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Paper on the Power and Glory (revised)

Paper on the Power and Glory (revised) - Lindsay Lastinger...

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Lindsay Lastinger Ms. Carver The Power and the Glory Essay April 27 th , 2011 A Despair-ridden Tone in Correlation with Three Universal Themes The Power and the Glory , written by Graham Greene, is one of the world’s most intriguing novels not only because of its incredible implementation of historical context, but also for its underlying ability to connect the novel’s unique tone to theme. The tone of the novel exudes such demeanors as eminent fear, earnestness, death, hypocrisy, and the ultimate desire to preserve one’s personal beliefs. These characteristics of the novel’s tone correspond directly with such dominating themes as hypocrisy as it relates to the definition of sin, hope versus despair, and most notably, the admirable sacrifices made in order to uphold one’s most cherished personal beliefs. Each of these themes impacts the effect of the novel on readers—an effect that leaves readers both saddened and frustrated by the injustice of such a corrupted societal state. The desolate and despair-ridden tone of the novel takes effect immediately via the opening paragraphs of the novel. The first line of the novel states, “…Mr. Tench went out to look for his cylinder, into the blazing Mexican sun and the bleaching dust. A few vultures looked down from the roof with shabby indifference: he wasn’t carrion yet…” (Graham1). The eerie description of the elements surrounding Mr. Tench, especially the vultures and the “bleaching” dust, is enhanced through the implementation of a dark and earnest tone. This tone clearly indicates a dangerous and death-filled setting amidst the heart of Southern Mexico. Religion has been banned, and most regions of Southern Mexico are controlled by anticlerical and increasingly hostile individuals in society. Thus, individuals such as the novel’s protagonist, the unnamed priest, are forced to live life “on the run,” plunging them into a state of constant fear for the risk of being persecuted—or even murdered— for their religious practices. Thus, the first
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major theme of the novel, the theme of the definition of sin as it relates to hypocrisy, is developed.
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