o i t s more d o c t r i n a i r e p r e -  decessors,  while  being  still  e s s e n t i a l l y " r e l i g i o u s " i n the broader  t e r m s t h a t G r e e n e p r e s u m a b l y meant i n c a l l i n g m o r a l i t y about The  religion."  Q u i e t A m e r i c a n h a s m o r e i n common w i t h  thus i n v i t e s adultery  as  the novel  "a k i n d o f  9  d e c e s s o r , The End o f t h e A f f a i r ,  mal,  i s cer-  comparison w i t h  i t s immediate  t h a n may a t f i r s t  it.  Both novels  be a p p a r e n t , and  deal with  t h e theme o f  and b e t r a y a l , and t r a c e t h e s p i r i t u a l g r o w t h , however  o f a man i n v o l v e d  mini-  Fowler and  Bendrix,  r e s p e c t i v e n a r r a t o r s , both c l a i m a sense of o b j e c t i v i t y  and de-  tachment as p a r t  i n a complex t r i a n g l e .  pre-  of t h e i r approach t o l i f e ,  volvement i n w r i t i n g o r r e p o r t i n g .  s p r i n g i n g from t h e i r i n -  The l i n e b e t w e e n d e t a c h m e n t a n d  cynicism  i s a f i n e o n e f o r b o t h men; l i k e w i s e , l o v e a n d h a t e seem t o  be  and i n s e p a r a b l e  fused  i n many o f t h e i r  inner reveries.  Fowler betrays  who r e a l l y  for Pyle?"  his  cared  s t o r y as "a r e c o r d  e n d s up p l e a d i n g and  with  outbursts  Pyle y e t says,  "Am I t h e o n l y o n e  (p. 2 2 ) , and B e n d r i x s e t s o u t t o t e l l  o f h a t e f a r more t h a n o f l o v e "  (p. 7 ) , y e t  God, " Y o u ' v e r o b b e d me o f e n o u g h , I'm t o o t i r e d  o l d t o l e a r n t o l o v e , l e a v e me a l o n e f o r e v e r "  8  o f emotion o r  (p. 192).  E v a n s , pp. 244-45.  Harvey B r e i t , " F i c t i o n , " A r e p o r t on an i n t e r v i e w w i t h G r e e n e , New Y o r k T i m e s B o o k R e v i e w , 20 J a n u a r y 1 9 5 7 , p . 8. 9  Both  Graham  46  p r a y t o a God t h e y d o n o t b e l i e v e i n w h i l e  longing  the problem o f t h e i r emptiness and u n c e r t a i n t y . n i q u e o f t h e two n o v e l s flection,  arising  i s t h e same:  The n a r r a t i v e  from a need t o s e e p u r p o s e and p a t t e r n i n e v e n t s , and  Dreams, r e v e r i e s , f l a s h b a c k s ,  subjectively involved.  and l e t t e r s a r e used i n b o t h n o v e l s t o  i n gaps o f t h e n a r r a t i v e , t o r e v e a l m o t i v a t i o n ,  light  on r e l a t i o n s h i p s and s t r u g g l e s .  dramatic  turning point  similarities  i n both narratives.  However, d e s p i t e t h e  that demonstrate something of a continuum i n t h e develop-  as a c o n t r o l l i n g apart  Catholic  doctrine  f o r c e on t h e n a r r a t i v e t h a t s e t s The End o f t h e  f r o m The Q u i e t  American where t h e s p e c i f i c a l l y  i s s u e s w h i c h a r e p e r i p h e r a l f o r most o f t h e n o v e l c e n t r a l focus  and t o throw  A bomb e x p l o s i o n p r o v i d e s t h e  ment o f G r e e n e ' s w r i t i n g , i t i s t h e u s e o f e x p l i c i t  Affair  tech-  b o t h a r e s t o r i e s t o l d on r e -  both a r e seen through t h e eyes o f a n a r r a t o r  f i l l  for a solution to  a t t h e end without  spiritual  a r e manoeuvered i n t o  sufficient preparation  f o r such a  change. In.. T h e E n d o f t h e A f f a i r ,  Greene d e a l s  human b e i n g s w i t h i n a s p e c i f i c a l l y A m e r i c a n he u s e s a p o l i t i c a l and  with  C a t h o l i c framework.  situation  i n order  e t h i c a l dilemma o f h i s c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r .  d e p e n d e n t o n o n e woman's i n c r e d i b l e c o n v e r s i o n quent t o i t , and  I n The Q u i e t  to portray  Fowler's growth i s n o t and t h e m i r a c l e s  e n c o u n t e r s , and w i t h i n a framework o f war t h a t c r e a t e s  battling  the moral  subse-  but rather develops l o g i c a l l y through a s e r i e s of events  awareness o f l i f e ,  God,  the predicaments of  commitment, and s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  for his lover against  Fowler i s forced t o take  a heightened Instead of  a n unknown r i v a l who t u r n s o u t t o b e s i d e s i n a war where a f r i e n d  turns out  47  to  be  war.  r i v a l i n l o v e and He  advocate of a h e a r t l e s s p o l i t i c a l extreme i n  l e a r n s t h a t m o t i v a t i o n f o r a c t i o n i s n e v e r p u r e , and  human b e i n g s  are only capable  greater extent. t i o n and  This  slow r e v e l a t i o n of the n a t u r e  a c t i o n l e a v e s F o w l e r a t t h e end  "someone t o whom I c o u l d w i t h no to  of a c t i o n w h i c h i s e v i l  say  I was  doctrinal difficulties  b e l i e v e t h a t F o w l e r has  that  to a l e s s e r or  o f human  motiva-  longing f o r the existence  s o r r y " (p. 189).  i n t h i s n o v e l ; we  come t o r e c o g n i z e  We  are  confronted  a r e , however, asked  h i s n e e d f o r God  when,  on t h e b a s i s o f h i s c h a r a c t e r d e v e l o p m e n t t h r o u g h t h e n o v e l , he a man  f a r removed f r o m a s p e c i f i c At  the beginning  of the  tivity.  i n h i s own  to j u s t i f y  I n an a t t e m p t t o d i s s u a d e  i n the n o v e l ,  a f o r e i g n e d i t o r — I was  anything" I'm  not  clarify not  (p. 7 2 ) .  He  and  Not  expressions  t a t i o n w i t h the  s u f f e r i n g i t causes.  and  On  him,  tries  telling  a s d e l u s i o n by h i s  when he  to  about  to P y l e — " I ' m a r e p o r t e r .  "I'm  to frequent  i s thrust into a  seeing  to  Vigot,  However, s u c h c l a i m s  revealed  o f r e a c t i o n t o t h e war  I told  r e a l opinions  s i d e s " (p. 9 6 ) —  i n v o l v e d " (p. 2 8 ) .  detachment a r e undermined and  child  stance  no  h i s i n n o c e n c e i n P y l e ' s m u r d e r f i n a l l y by  involved.  objec-  h i s employer from r e c a l l i n g him  this  engage . . . I don't t a k e  his  confirm h i s apparent  a r e p o r t e r , I had  repeats  Fowler  non-involvement, using  E n g l a n d f o r p r o m o t i o n , he w r i t e s , " I w a s n ' t s u i t a b l e , for  is  commitment.  events recounted  constantly affirms his belief p r o f e s s i o n as a j o u r n a l i s t  religious  of  confron-  a dead mother  and  i n a n a r r o w d i t c h n e a r the b a t t l e - f r o n t of P h a t Diem, F o w l e r  t h i n k s t o h i m s e l f , " I h a t e war" T r o u i n he  (p. 5 3 ) ;  recalls this reaction vividly  on a bombing r a i d  with  a s he w a t c h e s a sampan b l o w n  48  apart  (p. 150), p a i n f u l l y  conscious of t h e unnecessary  i n n o c e n t people i n t h e cause to remind mention  of war.  k i l l i n g of  Even t h e i n n o c e n t P y l e has  Fowler of h i s c l a i m t o non-involvement,  responding t o h i s  o f " o u r s i d e " w i t h " I thought you d i d n ' t have a s i d e "  Fowler's apparent  (p.  100).  detachment and c y n i c i s m a r e r e v e a l e d e a r l y i n t h e  n o v e l t o b e h i s way o f c o p i n g w i t h h i s v u l n e r a b i l i t y a n d s e n s e o f t h e i m p e r m a n e n c e o f human r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  He t e l l s u s  From c h i l d h o o d I had n e v e r b e l i e v e d i n permanence, and y e t I h a d l o n g e d f o r i t . . . I e n v i e d t h o s e who c o u l d b e l i e v e i n a God a n d I d i s t r u s t e d them. I f e l t t h e y w e r e k e e p i n g t h e i r c o u r a g e up w i t h a f a b l e o f t h e c h a n g e l e s s and t h e permanent. Death was f a r m o r e c e r t a i n t h a n God, a n d w i t h d e a t h t h e r e would be no l o n g e r t h e d a i l y p o s s i b i l i t y o f l o v e dying. ( p . 44) The  thought  o f human i n a b i l i t y ;to f u l l y u n d e r s t a n d a n o t h e r human b e i n g  l a t e r makes h i m s a y : P e r h a p s t h a t ' s why men h a v e i n v e n t e d G o d — a b e i n g capable of understanding. Perhaps i f I wanted t o be u n d e r s t o o d o r t o u n d e r s t a n d I w o u l d b a m b o o z l e myself into b e l i e f . ( p . 60,).. F o w l e r makes c l e a r h i s o p i n i o n t h a t God i s a n i n v e n t i o n o f human b e i n g s in their  e f f o r t t o a l l e v i a t e a sense  o f t h e impermanence o f l i f e and  t o compensate f o r t h e i m p e r f e c t l o v e and u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e i r l o w human b e i n g s .  Y e t he c a n n o t  fel-  help but long f o r the comfort of the  a b s o l u t e and t h e permanent t h a t p e o p l e d e r i v e from t h e i r  faith.  His  C a t h o l i c w i f e , H e l e n , makes h e r d e c i s i o n n o t t o g r a n t h i m a d i v o r c e on a  t h e grounds o f f a i t h and n o t on r e a s o n o r emotion.  She t e l l s h i m i n  letter: . . . Thomas, y o u r t r u t h i s a l w a y s s o t e m p o r a r y . What's t h e good o f a r g u i n g w i t h y o u , o r t r y i n g t o make y o u s e e r e a s o n ? I t ' s e a s i e r t o a c t a s my  49  f a i t h t e l l s me t o a c t — a s y o u t h i n k u n r e a s o n a b l y — and s i m p l y t o w r i t e : I don't b e l i e v e i n d i v o r c e : my r e l i g i o n f o r b i d s i t , a n d s o t h e a n s w e r , Thomas is no—no. ( p . 119) Despite accept  h i s c r i t i c i s m of h i s wife's r e l i g i o n s u c h a "cage", he c o n f e s s e s :  87-8)..  and h i s i n a b i l i t y t o  "sometimes I e n v i e d  H i s own p e a c e h e c a n o n l y f i n d  temporarily i n the  o f f e r e d by opium, and i n Phuong, " t h e p r o m i s e o f r e s t " Fowler c o u l d p o s s i b l y have c o n t i n u e d  h e r " (pp.  indefinitely  escape  ( p . 12).  i n this  rather  v a c u o u s s t a t e o f noncommitment had i t n o t been f o r t h e a r r i v a l o f P y l e i n Saigon. Pyle i s everything and  committed.  