Historical Criticism of Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory

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Graham Greene was a Catholic, a traveler and an exile (Lawson). These three aspects influenced the course of much of his works. As a Catholic, he developed a perception to scrutinize things as evil and good with God as a source of redemption. He was baptized at 21.


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Sherry also informs us that as a young boy of 14 he suffered at the boarding school. His acquaintances and his experiences were shaping a mind which paralleled the tumultuous time he lived in. He ran away from home. And was sent for psychoanalysis. In 1925, he met Vivien Dayrell-Browning. A Roman Catholic conver, Vivien molded him toward Roman Catholicism, to which he got converted at the age of 26.
His religious belief followed a trajectory vividly depicted in his catholic tetralogy: "Brighton Rock" (1938), "The Power and the Glory" (1940), "The Heart of the Matter" (1948), and "The End of the Affair" (1951).
In fact, Greene's life is a reflection of the saga of Roman Catholic Church at that time. As Mark Bosco says that Greene's writings represent different phases of his Catholic sensibility. He emerges mature with liberation theology after Vatican Council II (Bosco 115-117).
The novel draws parallels with T.S. Elliot's poem "The Hollow Men". The hollow men wander in a barren landscape, trying to remember the line after "For Thine is the Kingdom" in the Lord's Prayer. The phrase happens to be "the Power and the Glory" (Ways of Escape 65-68).
Not only the theme, but even the milieu and the settings set Greene's novels apart. ...
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