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At least in part, this is what the lieutenant believes.He looks on the earth as a “dying, cooling world, of human beings who had evolved from animals for no purpose at all” (Part I, Chapter 2).Seen against this bleak background, the priest’s attempt to cling on to some higher meaning and purpose to human life may seem either heroic or a contradiction of the facts, according to one’s point of view.
is one of the most powerful of Graham Greene’s novels, and many critics consider it his finest.
The story arose from Greene’s journey through Tabasco and Chiapas in 1938.
But the fact that he constantly indulges in an orgy of self-reproach about his own sins may raise questions for the reader about the value of a religion that leads its representatives into such an overwhelming, soul-destroying sense of guilt.
After all, the priest does his best in extremely difficult circumstances. Although the priest never wavers in his belief that as a priest he has the power to save souls, and to communicate, through the Mass, the essence of God, the novel is so bleak that it raises questions about whether God is active in the world at all, or even if He exists.
The theme of the hunted man establishes an exciting and nightmarish atmosphere to this novel and makes it a thriller.
Greene has, moreover, created characters who are at once human and symbolic.
Politics and Religion Like a number of Graham Greene novels, The Power and the Glory deals with the interaction of politics and religion.
In this case, there is utter hostility between the two.
The priest, who has endured pain, anxiety, and guilt for years, recognizes in his suffering the purposeful presence of God’s love: “It might even look like—hate.
It would be enough to scare us—God’s love.” This philosophic insight is hard won.