Fowler i s n o t — y o u t h f u l , i d e a l i s t i c ,  I n i t i a l l y h i s innocence arouses i n Fowler an  innocent, instinct  o f p r o t e c t i o n t o w a r d s t h e man: I t n e v e r o c c u r r e d t o me t h a t t h e r e was g r e a t e r need t o p r o t e c t m y s e l f . Innocence always c a l l s m u t e l y f o r p r o t e c t i o n when we w o u l d b e s o much w i s e r t o guard o u r s e l v e s a g a i n s t i t : innocence i s l i k e a dumb l e p e r who h a s l o s t h i s b e l l , wand e r i n g t h e w o r l d , m e a n i n g n o harm. ( p . 37) Fowler cannot help nesses h i s naivete  feeling  a strange  affection  f o r t h e man a s h e w i t -  and sense o f p r o p r i e t y i n t h e raw e n v i r o n m e n t o f  war-torn  Vietnam, b u t as they  vagaries  o f l o v e and w a r , F o w l e r l e a r n s more and more a b o u t t h e r e a l  nature  of Pyle's  He r e p e a t e d l y but  "innocence"  tells  a r e brought together  and t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f h i s commitment.  P y l e , "'I'm a r e p o r t e r .  slowly learns the impossibility  stance.  through the  I'm n o t e n g a g e ' "  and i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f s u c h a  P y l e ' s u n i n f o r m e d c o m m i t m e n t t o h i s c a u s e makes F o w l e r r e -  a l i z e t h e s e r i o u s dangers i n v o l v e d i n i d e a l i s m devoid an  ( p . 96),  "innocent"  idealism arising  of  experience,  from m o r a l a r r o g a n c e and a l a c k o f  50  imaginative understanding  of i t si m p l i c a t i o n s .  Pyle's  idealism i s  g o v e r n e d by t h e Y o r k H a r d i n g - i n s p i r e d a b s t r a c t i o n s o f "Democracy and Honor"  ( p . 90) w h i c h b l i n d h i m t o t h e c o n c r e t e  suffering fering  involved i n single-minded  i s sanctioned  risks his life  attempting  the very  suf-  When P y l e  t o f i n d F o w l e r a t Phat Diem, F o w l e r  recog-  o f c o n c e i v i n g t h e p a i n he might  t o become i n v o l v e d .  H e ' l l a l w a y s be i n n o c e n t ,  are always g u i l t l e s s . them'"  o f t h e human  cause  ( p . 6 2 ) ; i t i s t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t becomes t h e s t i m u l u s t o  Fowler's conscience good?  p u r s u i t of i d e a l s ;  by t h e c o n c e p t s .that i n s p i r e i t .  n i z e s t h a t "he was s o i n c a p a b l e others"  reality  (p. 163).  " I thought,  you can't  'What's t h e  blame t h e i n n o c e n t ,  they  A l l y o u c a n do i s c o n t r o l them o r e l i m i n a t e  Through h i s experience  of P y l e , Fowler  realizes  t h e d i s c r e p a n c i e s t h a t e x i s t between m o t i v a t i o n and a c t i o n , between a humanitarian realizes  i d e a l i s m and t h e b r u t a l a c t i o n s i t s a n c t i o n s .  He  t h e i n a d e q u a c y o f g o o d i n t e n t i o n s t o r e d e e m human s u f f e r i n g ; ,  ends c a n n o t j u s t i f y  a n y means a s i n n o c e n c e i s no e x c u s e f o r c o n d o n i n g  wrong a c t i o n . Fowler's complacency i s f i r s t  threatened  a r i s e s o f Phuong l e a v i n g him f o r P y l e .  when t h e p o s s i b i l i t y  A f t e r P y l e has solemnly  p o s e d t o P h u o n g t h r o u g h t h e medium o f F o w l e r ' s t r a n s l a t i o n s , men  are astonished  'no'. later  Influenced  when P h u o n g d e c i d e s  Fowler a f t e r P y l e ' s murder i l l u s t r a t e s be d e f e a t e d  by a c h o i c e  Fowler recognizes  simple  s o c i a l s t a t u s , she  to P y l e , but her r e t u r n to how one c h o i c e  e x e r c i s e d by another.  how a l l human b e i n g s  both  t h e i s s u e f o r them w i t h a  by h e r s i s t e r ' s d e s i r e f o r  chooses t o t r a n s f e r her d e v o t i o n  pro-  can u l t i m a t e l y  I n Phuong's  situation,  a r e i m p l i c a t e d i n a common l o t ,  51  and  how a d e c i s i o n i n o n e ..area r e v e r b e r a t e s  i n a n o t h e r so t h a t  v i d u a l and s o c i a l e x i s t e n c e a r e i n s e p a r a b l y f u s e d . security  threatened,  when P y l e ' s b l i n d  Fowler's s o c i a l conscience  nessing  Fowler r e a l i z e s t h e seriousness  strengthened  involvement allows:  p i u s i b l e device  people  t h e i r own v o l i t i o n .  Wit-  of Pyle's "innocent"  i n t e r v e n t i o n o f God, b u t b y t h e m o r e  o f human i n f l u e n c e .  t h e h o r r o r he i s c a p a b l e  complicated  inter-  He i s moved t o q u e s t i o n  T h e r e a r e no g l i b  Fowler f e e l s a s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  witnesses  by h i s s t r a n g e  or easy s o l u -  t o r e m o v e P y l e when h e  of causing, y e t t h i s f e e l i n g i s  affection f o r the  r e t r i e v e h i s own c o m f o r t w i t h P h u o n g .  us  action  h i s own d e l u s i o n o f o b j e c t i v e n o n - i n v o l v e m e n t i s  human r e a l i t y n o t b y t h e d i r e c t  stated;  into  b y o p p o r t u n i t i e s t h a t h i s own p o l i c y o f n o n -  i n f a c t as dangerous as P y l e ' s innocence.  tions:  i s stirred  t h e s u f f e r i n g a n d d e a t h o f p e o p l e who a r e g i v e n n o c h o i c e i n  the matter, ference  With h i s personal  c o n v i c t i o n s lead to the deaths of innocent  who a r e i n v o l v e d i n p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n a g a i n s t  indi-  man a n d h i s d e s i r e t o  These c o n f l i c t s  are not merely  t h e y a r e d e v e l o p e d d r a m a t i c a l l y t h r o u g h n a r r a t i o n t h a t makes  s e e and f e e l what F o w l e r e x p e r i e n c e s :  "the legless torso at the  e d g e o f t h e g a r d e n , " a n d t h e woman "on t h e g r o u n d w i t h w h a t was  left  of h e r baby"  ( p . 162) r o u s e F o w l e r t o q u e s t i o n h i s a t t i t u d e o f n o n -  involvement,  n o t any a b s t r a c t p h i l o s o p h i c a l o r t h e o l o g i c a l r e a s o n i n g .  It  i s pity  t h a t f i n a l l y makes i t i m p o s s i b l e  f o r him t o remain  unin-  volved. T h i s r e c o g n i t i o n o f t h e n e c e s s i t y t o become e n g a g e i s f o r c e d upon F o w l e r n o t o n l y t h r o u g h t h e p r e s e n c e o f P y l e , b u t a l s o encounters w i t h various people during  the time recounted  through  i n the novel.  52  When h e v i s i t s P h a t D i e m , h e m e e t s a p r i e s t Cathedral below.  reading  t e l l s h i m "we a r e n e u t r a l h e r e .  b u t when h e d i s c o v e r s t h e p r i e s t  human c o n d i t i o n . when t h e y  This  i s God's  of non-  i s the only a v a i l a b l e  s u r g e o n a n d n o t i c e s t h a t " h i s s o u t a n e was s p e c k l e d realizes that non-partisanship  refugees  This  ( p . 4 9 ) , F o w l e r assumes h i s words i m p l y a s t a n c e  involvement,  he  tower o f t h e  h i s b r e v i a r y away f r o m t h e n o i s y c r o w d o f  When t h e p r i e s t  territory"  i n the b e l l  with blood"  same p r i e s t ' s w o r d s t o h i m o n t h i s  h a d much t o r e g r e t "  occasion  (p. 5 0 ) , a r e an i r o n i c  c i p a t i o n of t h e emotions Fowler experiences  I don't anti-  o n c e h e h a s become e n g a g e .  A f t e r Phuong's d e s e r t i o n o f h i m , F o w l e r t r i e s  t o escape h i s misery  by  of involvement  going  n o r t h , but h e c a n n o t e s c a p e t h e i d e a s  plague him. will  Trouin  49),  d o e s . n o t mean d e t a c h m e n t f r o m t h e  t a l k a b o u t c o n f e s s i o n , " I e x p e c t y o u a r e a g o o d man.  suppose you've ever  (p.  that  t e l l s h i m , "One d a y s o m e t h i n g w i l l h a p p e n .  t a k e a s i d e " ( p . 1 5 1 ) , a n d "We  You  a l l g e t i n v o l v e d i n a moment o f  e m o t i o n a n d t h e n we c a n n o t g e t o u t " ( p . 1 5 2 ) . F o w l e r i s r e m i n d e d o f this conversation and is  l a t e r when h e v i s i t s  Heng t o d i s c u s s P y l e ' s  Heng t e l l s h i m , " S o o n e r o r l a t e r o n e h a s t o t a k e t o r e m a i n human"  himself  (p. 174).  sides.  But Fowler i s t e r r i f i e d  t o a s i d e , and d u r i n g P y l e ' s  of  l a s t hours of l i f e ,  removal, I f one  committing  he r e c a l l s  t h a t h e h o p e d c h a n c e o r " t h a t Somebody i n whom I d i d n ' t b e l i e v e " ( p . 180) w o u l d r e l i e v e h i m o f t h e b u r d e n o f d e c i s i o n , j u s t a s c h a n c e had  always been t h e convenient  a game o f c a r d s .  controlling  He f e e l s j u s t i f i e d  m u r d e r when P y l e l i g h t l y  f a c t o r i n winning  i n participating  or losing  i n the American's  says t h a t t h e c a s u a l t i e s i n t h a t morning's  bomb, e x p l o s i o n " d i e d i n t h e r i g h t c a u s e "  ( p . 1 7 9 ) . When P y l e  upsets  53  h i s g l a s s and  i t s m a s h e s on  b o t t l e s i n the P a v i l i o n bar P y l e ' s m e n t i o n of h a v i n g that evening  provides  m o r n i n g ' s e v e n t s and cause they  had  i n g i v i n g him  the f l o o r , Fowler i s reminded of dripping their  and  too  t h e two  been warned. t h a t one  A m e r i c a n g i r l s who Yet  chance"  still  it;  he  himself  tries  he  (p. 180),  out w i t h  Fowler  gets  he  the  escaped massacre  dallies:  " T h e r e was  t h i n k s a s he  His f i n a l  harm  assures  sense of  so much i n h a v i n g  be-  no  caught at the L e g a t i o n  appointment.  a f t e r P y l e ' s death i s not  in deluding  180);  y e t a f u r t h e r g r i m r e m i n d e r t o F o w l e r of  l a t e f o r their dinner  guilt  (p.  " w a r n e d " P h u o n g he m i g h t be  P y l e t h a t i t d o e s n o t m a t t e r i f he is  contents"  "the  and failure  caused the death  t h a t chance bears the u l t i m a t e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  t o evade the e x i s t e n t i a l i s t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of  c o n s e q u e n c e s o f e x e r c i s i n g h i s f r e e c h o i c e , and  for  accepting  he m u s t s u f f e r a c -  cordingly. F o w l e r has  b e e n f a c e d w i t h t h e p a n g s o f g u i l t many t i m e s  d e s p i t e h i s c l a i m t o n o n - i n v o l v e m e n t i n t h e human c o n d i t i o n : distant ancestors asks,  had  g i v e n me  this  stupid conscience?"  and  conscience  his unjust treatment v  prompts him  o f t h e g u a r d who  had  o f t h e man  t o make h i s r e s c u e r s  c r i e d out  o v e r Phuong.  knows t h a t h i s own  of the caused.  two  men  This  i n v e s t i g a t e the  i n p a i n from the ruined  r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h a t v o i c e c r y i n g i n the dark"  end  "What he  f e e l i n g g u i l t y w h i l e t h i n k i n g of h i s d e c e i t t o P y l e i n h i s  letter  and  before,  ( p . 130)  ( p . 113), he  sense of peace i s c o n t i n g e n t  "I  was  reflects,  upon the  u n w i t t i n g l y i n v o l v e d i n t h e ambush he a n d  same  condition  tower:  Pyle  peace had  F o w l e r ' s d e s i r e to evade the knowledge of h i s p a r t i n P y l e ' s  i s apparent i n h i s r e a c t i o n to Granger's request  to step  as  outside  the  54  w i t h him a t the Vieux  Moulin:  I was i n no mood t o f i g h t w i t h h i m b u t a t t h a t moment I w o u l d n o t h a v e m i n d e d i f h e h a d b e a t e n me unconscious. We h a v e s o f e w w a y s i n w h i c h .to a s suage t h e sense o f g u i l t . ( p . 184) When h e i s f i r s t  called  to Vigot's o f f i c e i n connection  with  Pyle's  m u r d e r , he a n t i c i p a t e s V i g o t ' s m a i n q u e s t i o n w i t h t h e r e s p o n s e , "Not guilty",  a d d i n g " I t o l d m y s e l f i t was t r u e " ( p . 1 8 ) , a n d l a t e r i n t h e  interview:  " I t o l d myself again  t h i r d and f i n a l  I was i n n o c e n t "  (p. 2 0 ) . A f t e r h i s  interview with Vigot, the French o f f i c e r leaves  the words, " I don't suppose I ' l l t r o u b l e you a g a i n " " a t t h e door he t u r n e d h i s hope o r mine" Fowler w i l l case,  confess  (p. 170), b u t ,  as though he were u n w i l l i n g t o abandon  (pp. 170-71).  The C a t h o l i c V i g o t hopes  h i s part i n the crime,  but also t o r e l i e v e  with  hope—  that  not only to solve the  him of h i s burden of g u i l t .  Such an a c t i o n  would be an i l l u s t r a t i o n o f t h e d e l i b e r a t e i n t e n t t o s h i f t m o r a l r e s ponsibility  t h a t S a r t r e sees inherent  i n the Catholic r i t e  s i o n , and would deny F o w l e r ' s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y done, whatever t h e a t t e n d a n t At  the beginning  "invented  t o accept  capable  of understanding"  their  p e o p l e who  (p. 6 0 ) , e x p r e s s i n g  e n v y o f s u c h a means t o e s c a p e human f a l l i b i l i t y distrusting  what he has  anguish.  o f h i s s t o r y , Fowler had d e r i d e d  G o d — a being  of confes-  and f r a i l t y , y e t  " f a b l e o f t h e c h a n g e l e s s and t h e permanent"  (p.  44).  He i s c a u g h t i n a d i l e m m a o f l o n g i n g f o r t h e b e n e f i t s a f f o r d e d b y a formal  f a i t h w h i l e knowing t h a t he cannot b e l i e v e i n and a c c e p t t h e  e x i s t e n c e o f God. moral choices  H i s freedom from any b e l i e f  imprisons  t h a t would d i r e c t , h i s  him i n t h e dilemma o f doubt and u n c e r t a i n t y  55  that i s t h e source  of his e x i s t e n t i a l  anguish  as h i s s t o r y  progresses.  H o w e v e r , t o w a r d s t h e e n d o f t h e s t o r y , G r e e n e i n t r o d u c e s a new d i r e c tion  i n Fowler's thoughts that i s i n s u f f i c i e n t l y  preceding tulation to  events and influences.:, to faith.  This  i sfirst  h i m when, i n h i s i n a b i l i t y  Pyle's death,  Fowler begins  prepared  to manifest  apparent during Pyle's  t o commit h i m s e l f  f o r by a capi-  last  visit  t o b r i n g i n g about  he s a y s :  I h a n d e d b a c k t h e d e c i s i o n t o t h a t Somebody i n whom I d i d n ' t b e l i e v e : Y o u c a n i n t e r v e n e i f y o u want t o . . . Y o u cannot e x i s t u n l e s s y o u have t h e power t o a l t e r t h e f u t u r e . ( p . 180) A f t e r he i s q u e s t i o n e d he  f i n d s a telegram  irrationally" proceedings and  reason.  by V i g o t and r e t u r n s t o h i s f l a t  f r o m h i s w i f e , who c o n f e s s e s  (p. 188),  Her f a i t h  to consider  terms:  Pyle.  someone t o whom I c o u l d  relief  and i n c o n s i s t e n c y o f f a i t h  o r happy o r hungry"  ( p . 94) he had  I n s t e a d , he c a n o n l y l o n g s e n t i m e n t a l l y f o r t h e  a m e l i o r a t i o n o f the . r i t e s  a c t u a l l y express  t h u s be c o n -  " a Roman C a t h o l i c b e l i e v e s i n q u i t e a d i f -  f e r e n t God when h e ' s s c a r e d told  divorce  on grounds o f f a i t h  husband, and should  f i r m a t i o n t o Fowler o f t h e i r r a t i o n a l i t y  earlier  t o begin the  i s t h u s seen t o be c o n t r a r y t o t h e h u m a n i t a r i a n  concern she f e e l s f o r h e r estranged  i n humanitarian  she has been " a c t i n g  and has t h e r e f o r e decided  she had p r e v i o u s l y r e f u s e d  and Phuong,  of f a i t h :  "how I w i s h e d t h e r e e x i s t e d  s a y t h a t I was s o r r y " ( p . 1 8 9 ) .  He d o e s n o t  remorse f o r what he h a s done; he m e r e l y d e s i r e s t h e  from h i s g u i l t  t h a t he sees i n h e r e n t  i n the a c tof confession.  Having been f o r c e d o u t o f h i s i n d i f f e r e n c e t o a s t a t e o f b e i n g F o w l e r ' s l a s t words a r e an e v a s i o n  i nhumanitarian  terms o f  engage,  56  t h e e t h i c a l a n g u i s h he m u s t f a c e and The setting,  issues confronted  i n the n o v e l are created  by  the  man.  political  b u t go b e y o n d t h e p o l i t i c s t o i n c l u d e t h e w i d e r a n d  permanent m o r a l problems is  l i v e w i t h as a committed  a prime  compelled  of awareness,  c h o i c e , and  action.  more Fowler  example of the t r a g e d y of the e x i s t e n t i a l i s t hero: to exercise h i s free w i l l  and  a c t , he  when  i s as t r o u b l e d l i v i n g  w i t h t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f h i s a c t i o n a s he had b e e n l i v i n g w i t h d e n i a l of h i s freedom  t o c h o o s e and  act.  But Greene undermines  s u f f e r i n g F o w l e r must e x p e r i e n c e i n s u c h a dilemma by religious  considerations  o r what has  is  the p r i e s t  not i n t e g r a l  asked  to imagine  introducing  to the moral  He h a s  forgiveness  fering his  and  a t P h a t Diem, and  Fowler's wife—whose  t o shaping Fowler's moral awareness,  novel—  Catholicism  y e t we  are  t h a t F o w l e r ' s e x i s t e n t i a l a n g u i s h h a s become some-  a t t h e end.  torment  F o w l e r e x p e r i e n c e s a s he b e c o m e s e n g a g e  Apart from t h i s unprepared there  confession  Such a c o n c l u s i o n undermines t h e  d e s i r e f o r a n e a s y and u n c o m m i t t e d  of the n o v e l ,  develop-  three C a t h o l i c c h a r a c t e r s i n the  t h i n g o f a C a t h o l i c q u e s t a s he e x p r e s s e s t h e n e e d f o r and  who  I t seems t h a t G r e e n e c o u l d n o t e n t i r e l y f o r e g o a  Catholic flavouring. Vigot,  the  t h a t are n e i t h e r n a t u r a l consequences of  gone b e f o r e n o r a l o g i c a l c o n c l u s i o n  ment o f F o w l e r .  the  is little  evidence f o r the c r i t i c a l  l a c k of understanding of r e l i g i o u s  despite  life.  s h i f t of focus i n the f i n a l  Greene has a s p e c i f i c a l l y r e l i g i o u s  suf-  focus i n the novel.  section  opinion  that  Fowler's  f a i t h accentuates the anguish  he  e x p e r i e n c e s a s he t r i e s t o make d e c i s i o n s on t h e a u t h o r i t y o f h i s individual  response  to s i t u a t i o n s .  H i s freedom  f r o m any  belief  or  own  57  commitment t h a t m i g h t  d i r e c t h i s moral c h o i c e s i m p r i s o n s him i n the  dilemma of c o n s t a n t doubt and u n c e r t a i n t y t h a t i s a t t h e h e a r t o f the novel.  T h i s view concurs w i t h Pryce-Jones's assessment  F o w l e r a s a man  of  i n a moral predicament without r e l i g i o u s resources.  The e f f e c t o f t h e n o v e l r e l i e s caught i n such a c r i s i s ;  o n t h e c o n v i n c i n g p o r t r a i t o f a man  however, Greene's  sympathetic presentation  o f F o w l e r ' s l o n g i n g f o r c o n f e s s i o n a n d f o r g i v e n e s s a t t h e e n d seems t o be a n a t t e m p t t o p r o v i d e an u n w a r r a n t e d Fowler's p s y c h o l o g i c a l condition.  theological solution to  Fowler's d e s i r e t o escape t h e  burden of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r h i s a c t i o n i s a p r e c a r i o u s b a s i s f o r seeking f a i t h ,  and undermines  t h e development, o f F o w l e r ' s  t h a t he must a c c e p t and b e a r t h e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y a c t i o n s t h a t commitment e n t a i l s The Q u i e t A m e r i c a n manship i n w r i t i n g :  "if  awareness  f o r t h e d e c i s i o n s and  one i s t o r e m a i n human"  shows e v i d e n c e o f G r e e n e ' s  (p. 174).  