Course Hero. "The Green Mile Study Guide." Course Hero. 2 Apr. 2018. Web. 17 July 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Green-Mile/>.
Course Hero. (2018, April 2). The Green Mile Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved July 17, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Green-Mile/
(Course Hero, 2018)
Course Hero. "The Green Mile Study Guide." April 2, 2018. Accessed July 17, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Green-Mile/.
Course Hero, "The Green Mile Study Guide," April 2, 2018, accessed July 17, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Green-Mile/.
Various prayers surface during The Green Mile: Eduard Delacroix prays for mercy in life and death in the traditional "Hail Mary" in his native tongue. John Coffey recites a prayer about the "orphan child." And Paul Edgecombe prays for strength before Coffey's death. Paul's and Delacroix's prayers and those said by other inmates on the Green Mile represent the characters' desire for salvation. Those walking to their deaths want to be forgiven for the sin of murder. Paul also prays for salvation in light of his biggest sin: taking part in the death of an innocent man. But Coffey's prayer is different; it asks for companionship, not forgiveness. Coffey is innocent, but he's still scared.
Along the same lines as the motif of prayers, the executions of The Chief and Eduard Delacroix symbolize atonement. These men did not choose this fate or this method of atoning for their sins—they are forced to do it by the state. But according to Brutal in The Mouse on the Mile, Chapter 5, those whose lives ended in the electric chair have "paid what they owed." "He's square with the house again," Brutal says about The Chief as they wheel his stiffening body down the tunnel. The prisoners' deaths make up for the wrongs they have done.
There are two versions of the Green Mile in The Green Mile. There's the physical Green Mile, which is the linoleum tile in E Block along which prisoners wait to take their final breath. And there's the metaphorical Green Mile, where the aged do the same. Both versions represent damnation. The convicted felons who walk down the real Green Mile are damned to spend an eternity in hell. Those who experience the metaphorical version, like Paul Edgecombe and Melinda Moores, are damned to remain alive while yearning for death.