maturing  crafts-  t h e n o v e l .is developed t h r o u g h a c a r e f u l l y  struc-  tured flashback technique that creates e f f e c t i v e juxtapositions of t h e p r e s e n t and t h e p a s t , a n d e x h i b i t s a more s o p h i s t i c a t e d u s e o f i m a g e r y t h a n i s a p p a r e n t i n t h e more s e l f - c o n s c i o u s i m a g e r y o f h i s earlier novels.  1 0  I t a l s o shows e v i d e n c e o f b r o a d r e l i g i o u s  concerns  r a t h e r than s p e c i f i c C a t h o l i c d o c t r i n e ; however, i n t h e f i n a l its  credibility  1 o  s u f f e r s from t h e i n t r u s i o n of Greene's  analysis,  Catholic  Compare "He c o u l d f e e l h i s p r a y e r s w e i g h h i m down l i k e u n d i g e s t e d f o o d " ( p . 1 5 1 ) , a n d "He d r a n k t h e b r a n d y down l i k e d a m n a t i o n " ( p . 169) i n T h e P o w e r a n d t h e G l o r y w i t h "Now h i s i l l n e s s came l i k e a m e r c y , r e p r i e v i n g me f r o m t h e t r e a d m i l l o f p r i v a t e a n x i e t y " ( p . 1 2 2 ) , a n d " A n o t h e r c u p was r i n s e d o n t h e f l o o r a n d p u t l i k e a l i v e c o a l i n t o my h a n d s — t h e o r d e a l b y t e a " ( p . 1 2 6 ) i n T h e Q u i e t A m e r i c a n .  l e a n i n g s i n the f i n a l e of the  novel.  59  CHAPTER 4 THE  COMEDIANS  I f o n l y we h a d b e e n b o r n c l o w n s , n o t h i n g b a d would happen t o us e x c e p t a few b r u i s e s and a smear o f w h i t e w a s h . Graham G r e e n e , Our Man i n H a v a n a  The  Quiet  American deals  e s s e n t i a l l y with the nature  of s o c i a l  commitment t h r u s t upon i n d i v i d u a l s i n a c r i t i c a l war s i t u a t i o n . t h i s novel, remaining  d e t a c h e d means b e a r i n g  suffering of the innocent, sense of g u i l t  f o r t h e d e a t h o f o n e man who c a u s e s s u f f e r i n g .  experience:  the i m p l i c a t i o n s of innocence  t o escape the world  a t l a r g e and i n v o l v e  a n o n y m o u s l y a t a l e p r o s e r i e i n t h e Congo i n a n a t t e m p t t o  discover f o rhimself  t h e p o i n t a t w h i c h i n n o c e n c e and hope a r e l o s t  t o be r e p l a c e d by c y n i c i s m and d e s p a i r . states that the novel various types  I n h i s d e d i c a t i o n , Greene  i s "an attempt t o g i v e dramatic  of b e l i e f , h a l f - b e l i e f ,  contact with a l l three is  Cir-  i n Greene's next n o v e l , A Burnt-Out Case (1961), t h e  c e n t r a l f i g u r e , Querry, t r i e s himself  f o r the  w h i l e b e c o m i n g i n v o l v e d means c a r r y i n g a  cumstances f o r c e Fowler t o q u e s t i o n and  responsibility  In  and n o n - b e l i e f " :  expression to after  close  c o n d i t i o n s , Querry i s l a s t heard saying,  a b s u r d o r e l s e . . ." ( p . 2 0 5 ) . T h e s u g g e s t i o n  may b e , a f t e r a l l o n e ' s q u e s t s  "This  that the universe  and q u e s t i o n s , m e r e l y a b s u r d i s c e n t r a l  t o t h e theme o f G r e e n e ' s n e x t n o v e l , The C o m e d i a n s , i n . w h i c h h e l i k e w i s e s t u d i e s t h e spectrum- o f b e l i e f  and commitment.  60  The  C o m e d i a n s , l i k e The  t i c a l novel" tical  1  according  p e r s e c u t i o n and  Quiet  American, " i s e s s e n t i a l l y  t o Greene.  The  return to a s e t t i n g  t e r r o r r e c a l l s The  whereas i n the e a r l i e r n o v e l  Power and  the s e t t i n g provides  i n The  P o w e r and  o f t h e n o v e l i s g e n e r a t e d by  to  the  t h o s e whom t h e r e g i m e p e r s e c u t e s , or r e l i g i o u s  i d e o l o g y , and  l i e u t e n a n t and  of these  as none q u i t e s u c c e e d s o r s u r v i v e s i n H a i t i ,  trying  t o say and  evil,  unsympathetic  observing  poli-  other  commitments viability  i s he  therefore  are powerless i n the f a c e of  o r t h a t some o t h e r  In  a cruel dictator-  ship:  tionality  antithetical  to examine the  c o n d i t i o n s i m p o s e d by  t h a t human b e i n g s  tension  the p r i e s t .  to their different  Greene's concern i s a p p a r e n t l y  creeds w i t h i n the  as  i s uncommitted to e i t h e r a  e x i s t s i n a limbo  people's attempts to l i v e according or dreams.  i s seen  c o n f l i c t between these  seen i n the persons of the  commit-  much o f t h e  Comedians, t h e c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r , Brown, w h i l e n o t  tical  but,  Comedians,  social  the Glory  d r a m a t i c a l l y opposed t o r e l i g i o u s c o n v i c t i o n , and  The  poli-  the G l o r y ,  v a r i o u s f o r m s o f p o l i t i c a l and  P o l i t i c a l c o m m i t m e n t i n The  f o r c e s as  of  i s t h e b a c k d r o p f o r t h e b l a c k comedy t h a t i s  enacted to i l l u s t r a t e ment.  poli-  the c o n d i t i o n s f o r  t h e p r i e s t ' s d i s c o v e r y o f h i s v o c a t i o n u n d e r God, the h o r r o r of H a i t i  a  irra-  f o r c e i s the only s o l u t i o n to  it? C r i t i c a l o p i n i o n on  this  issue i s divided.  Michael  Routh  "Graham G r e e n e : On t h e S c r e e n , " a n i n t e r v i e w w i t h G r e e n e by Gene D. P h i l l i p s , i n Graham G r e e n e : A C o l l e c t i o n o f C r i t i c a l E s s a y s , ed. Samuel Hynes (Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1973), p. 173. 1  61  a r g u e s t h a t " i n The power c a p a b l e w i t h i n man  Comedians i t i s c l e a r  that there i s , i n fact,  of redeeming the d e s t r u c t i v e i m p u l s e s  and w i t h i n s o c i e t y . "  at work  both  C h a r l e s M u l l e r , on t h e o t h e r  2  sees t h e n o v e l as a s u b t l e t r i u m p h  f o r Greene's r e l i g i o u s  no  hand,  themes:  F o r G r e e n e t h e t r a g i c v i s i o n o f The C o m e d i a n s , t h e r e f o r e , becomes a n i m p o r t a n t i l l u s t r a t i o n t h a t l i f e w i t h o u t God m u s t r e m a i n e m p t y — m u s t , i n f a c t , r e m a i n a b s u r d . . . H e p o r t r a y s a w o r l d r u i n e d and r e n d e r e d a b s u r d by O r i g i n a l S i n , a w o r l d i n w h i c h man c a n do n o t h i n g t o s a v e h i m s e l f w i t h o u t t h e i n t e r v e n t i o n o f G r a c e . . . The a b s e n c e o f any u l t i m a t e form of s a l v a t i o n i s s u f f i c i e n t to i l l u s t r a t e t h e d i r e h o p e l e s s n e s s of t h e w o r l d . . . and i n t h i s v e r y p a r a d o x i c a l way G r a c e , o r t h e g o o d n e s s o f God i s a g a i n v i n d i c a t e d a n d a f f i r m e d b y G r e e n e . 3  S u c h a c o n c l u s i o n p r e s u m e s t h a t t h e v a r i o u s f o r m s o f s o c i a l and tical  commitment i n t h e n o v e l  by a s p e c i f i c o f any  and  (or l a c k of e i t h e r ) have been c h a l l e n g e d  p o s i t i v e r e l i g i o u s dimension.  u l t i m a t e form of s a l v a t i o n i s s u f f i c i e n t  hopelessness  While  "the  absence  to i l l u s t r a t e  the  of the w o r l d " i t takes something of a leap of f a i t h  p r e s s u m e t h a t " G r a c e , o r t h e g o o d n e s s o f God" p o s t u l a t e s to such hopelessness the n o v e l i t s e l f .  poli-  without  i s the answer  evidence  dire to  Greene  o f such an answer i n  Recourse t o the whole canon of Greene's work f o r  a n a n s w e r t o t h e q u e s t i o n s p o s e d by The  C o m e d i a n s c a n o n l y be  valid  if  w i t h i n the novel.  I have  s u b s t a n t i a t e d by arguments d e v e l o p e d  attempted concerns  t o show, G r e e n e h a s moved s t e a d i l y away f r o m C a t h o l i c (first  apparent  i n B r i g h t o n Rock and  c u l m i n a t i n g i n The  M i c h a e l Routh, "Greene's Parody of Farce C o m e d i a n s , " R e n a s c e n c e , 26 ( 1 9 7 4 ) , 150. 2  C h a r l e s M u l l e r , "Graham G r e e n e and S t u d i e s , 1 0 , No. 2 ( 1 9 7 2 ) , 44. 3  As  and  Comedy i n  the Absurd,"  End  The  Unisa English  62  of  the A f f a i r ) t o a broader r e l i g i o u s view of the universe,  is  little  i n The Comedians t o s u g g e s t a r e v e r s a l o f t h i s  and t h e r e  trend.  M u l l e r ' s argument cannot t h e r e f o r e be s u b s t a n t i a t e d by r e f e r e n c e  to a  c o n s i s t e n t r e l i g i o u s c o n c e r n i n Greene's work because t h i s has changed q u i t e r a d i c a l l y , n o r c a n i t be c o r r o b o r a t e d as C a t h o l i c i s m  ( o r any form o f f a i t h  developed by Greene as a f o r c e s t r o n g  by e v i d e n c e from t h e t e x t ,  i n God, f o r t h a t m a t t e r ) i s n o t e n o u g h t o counter.,  the other  convictions or i n d i f f e r e n c e apparent i n the novel. Brown, i n f a c t , Jesuit education  attributes h i s prevailing indifference tothe  he r e c e i v e d a s a boy i n Monte C a r l o .  He t e l l s u s :  When I was a b o y I h a d f a i t h i n t h e C h r i s t i a n God. L i f e u n d e r h i s shadow was a v e r y s e r i o u s a f f a i r . I saw H i m i n c a r n a t e d i n e v e r y t r a g e d y . . . . Now t h a t I a p p r o a c h e d t h e e n d o f l i f e i t was o n l y my s e n s e o f humour t h a t e n a b l e d me s o m e t i m e s t o b e l i e v e i n Him. L i f e was a comedy, n o t t h e t r a g e d y f o r w h i c h I had been p r e p a r e d . . . (p. 31) Having experienced no  longer  ponsible  the i r r a t i o n a l i t y  believe i n the existence  and a b s u r d i t y o f l i f e ,  of a benign, omniscient  f o r i t s c r e a t i o n and p r e s e r v a t i o n .  he  c a n o n l y b e l i e v e i n God a s t h e a r c h - j o k e r  of  life.  a world  the understanding  there  of l i f e  Lawrence.  this  destined  born i n t o such He d a t e s  a s a comedy i n w h i c h we a l l p l a y a p a r t t o  o f Romeo a n d J u l i e t  Up u n t i l  existence;  i s purpose and a c t a c c o r d i n g l y .  a school production  be  who d i r e c t s t h e comedy  s o l u t i o n t o t h e problem of being  i s t o pretend  God r e s -  I n h i s l i g h t e r moments  He c a n p e r c e i v e n o m e a n i n g o r r e a s o n b e h i n d  therefore, the only  Brown c a n  time,  for the vocation  i n w h i c h he p l a y e d  Brown r e l a t e s , he b e l i e v e d  of priesthood,  Friar himself to  but "the interminable  r e h e a r s a l s , t h e c o n t i n u a l p r e s e n c e o f t h e l o v e r s and t h e s e n s u a l i t y  63  of t h e i r p a s s i o n way  into a l o c a l casino  p a s s as an me  one  lines"  afternoon,  (p. 6 1 ) .  h i s l i n e s and  As  s i t u a t i o n f o r the  afternoon,  l e c t i o n bag  and  (p. 6 0 ) .  i n the  d i r e c t o r of  light  the m i s t r e s s  of the he  t h e p l a y who  l a m p s , had  acquires  i s discovered  a t m a s s and  ( p . 62)  this  (p. 61).  says, He  "We  i s forced  t h e J e s u i t s , "we  (p.  He  d i s t r u s t s and  by all  the  fathers:  reminded of t h e i r  had  Instead  197);  escape being He  a v i c t i m of  181),  showing res-  unmasked.  play  now" believe  an  op-  wonders "whether  the  a l l a gigantic  a V o o d o o c e r e m o n y , Brown  (p.  col-  L u i s were  t o J e s u s when J o n e s o f f e r s h i m  comments, " I t o l d m y s e l f t h a t I h a d n ' t l e f t v i c t i m o f an A f r i c a n god"  and  two  the  "a g r u d g i n g  been l e d to  them t o o f f e r o r w h e t h e r i t was  after witnessing  the  of  being  her  s t o r y about the d e v i l d i s p l a y i n g  p o r t u n i t y t o become a p o s s i b l e m i l l i o n a i r e , he  (p.  lotions,  to leave  know t h e k i n d o f p a r t we  r e s e n t s w h a t he  the kingdoms of the w o r l d  d e v i l r e a l l y had  escapade wipes  dropping a r o u l e t t e token i n t o the  t e l l s M a r t h a t h a t , b e c a u s e he  by  a  might have been  h i s e s c a p a d e i s made known.  b r o u g h t up  "taught  Brown r e c o g n i z e s  f o r h i s e x p l o i t of p l a y i n g a p a r t w i t h o u t  Many y e a r s l a t e r he  163).  had  to  passed f o r genuine  during  p o t s o f pomade" ( p . 6 1 ) ,  comedy t h a t i t i s . a n d  bluffed his  w h i c h "on  d i s a p p o i n t m e n t , B r o w n s a y s t h e f a t h e r s seemed t o f e e l pect"  He  attributes his ability  s e c r e t s o f make-up" (p. 60)  sharing a dressing-room"  c o l l e g e a f t e r he  breakout"  w r i n k l e s ; i n t h e b a t h r o o m "where l a y h e r  eyebrow p e n c i l s , her  actors  t o my  a d u l t to the dramatic  a d e q u a t e l y enough t h e  winter's  off  . . . l e d me  caustically  t h e J e s u i t s t o be  implying  t h a t he  bluff"  had  the  managed  to  the J e s u i t s ' b e l i e f .  cannot, however, f u l l y  escape the C a t h o l i c n o t i o n s  that  are  64  ascribed In  t o him by o t h e r s because  h i s d i s c u s s i o n w i t h Concasseur  communism, C o n c a s s e u r w h i c h he r e p l i e s , (p.  147).  Catholic, You  Martha, presuming  Martha left (p.  A C a t h o l i c who  (p. 162).  a l l s u c h a b s o l u t e s b e h i n d me 225).  lost his faith" a  You b e l i e v e i n something. "Have I ? tells  i n communism, a d d i n g , " I  i n the Chapel of the  Visitation"  A l t h o u g h u n a b l e t o b e l i e v e a r d e n t l y i n any c r e e d  because  h i s r a t i o n a l i n s i g h t s and o b s e r v a t i o n s , Brown c a n r e c o g n i z e t h e one o u t o f c o m p l a c e n c y  w h i c h he a t t r i b u t e s  B r o w n m u s e s , "How left  s t r a n g e l y one m u s t a p p e a r  ground  (p. 2 8 6 ) .  I was  certain,  T h o s e p e o p l e who  Catholicism.  to other people. i n the College of  know o f h i s C a t h o l i c  seem t o e x p e c t some f o r m o f b e l i e f  Brown  received after h i s death,  t o Brown a f a i t h beyond o f f i c a l  i n v o l v e m e n t b e h i n d me,  Visitation"  and a c q u i e s c e n c e .  t h a t p e r h a p s B r o w n i s a p r e t r e manque, a l a b e l  r e c a l l s when r e a d i n g D r . M a g i o t ' s l e t t e r ,  of  to  On a n o t h e r o c c a s i o n he  t h a t he e n v i e s D r . M a g i o t ' s b e l i e f  Martha r e f l e c t s  his  has  Brown's J e s u i t e d u c a t i o n makes him  believe?"  and  speak l i k e a C a t h o l i c , "  " I e n v y y o u and L u i s .  power o f f a i t h t o l i f t  in  capitalism  have e x p l a n a t i o n s , " and draws f r o m Brown t h e r e s p o n s e :  Do y o u t h i n k I s t i l l  of  Perhaps.  or h i s a t t i t u d e s .  a t the b r o t h e l about  s a y s t o B r o w n , "You  "Yes.  t e l l s him,  of h i s background  from him:  I had the back-  only Jones, i n  i g n o r a n c e o f B r o w n , c a n s h r e w d l y comment f r o m h i s own o b s e r v a t i o n s t h e man,  would  say"  "Of  c o u r s e I'm  (p. 4 0 ) .  n o t a r e l i g i o u s man  . . . You n e i t h e r  J o n e s i s f o r c e d i n t o a c t i o n a t t h e end n o t  c a u s e he b e l i e v e s a r d e n t l y  i n the e f f i c a c y of such a c t i o n , but  I be-  because  he w a n t s t o p r o v e t h e t r u t h o f h i s d e c e p t i o n . As Dr. M a g i o t b e l i e v e s r e l i g i o n  t o b e " a n e x c e l l e n t means o f  65  t h e r a p y f o r many s t a t e s o f m i n d " dooism  (p. 176), and t h e r e f o r e v i e w s Voo-  as " t h e r i g h t therapy f o rH a i t i a n s "  r e l i g i o u s creed or p o l i t i c a l kind of false security.  (p. 1 7 6 ) , Brown s e e s a  f a i t h a s a " t e m p t a t i o n " ( p . 2 7 9 ) t o some  I t i s a t e m p t a t i o n h e h a s t u r n e d down, a n d  he h a s d e c i d e d i n s t e a d t o e m b r a c e " t h e w h o l e w o r l d o f e v i l a n d o f g o o d " (p. 2 7 9 ) , a p h i l o s o p h y he d e l u d e s h i m s e l f i n t o b e l i e v i n g  i n an attempt  t o ease " t h e never q u i e t c o n s c i e n c e w h i c h had been i n j e c t e d w i t h o u t my c o n s e n t  . . . by t h e f a t h e r s o f t h e V i s i t a t i o n "  into (p.  He i s a w a r e o f t h e h o l l o w i n h i m s e l f c a u s e d b y h i s b a c k g r o u n d  me 279).  and  lack of f a i t h  i n any one c a u s e o r b e i n g — " N o  p r i e s t h a d come t o r e p r e -  sent a father  t o me, a n d no r e g i o n o f t h e e a r t h h a d t a k e n t h e p l a c e  o f home" ( p . 2 2 3 ) — y e t h e r e v e a l s no s e n s e o f a n g u i s h o v e r h i s i n d i f f e r e n c e , and c o n f e s s e s h i m s e l f a t t h e end " n o t m e r e l y l o v e — m a n y a r e i n c a p a b l e o f t h a t , b u t even o f g u i l t "  incapable of  (p. 286).  Such  a s t a t e m e n t i s c o r r o b o r a t e d b y B r o w n .'s a c t i o n s t h r o u g h o u t t h e n o v e l : he i s m o t i v a t e d t o r e t u r n t o H a i t i a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e e v e n t s r e l a t e d because  he found he m i s s e d  t h e danger  o f t h e p l a c e a n d was  d r a w n b y a m b i t i o n a n d b y :the h o p e o f f i n a n c i a l g a i n , n o t b e c a u s e felt  b o u n d t o t h e p e o p l e i n a n y way; h e s a y s h e d i s c o v e r e d h e l o v e d  M a r t h a w h i l e i n New Y o r k , b u t t h e i r a l o v e l e s s h a b i t and f i z z l e s  sordid a f f a i r  because  o f any p o l i t i c a l  appears  t o be m e r e l y  o u t once t h e y b o t h leave H a i t i and i t s  dangers; he i s m o t i v a t e d t o a s s i s t Jones  i n a p o l i t i c a l manoeuvre n o t  commitment b u t b e c a u s e  he i s j e a l o u s o f t h e  a f f e c t i o n M a r t h a o b v i o u s l y f e e l s f o r J o n e s ; and he e v i n c e s no of g u i l t The  he  f o r knowingly l e a d i n g Jones  priest's brief  i n t o danger  sense  and thus t o h i s death.  sermon a t t h e f u n e r a l ceremony f o r Jones and t h e  66  H a i t i a n p a t r i o t s has strikingly expression charity,  l i t t l e a p p a r e n t e f f e c t on  u n o r t h o d o x and  p o l i t i c a l nature:  of l o v e , i n d i f f e r e n c e never.  the other  the r i t u a l s  p r o m i s e s o f amendment, w h i c h he college. deceived he and  He  was  i t t o be,  thus useless  but  i n an  (p. 3 1 ) .  d i s c u s s i o n w i t h young 'You  i s an  are  was  be  the  had  of  Brown can  only  confessions left  o n l y b e c a u s e he a tragedy  can  imperfection  (p. 283).  r e j e c t e d o n c e he  r e j e c t e d C a t h o l i c i s m not  practical joker"  One  of C a t h o l i c i s m , the  into believing that l i f e  discovered  "Violence  the p e r f e c t i o n of egoism"  r e c a l l at this point  Brown d e s p i t e i t s  the  f e l t he  and  Jesuit had  been  i n s t e a d of  the  comedy  a l s o because C a t h o l i c i s m stood  for  reason  absurd universe This  point  " d r i v e n by  an a u t h o r i t a t i v e  i s b r o u g h t home t o B r o w n i n h i s  Philipot: going  back t o Voodoo,  Philipot.'  'And why n o t ? P e r h a p s t h e g o d s f r o m Dahomey a r e w h a t we n e e d now.' 'You a r e a C a t h o l i c . Y o u b e l i e v e i n r e a s o n . ' 'The V o o d o o i s t s a r e C a t h o l i c t o o , and we d o n ' t l i v e i n a world of reason.'(p. 172) The  f o r c e of P h i l i p o t ' s  final  d a y s l a t e r when he w i t n e s s e s  s t a t e m e n t becomes r e a l t o Brown a a Voodoo c e r e m o n y and  sees the  power the young p a t r i o t s d e r i v e f r o m t h e p r i m i t i v e r i t u a l s beyond the bounds of r e a s o n . powerfully  evoked by  i r r a t i o n a l world C a t h o l i c i s m and  The  B r o w n , who  represented  ceremony i t s e l f  recognizes  by  a v i a b l e f o r c e to reckon w i t h  that  extend  is startlingly  H a i t i more a p p r o p r i a t e l y  i n the n o v e l ,  frenzied  t h a t Voodooism f i t s  i t s a l i g n m e n t w i t h r e a s o n and  few  order.  Far  and the  than from  being  Catholicism i s projected  a s a f a c t o r c o n t r i b u t i n g t o B r o w n ' s s e n s e o f d e l u s i o n and  cynicism,  and  comedy.  to h i s perception  of  life  as an  i r r a t i o n a l and  absurd  67  T h u s he b u i l d s h i s l i f e  around a t a n g i b l e o b j e c t of hope:  the  " r e p r e s e n t e d s t a b i l i t y m o r e p r o f o u n d l y t h a n t h e God whom t h e of  t h e V i s i t a t i o n had hoped I w o u l d Faith  i n any  Smiths t r a v e l  ideal  we  sion"  (p. 2 1 ) .  Smith that "touches l i f e  f r o m t h e human b o d y we w o u l d  They a r e undaunted  The  a t many p o i n t s .  eliminate  pas-  by w a r n i n g s o f p e r s e c u t i o n i n  and p r o c e e d s i n g l e - m i n d e d l y w i t h t h e i r p l a n s t o p e r s u a d e  government t o e s t a b l i s h the  i n such a universe.  to H a i t i w i t h a m i s s i o n to convert people to v e g e t a r i -  eliminated acidity  Haiti,  fathers  s e r v e " (p. 2 5 1 - 2 ) .  seems b o u n d t o f a i l  anism, a p h i l o s o p h y , says Mrs. If  hotel  a vegetarian centre.  the  F i r s t - h a n d experience of  h o r r o r s o f D u v a l i e r ' s r e g i m e c a n n o t d i s s u a d e them f r o m t h e i r  Brown l i s t e n s Social  t o Mr.  Smith d i s c u s s i n g h i s plans w i t h the Secretary f o r  Welfare "in astonishment.  n o t t o u c h him. vision.  The  d r e a m was  intact.  Reality  E v e n t h e s c e n e i n t h e P o s t O f f i c e had..not  t h a t Mrs.  Smith's  (p. 1 5 6 ) .  " p a s s i o n s had n o t been  weakened by t h e r e m o v a l o f a c i d i t y "  sullied his  Having  g r i t y of a l l t h e w o r l d ? " (p. 160).  ( p . 3 6 ) , B r o w n a s k s , "Wasn't i t  finding  to  a vegetarian  h o t e l b e d r o o m a d d r e s s e d t o a n "Unknown R e a d e r "  a n "Unknown F r i e n d , " B r o w n comments, "The same i m p r e s s i o n a s a G i d e o n B i b l e "  capital  (p. 2 5 3 ) .  initials  touches t h e i r  "absurdity"  from  gave the  Such i d e a l i s m i n an  i r r a t i o n a l u n i v e r s e i s r e d u c e d t o comedy, d e s p i t e t h e " s t r a n g e t h a t Brown f e e l s  inte-  But the Smiths h o l d f i r m l y  i d e a l w h i c h becomes f o r them a r e l i g i o n :  handbook i n t h e i r  observed  perceptibly  p o s s i b l y a f l a w i n c h a r a c t e r t o b e l i e v e so p a s s i o n a t e l y i n t h e  their  could  The H a i t i a n s f r e e d f r o m a c i d i t y , p o v e r t y a n d p a s s i o n w o u l d  soon be b e n t h a p p i l y o v e r t h e i r n u t c u t l e t s " cynically  ideal.  (p. 1 9 ) , and  the  dignity"  Smiths  68  are  forced Dr.  holding  to leave  their mission  to the tenets  o f Communism, i s s e e n b y B r o w n t o b e s o m e t h i n g  i n h i s e f f o r t s t o a c c e p t o r t o merge  He f a i l s  to recognize  Catholicism  contradictory  t h e maxim " R e l i g i o n i s t h e opium o f  the masses" as one o f Marx's i n d i c t m e n t s aligning  adjudged a f a i l u r e .  M a g i o t , who seems a t f i r s t t o b e a c l e a r - s i g h t e d , w i s e man  of an i d e a l i s t beliefs.  the country,  against  a n d Communism i n t h e i r  belief  i n God, a n d ,  common c o n c e r n f o r  he w o n d e r s w h e t h e r e v e r y f a i t h i s n o t " t h e same f a i t h u n d e r m a s k " ( p . 2 8 6 ) . He b e l i e v e s economic laws"  (p. 235),  decanter of port," eating  yet " i n his Victorian sitting-room with a "an e x c e l l e n t s t e a k  away f r o m B o r d e a u x , " a n d s e r v e d  and creamed  potatoes  be expected so  by a maid i n a b l a c k  d r e s s and  w h i t e cap s t r i k e s Brown a s "an odd s e t t i n g f o r a M a r x i s t " Feeling, after dinner, of  another  i n Communism a n d t h e " t r u t h o f c e r t a i n  w i t h a t o u c h o f g a r l i c and as good a c l a r e t as c o u l d far  humanity,  that  they should  retire  to join  (p. 247).  "other  members  t h e B r o w n i n g s o c i e t y f o r a d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e S o n n e t s ). f r o m t h e  P o r t u g e s e , " Brown r e a l i z e s t h a t t h e dead H a m i t , r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e r e a l i t y of l i f e  i nHaiti,  "lay i n his drain a very  l o n g way f r o m  (p. 2 4 8 ) . Brown's mother i m p r e s s e d D r . M a g i o t a s " a g r e a t and  a heroine  (p. 76),  woman"  as she "had c o n v i n c e d t h e f a t h e r s o f t h e V i s i -  t a t i o n o f h e r m o r a l r e c t i t u d e , even a g a i n s t Monte C a r l o "  here"  t h e dubious background o f  (p. 7 6 ) . Dr. Magiot i s a l s o taken i n by Jones's  bravado,  b e l i e v i n g h i m t o have had t h e war e x p e r i e n c e s he b o a s t s o f (p. 235-6). He p r e d i c t s i n c o r r e c t l y t h a t M a r c e l w i l l has  d i e d , and Brown i s f o r c e d  proved t o be a f a l s e p r o p h e t "  s u r v i v e a f t e r Brown's mother  t o conclude about Dr. Magiot: (p. 7 9 ) . L i k e t h e Smiths, h i s  "he  69  p h i l o s o p h y i s n o t a v i a b l e one and  ironically  he  i n the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e w o r l d of  loses h i s l i f e  opposed to martyrdom.  The  for i t despite being  Haiti,  strongly  p a t r i o t s , w i t h whom he a l i g n s h i m s e l f a t  t h e e n d , do n o t f a r e much b e t t e r f o r t h e i r  convictions,  b e i n g housed i n an o l d l u n a t i c asylum.  f a i t h o r f o r c e f o r good  h a s p r o v i d e d any  No  and  absurd.  see, however, i s t h a t absence of f a i t h r e s u l t s  or  the  survivors  r e a l c h a l l e n g e or o f f e r e d a v i a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e  Brown's v i e w o f t h e w o r l d as i r r a t i o n a l  selfish  o p t i n g out from r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  a n o t h e r u r g e s one  i  to  What he f a i l s  i n acquiescence  At l e a s t f a i t h  or  o f one  i n t o a c t i o n , a n d G r e e n e makes t h i s c l e a r  to  sort  through  t h e a d m i r a b l e q u a l i t i e s o f c o n c e r n a n d w i l l i n g n e s s t o be v u l n e r a b l e e x h i b i t e d by men Having  such as  Magiot.  r e j e c t e d any n o t i o n s o f an o r d e r e d u n i v e r s e c r e a t e d and  c o n t r o l l e d b y a r a t i o n a l God, of  i t a s a n a b s u r d comedy.  the n i g h t before a r r i v a l w i t h Fernandez  Brown s e e s l i f e  The  e n t e r t a i n m e n t h e l d on b o a r d  i n H a i t i symbolizes l i f e  breaking suddenly  and  a t i t s comic  worst  with t h e i r pots  the evening p r e s i d e d over i n f e r t i l i t y - r i t e  b l o w n - u p condoms i n p l a c e o f b a l l o o n s .  On  the s t a i r s  fashion  and by  i n the H o t e l  T r i a n o n a p i c t u r e of a c a r n i v a l p r o c e s s i o n c o n f i r m s the comedy o f l i f e  t h e Medea  into tears before h i s a c t , the  s h i p ' s o r c h e s t r a c r e a t i n g a cacophony of music pans,  reflecting his vision  grotesque  f o r Brown:  Of a m o r n i n g , when t h e s u n l i g h t s h o n e t h r o u g h t h e f i r s t - f l o o r windows, t h e h a r s h c o l o u r s gave an i m p r e s s i o n o f g a i e t y , t h e drummers and t h e t r u m p e t e r s seemed a b o u t t o p l a y a l i v e l y a i r . O n l y when y o u came c l o s e r y o u saw how u g l y t h e m a s k s w e r e a n d how t h e m a s q u e r s s u r r o u n d e d a c a d a v e r i n g r a v e c l o t h e s . . . ( p . 252)  70  Brown c o n s t a n t l y  r e f e r s t o h i s own a d r o i t n e s s  at playing a part  s i n c e h i s c h a r a d e when a s t u d e n t i n M o n t e C a r l o , a n d h e s e e s around him as f e l l o w s p e c t a t o r s visits  and a c t o r s  t h e c h a r g e , he l a b e l s h i m a s "the  i n l i f e ' s comedy.  perfect  ever  those When h e  spectator—the  spectator  o f whom e v e r y a c t o r m u s t s o m e t i m e s d r e a m , " w a t c h i n g  play  p a r t o f an Englishman concerned over t h e f a t e o f a f e l l o w -  "the  countryman"  (p. 103).  When t h e T o n t o n s M a c o u t e v i s i t h i m a t t h e  T r i a n o n t o i n t e r r o g a t e him, ting  there  waiting  on t h e f l o o r  tragedy"  as though a t an i n f o r m a l p a r t y .  (p. 161),  E v e r y o n e was  Of h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h o f comedy a n d n o t o f  and r e f e r s t o t h e i r f r a c t i o u s meetings as "a  mother he r e c o g n i z e s  q u a r r e l o f a l l " (p. 225).  "an accomplished comedian"  I n h i s own  ( p . 7 6 ) , who g o e s  t h e u n l i k e l y name o f C o m t e s s e d e L a s c o t - V i l l i e r s a n d who knows  that  "as long  Marcel, you  a s we p r e t e n d we e s c a p e "  (p. 253).  t o j o i n h e r i n a c t i n g and p r e t e n d i n g  all.  about Jones, t h e only  i sforced  I would d i e f o r  When M a r c e l a c t u a l l y  B r o w n comments, " p e r h a p s h e was n o c o m e d i a n a f t e r  Death i s a proof o f s i n c e r i t y "  make p e o p l e l a u g h .  She a s k s h e r l o v e r ,  "that  a n d t h a t y o u w o u l d d i e f o r me" ( p . 2 5 3 ) .  does d i e f o r h e r ,  he  (p. 185).  "we b e l o n g e d t o t h e w o r l d  curtain-raiser for the f i n a l  by  Brown r e a l i z e s h i s " a b s u r d p o s i t i o n s i t -  f o r me t o do my t u r n "  Martha he says:  Brown  (p. 253).  He w o n d e r s t h e same  r e a l c o m e d i a n o f them a l l w i t h h i s a b i l i t y t o  He b e c o m e s a h e r o when B r o w n c a l l s h i s b l u f f a n d  i n t o a p o s i t i o n o f command t h a t l e a d s  Brown w o n d e r s , " f o r what b e l i e f  d i d Jones d i e ? "  to his  (p. 287);  death. he dreams  J o n e s a n s w e r s h i s q u e s t i o n w i t h t h e r e s p o n s e , " I t ' s i n my p a r t , o l d man,  i t ' s i n my p a r t "  (p. 287),  confirming  h i s s e n s e t h a t we a r e a l l  71  a c t o r s p l a y i n g a r b i t r a r y p a r t s i n t h e same c o n f u s e d comedy "where everyone l a u g h s t i l l  the t e a r s come" (p. 2 8 7 ) .  The c e n t r a l q u e s t i o n of whether Brown's n a r r a t i v e v o i c e i s a c t u a l l y Greene's p o i n t of v i e w i s one t h a t needs t o be answered b e f o r e d e c i d i n g the purpose and p o i n t of the n o v e l .  I n one of t h e i r  fre-  quent arguments, Martha f i e r c e l y a c c u s e s Brown of b e i n g a B e r k l e y a n . My God, what a B e r k l e y a n . You've t u r n e d poor Jones i n t o a seducer and me i n t o a wanton m i s t r e s s . You c a n ' t even b e l i e v e i n your mother's medal, can you? You've w r i t t e n her a d i f f e r e n t p a r t . My d e a r , t r y t o b e l i e v e we e x i s t when you a r e n ' t t h e r e . We're independent of you. None of us i s l i k e you f a n c y we a r e . Perhaps i t wouldn't m a t t e r much i f your thoughts were not so d a r k , always so dark. (p. 229) Such a t i r a d e from Martha seems r a t h e r out of k e e p i n g w i t h the comp l i a n t , d o t i n g mother and m i s t r e s s seen so f a r ; more i m p o r t a n t , howe v e r , i s whether what she says i s t r u e .  Brown c e r t a i n l y does have  a d a r k v i e w of t h e w o r l d where p e o p l e c o n f u s e a c t i n g w i t h a c t i o n , but t h e o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s seem t o c o n f i r m : t h i s v i e w i n t h e i r and a c t i o n s .  attitudes  P h i l i p o t answers Brown's q u e s t i o n whether he and Jones  a r e b o t h comedians w i t h , "They can say t h a t of most o f u s " (p. 1 3 3 ) , and L u i s adds, We mustn't c o m p l a i n too much of b e i n g c o m e d i a n s — i t ' s an h o n o u r a b l e p r o f e s s i o n . I f o n l y we c o u l d be good ones the w o r l d might g a i n a t l e a s t a sense of s t y l e . We have f a i l e d — t h a t ' s a l l . We a r e bad comedians, we a r e n ' t bad men. Martha f i e r c e l y d e n i e s such a v i e w and b u r s t s i n t o t e a r s , y e t , a l o n e w i t h Brown i m m e d i a t e l y a f t e r w a r d s , she s a y s , 'Perhaps we won't have t o be comedians any more.' 'You s a i d you were no comedian.'  72  'I exaggerated, d i d n ' t I? But a l l t h a t t a l k i r r i t a t e d me. I t made e v e r y one o f u s seem c h e a p and u s e l e s s and s e l f - p i t y i n g . P e r h a p s we a r e , b u t we n e e d n ' t r e v e l i n i t . ' ( p . 135) From t h e b e g i n n i n g having  Jones admits c h e e r f u l l y to being  "to play a t o f f "  though " i t ' s  ( p . 25)  the hardest  t h i s r o l e - p l a y i n g but  a t t i m e s when i t s u i t s h i m ,  p a r t o f a l l f o r me"  only t e l l s  senses the approach of death  Philipot  t h a t P a p a Doc  real.  Horror  i s always r e a l "  The  i n s t r a n g e h a t s and d i r e c t i o n the p l o t  (p. 1 3 4 ) ,  and  t a k e s a t t h e end  u n i v e r s e and  a t t h e end  little  i t s i n h a b i t a n t s , but  is  he  The  44.  he  dressed role.  corroborates  o f The  Comedians, Jones has  fizzled  Brown i s l e f t  to  hope i n s u c h a f i n a l e .  also illustrates  of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  however i r r a t i o n a l .  L o d g e , p.  no,  celebrates reconci-  the  out, serve  Brown of  the  acquiescence  t h a t r e s u l t s from the  absence  Comedians communicates a sense  G r e e n e ' s p r o g r e s s f r o m f i c t i o n b a s e d on a c o n f l i c t b e t w e e n human a n d d i v i n e v a l u e s , c o n c e i v e d i n t e r m s o f comedy and i r o n y i n p o s s i b i l i t y of r e l i g i o u s f a i t h has a l l but out of s i g h t i n the a n a r c h i c c o n f u s i o n of h a v i o u r . **  h  Cayes.  Greene's p o i n t of v i e w about the n a t u r e  of s e l f i s h o p t i n g out of f a i t h ,  t o Aux  of the n o v e l a l s o  t h e r e i s a f u n e r a l i n s t e a d o f a w e d d i n g , and There i s a p p a r e n t l y  to  other  comedy o f H a i t i ,  comedy t r a d i t i o n a l l y  s o c i a l c o n t i n u i t y , but  seems t o r e p r e s e n t  admits  y e t Papa Doc's r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s ,  M a g i o t a r e dead, Brown and M a r t h a ' s l o v e a f f a i r  t h e dead.  even  his  on t h e r o a d  and  dark glasses to play t h e i r v i l l a i n o u s  t h e b l a c k comedy v i e w p o i n t : l i a t i o n and  He  i s a c o m e d i a n , s a y i n g , "Oh  the Tontons Macoute, f i t i n t o the grotesque up  (p. 2 6 ) .  Brown t h e t r u t h b e h i n d  " p a r t s " when he denies  a "tart"  "tragic" to f i c t i o n which the retreated human b e -  of  73  It  a l s o c o n v e y s , h o w e v e r , t h a t t h o s e who h a v e f a i t h , w h e t h e r i n  Communism, V o o d o o i s m , o r v e g e t a r i a n i s m  have a t l e a s t t h e courage and  s t r e n g t h and u r g e t o a c t i n s p i t e o f , o r even because o f , t h e "anarc h i c c o n f u s i o n o f human The provide  priest's  behaviour."  sermon and M a r g i o t ' s  the f i n a l positive,  ments e x p r e s s e d  letter  t o Brown a t t h e end  i f unorthodox, word.  Through t h e s e n t i -  b y t h e two men, G r e e n e a d v o c a t e s a h u m a n i s t m y s t i q u e  t h a t embraces b o t h  Communism a n d C a t h o l i c i s m .  r e l i g i o u s v i s i o n of l i f e  apparent i n t h e e a r l i e r  uses t h e i d e a of r e l i g i o n i n a broad, s e n s e i n The Comedians. l a c k o f any b e l i e f ; Greene i l l u s t r a t e s  He h a s r e v i s e d h i s C a t h o l i c n o v e l s , and  non-doctrinal, non-sectarian  Brown's weakness and f a i l u r e r e s u l t f r o m h i s  although  commitment l e a d s t o d e f e a t  or death,  t h a t any c o n v i c t i o n h o n e s t l y h e l d i s p r o t e c t i o n  a g a i n s t t h e t e r r o r , boredom, and c y n i c i s m i n a u n i v e r s e p e r c e i v e d as absurd its  and m e a n i n g l e s s .  game w i t h o u t  Brown a c c e p t s  defeat  e x p e r i e n c i n g a n y i l l u m i n a t i n g o r t r a n s f o r m i n g moments.  Unlike the priest  i n The Power and t h e G l o r y , he c a n n o t even g i g g l e  a t a b s u r d i t y as he c a n s e e n o t h i n g beyond i t : trapped him.  he i s t h e h o l l o w  i n h i s own a w a r e n e s s a n d r a t i o n a l i t y w i t h n o t h i n g  man,  to sustain  T h e C a t h o l i c i s m , Communism, V o o d o o i s m , a n d v e g e t a r i a n i s m  sented any  and i s ready t o p l a y  pre-  i n The Comedians a r e a l l s e e n t o be f l a w e d , y e t t h e c h o i c e o f  one i s p r e f e r a b l e t o no f a i t h a t a l l .  of f a i t h as a mainspring s e l f and i n s p i r i n g vegetarianism patriots'  G r e e n e shows t h e i m p o r t a n c e  o f a c t i o n , a s a means o f s u b o r d i n a t i n g t h e  commitment t o o t h e r s .  Even though t h e Smith's  i s l a u g h a b l e , M a g i o t ' s communism i n c o n s i s t e n t , a n d t h e  Voodooism i r r a t i o n a l ,  a l l three are preferable t o the  74  hollowness  and t h e s e l f i s h n e s s t h a t Brown's i n d i f f e r e n c e  B r o w n may n o t s t i r whiskey p r i e s t and  the wryly  o u r sympathies o r remain i n o u r memories as t h e  does because o f t h e u n h e r o i c  a negative  i l l u s t r a t i o n o f t h e need f o r  faith.  The Comedians h a s none o f t h e p a r a d o x e s a n d a n o m a l i e s  t h a t c r e a t e such s t a r t l i n g novels,  mode o f h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n ,  comic tone of t h e w r i t i n g , b u t i n him Greene has suc-  cessfully created Although  generates.  e f f e c t s i n Greene's e a r l i e r  religious  t h e theme i s c l e v e r l y a n d c o n v i n c i n g l y d e v e l o p e d w i t h i n a  framework o f grim landscape,  comedy.  Greene's t a l e n t f o r v i v i d  atmosphere, and p e o p l e i s i n d i s p u t a b l e .  acknowledged as one o f h i s f i n e s t , m a i n l y maturity:  evocation of The n o v e l i s  because o f i t s t e c h n i c a l  a t t h e t i m e o f i t s p u b l i c a t i o n , The Times L i t e r a r y  ment r e v i e w e r  noted "the  dialogue,  the touch  qualities  quite different  style—hot,  excellence of the craftmanship,  of d r o l l e r y ,  the swift  the play of great wit  and f u n n i n e s s " , 5  from t h e " d i s t i n c t l y memorable and i m i t a b l e  s w e a t y , s e n s u o u s " — o f h i s more f e r v e n t a n d l e s s w i t t y  e a r l i e r novels.  6  The p r e o c c u p a t i o n  w i t h one f a i t h t h a t  provided  Greene w i t h h i s themes, s t r u c t u r e s , and symbols has e v o l v e d more c a t h o l i c a t t i t u d e : commitment a n d f a i t h  his representation of different  quite different  1968,  into a  forms o f  i s more e q u i v o c a l a n d d e t a c h e d t h a n h i s  sentation of Catholicism i n the earlier novels,  and r e s u l t s  reprei na  t o n e a n d mode o f w r i t i n g .  5  "P.Iain Mr. Brown," Times L i t e r a r y p. 5 7 .  6  D.A.N. J o n e s , "The A g n o s t i c p. 336.  1966,  Supple-  S u p p l e m e n t , 27 J a n u a r y  S p y , " T h e L i s t e n e r , 16 M a r c h  75  CONCLUSION  A novel i s i n i t s broadest d e f i n i t i o n a personal, a d i r e c t impression of l i f e : t h a t , to begin w i t h , c o n s t i t u t e s i t s v a l u e , which i s g r e a t e r or l e s s a c c o r d i n g t o the i n t e n s i t y of the i m p r e s s i o n . H e n r y J a m e s , "The  In  his novels  o f t h e l a t e 30's  and  p o t e n t i a l i t i e s o f C a t h o l i c themes and used the paradoxes i m p l i c i t b e t w e e n human and  startling  and  powerful  The  the  the Glory demonstrates  success  o f t h e C a t h o l i c t r i l o g y , The  illustrates  the d i f f i c u l t i e s  the  End  t o w h i c h an o v e r - z e a l o u s  After  of the  the  Affair  concern  with  i s s u e s o f d o c t r i n e c a n l e a d when r e l i g i o u s p r e m i s e s  pulated to i l l u s t r a t e  ten-  e f f e c t s G r e e n e c o u l d a c h i e v e when C a t h o l i c  contentious  directly with a r t i s t i c  He  conflicts  to create the c e n t r a l  i s s u e s were c e n t r a l t o the development of h i s f i c t i o n .  specific  the  characters i n h i s f i c t i o n .  i n order  Power and  Fiction"  Greene d i s c o v e r e d  i n t h e C h r i s t i a n f a i t h and  divine values  s i o n s of these n o v e l s .  40's,  A r t of  requirements.  P l o t and  character are  the n o t i o n of the s a n c t i f i e d  conflict mani-  s i n n e r , and  the  novel suffers accordingly. By his  1955,  G r e e n e seems t o h a v e a b a n d o n e d t h e d i l e m m a s o f  Catholic characters experience,  t i o n s of a wider  m o r a l and  and  social kind.  turned  instead to  Fowler  considera-  Through h i s n a r r a t o r i n  Q u i e t A m e r i c a n , G r e e n e e x p l o r e s t h e more e x i s t e n t i a l i s t t h e f r e e d o m o f c h o i c e and  faith  questions  the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of i n d i v i d u a l  desires a t r o u b l e - f r e e , comfortable  life  The of  existence:  as a d e t a c h e d r e p o r t e r  76  but  finds himself  d e e p l y d i s t u r b e d by  commitment g e n e r a t e d by gious  political  questions  conflict.  c o n c e r n s t h a t e m b r a c e m o r a l and  of conscience  and  Greene's broader  reli-  e t h i c a l dilemmas beyond  specific  i s s u e s o f d o c t r i n e a r e a p p a r e n t as w e l l a s h i s c a r e f u l c r a f t i n g s t r u c t u r e and text. in  more s o p h i s t i c a t e d use  having  an  his  to the  been f o r c e d out  Fowler's strong is  evasion  e s t a b l i s h e d development of the  i n humanitarian  and  Godless r e a l i t y  he  d o n c i a l l y a s an  actor i n l i f e ' s  in  e i t h e r man  e x h i b i t e d by  personal o r God.  around him,  the  self  and  a b s u r d i t y and  d r i v e n by  Brown t a k e s  his  in  an  the  his place  He  is  sar-  of v a r i o u s  m e e t s , G r e e n e shows t h e  o f a c t i o n , a s a means o f  commitment t o o t h e r s , d e s p i t e t h e  meaninglessness of  to  preoccupied  s e l f - i n t e r e s t w i t h no  Through the p r e s e n t a t i o n  p e o p l e B r o w n knows and  inspiring  Greene  g r o t e s q u e comedy, d e t e r m i n e d n o t  and  t a n c e o f f a i t h as a m a i n s p r i n g  that  Unable to transcend  o n t o l o g i c a l enigmas.  goals  allow  man.  e n d s a n u n c o m m i t t e d man  that defies explanation.  w i t h h i s own  end  c r i s e s of f a i t h t h a t beset  absurd universe  l e t a l o n e s o l v e , any  engage,  at the  Comedians i t i s e v i d e n t  B r o w n b e g i n s and  perceives  forgiveness  d e a l w i t h as a c o m m i t t e d  moved e v e n f u r t h e r away f r o m t h e  see,  fiction:  terms of the a n g u i s h Greene must  to confront  characters:  and  the  intrudes  of h i s i n d i f f e r e n c e to a s t a t e of being  W i t h t h e p u b l i c a t i o n o f The  earlier  with Catholicism s t i l l  urge towards c o n f e s s i o n  main c h a r a c t e r  has  of imagery i n the f a b r i c of  However, h i s l o n g p r e o c c u p a t i o n  ways d e t r i m e n t a l  of  faith  ideologies impor-  subordinating apparent  life.  Greene's development as a w r i t e r of r e l i g i o u s  issues i n a  less  77  s e c t a r i a n sense r e s u l t s i n a q u i t e d i f f e r e n t k i n d of n o v e l :  he  has  a d i f f e r e n t hero, a d i f f e r e n t approach to events, a d i f f e r e n t tone, and  a d i f f e r e n t mode..  made h i s f i c t i o n  His  s t y l e and  i n comparison to the  however, the n e g a t i v e faith  t h r o u g h an  broadening of h i s r e l i g i o u s concerns  l e s s d o c t r i n a i r e , l e s s c o n t r o v e r s i a l , and  more a c c e s s i b l e . cated  The  t e c h n i q u e a r e m a t u r e and  perhaps sophisti-  l e s s a s s u r e d c r a f t of h i s C a t h o l i c  presentation  of  the n e c e s s i t y  anti-heroic c e n t r a l character  has  has  o f any  period ; 1  form  resulted in  of fiction  t h a t i s l e s s moving than h i s e a r l i e r r e l i g i o u s novels  at t h e i r  The  imagination  disillusioned,  to s t i r the  us  c y n i c a l Brown f a i l s  i n t h e way  Glory.  that  t h e w h i s k e y p r i e s t d o e s i n The  Greene's concern w i t h  of w r i t i n g the  l a t t e r novel  to capture the  and  provided  the p r i e s t ' s very  b e t r a y a l , and timidity  b a s i s of h i s s t r e n g t h . diminishes Glory.  the  His  and  him  w i t h a source of  an  could  anti-hero  i n The  possibility  uses  a c h i e v e i n The  martyrdom amongst v e r y  e x i s t e d of a c h i e v i n g  startling  ordinary  and  the  Comedians;  P o w e r and  I n h i s C a t h o l i c p e r i o d , when G r e e n e d e a l t p o s i t i v e l y  t h e m e s o f h e r o i s m and  Such  t a l e of a w h i s k e y  d e a t h i n a h e r o i c mode t h a t  f o c u s on  people,  the  with the  dramatic e f f e c t s ,  Compare G r e e n e ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f C o r a l on p. 33 o f The P o w e r and t h e G l o r y w i t h h i s m o r e t e r s e and e v o c a t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n o f A n g e l on p. 89 o f The C o m e d i a n s . 1  time  paradigms  knowledge of h i s s i n f u l n e s s as  d r a m a t i c f o r c e he  and  s p e c i f i c C a t h o l i c i s s u e s at the  symbols e n a b l e d Greene t o d e v e l o p the  p r i e s t ' s progress,  or  Power  t h a t emerge c r e d i b l y f r o m a s e t t i n g o f r e l i g i o u s p e r s e c u t i o n . patterns  best.  78  even t h o u g h h i s C a t h o l i c themes c o u l d z a t i o n and literary  a l s o lead to poor c h a r a c t e r i -  d e v e l o p m e n t when d o c t r i n e d o m i n a t e d t h e d y n a m i c s o f  imagination  and  undermined i t s a e s t h e t i c  B r o a d e n i n g h i s r e l i g i o u s s c o p e has the s p e c i f i c early novels.  i n his novels  b e t w e e n human and his novels,  nor  s e n c e o f God:  has  changed a c c o r d i n g l y .  characters  i s no  longer  h o u n d e d by  or t r a g i c deaths.  novels  transcend  impetus- f o r h i s that  embraces  i d e o l o g i e s , G r e e n e ' s s e l e c t i o n and  d i v i n e claims  are  them t o d r a m a t i c more r e c e n t  the  W i t h a w i d e r v i s i o n o f human a f f a i r s  a v a r i e t y o f b e l i e f s and of i d e a s  credibility.  e n a b l e d Greene t o  i s s u e s of d o c t r i n e that provided  The  The  fatal  treatment antinomy  t h e c o n s i s t e n t theme o f  dilemmas of  f a i t h that  central characters  of  a r e n o t i c e a b l y u n h e l p e d o r u n h a m p e r e d by  the u r g e n t p o r t r a y a l of the  c e r t a i n t i e s and  t a c h e d and  w i t t y r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e need f o r commitment o f the s e l f  and  by  f i n d purpose i n  pre-  agonies  f r o m t h e C a t h o l i c f a i t h has  i s to transcend  been r e p l a c e d  lead  Greene's  the  proceeding  k i n d i f one  the  a more  life.  deany  79  SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY  Primary G r e e n e , Graham. Penguin, .  1938; r p t . Harmondsworth, M i d d l e s e x :  1977. I n t r o d u c t i o n t o B r i g h t o n Rock.  London: .  . guin,  Heinemann  and B o d l e y Head,  A Burnt-Out  Penguin,  Case.  Collected Edition  (1971-).  1975.  1961; r p t .  Harmondsworth, M i d d l e s e x :  1971. The Comedians.  1966; r p t . H a r m o n d s w o r t h , M i d d l e s e x :  Pen-  1977. .  sex:  B r i g h t o n Rock.  Sources  The End o f t h e A f f a i r .  Penguin,  1951; r p t . Harmondsworth, M i d d l e -  1975.  I n t r o d u c t i o n t o The End o f t h e A f f a i r . (1971—).  London:  Heinemann and B o d l e y Head,  The H e a r t o f t h e M a t t e r . Middlesex: .  Penguin,  .  . Penguin,  1976.  Penguin,  London:  Eyre  and  1940; r p t . . Harmondsworth,  1976.  The Q u i e t A m e r i c a n . 1975.  Essays.  1951.  The Power and t h e G l o r y .  Middlesex:  1975.  1948; r p t . H a r m o n d s w o r t h ,  The L o s t C h i l d h o o d a n d O t h e r  Spottiswoode,  Collected .Edition  1955; r p t .  Harmondsworth,  Middlesex:  80  Secondary Sources A l l e n , Walter. (1956),  "Awareness of E v i l :  Graham G r e e n e . "  .  182  344-46. "The N o v e l s o f Graham G r e e n e . "  (1943),  Nation,  P e n g u i n New  Writing,  18  148-60. Reading a Novel.  London:  P h o e n i x House,  1949,  pp.  34-  39. Allott,  Kenneth, and M i r i a m F a r r i s .  1 9 5 1 ; r p t . New Barnes, Robert J .  York: "Two  R e n a s c e n c e , 14 Barratt, Harold. R e v i e w , 45  The A r t o f Graham G r e e n e .  R u s s e l l and R u s s e l l ,  Modes o f F i c t i o n :  (1962),  Bedford, S y b i l l e .  Hemingway a n d G r e e n e . "  193-98.  " T r a g i c Comedians."  Gwenn R.  Graham G r e e n e :  Gainesville, Florida: Bogan, L o u i s e .  R e v i e w o f The C o m e d i a n s .  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