The power and the glory is a novel written by Graham Greene. This is a story written when all churches had been shut down by the government and the state had established anti-catholic laws in Mexico. The main character in the book the priest also known as the whiskey priest was the only priest who had not denounced his fatherhood in the region at that time. People rejected him and thus could not harbor him for the fear of drastic repercussions from the police. The other main character in the novel is the lieutenant who is a man full of anger and bitterness and he despised anything to do with the church because of his bad past experiences with the church while he was a youth. The lieutenant was given the duty to hunt down the priest. This novel explains how a man struggles to find meaning in the world so as to come out of his past and the priest’s struggles and redemption and how he achieved martyrdom at the end of the novel.
The lieutenant and the priest represent the theme of opposite joined. The priest and the lieutenant play opposing roles in the novel the priest is the hunted while the lieutenant is the hunter. In addition, the novel represents the conflicting relationship between the church and the state. Greene illustrates this by narrating how a catholic priest is being pursued by the police who are the lieutenant. (Greene, 3). The whiskey priest roams the desolate plains of Mexico running away from the lieutenant who was pursuing him. The lieutenant was the opposite of the priest because he was a bitter man who never cared about the church because he could not erase his past. The priest was a loving person who cared about the church and that is why he was the only priest who had not renounced his fatherhood. He believed in changing people’s lives. The lieutenant hated priests and everything to do with the church but he had love and concern for the people and rejected injustice although he was not that good because he took people hostage and killed them. They were opposite of each other because one impacted people’s lives positively while the other killed people ruthlessly.
The lieutenant and the priest were leaders of different institutions and they both had a good heart for the people but their means of showing kindness to the people was very different. One killed those who committed injustice while the other interacted with them and changed their mindsets. The priest touched the lives of people he encountered with in many ways an example is when he was having a drink with Mr. Trench, he had a conversation with him which changed his mind and he decides to write to his wife (Greene 34). He also made the coral fellows to have an increased interest in religion. In addition, many people were very eager to say their confessions to the priest because he had positive impacts in their life. Opposing, the lieutenat hated the church because he felt was corrupt and he even took people hostage and killed them mercilesslly. He never changed the lives of the people he interacted with like the priest did. He was a contrast to the priest who cared about people and changed their lives. They were both haunted by their past but they handles it opposingly. The lieutenant was revenging it on the priest while the priest was looking for ways to regain his salvation. He wanted to mend his ways with God and stop being the drunkard he was.
The lieutenant and the priest the theme of opposite joined because the priest valued his religion and wanted people to never give up on it even though it was outlawed by the government. In contrast, the lieutenant was working very hard to stamp out Catholicism in the state because he felt that it was oppressing poor countrymen. His love for his countrymen made him hate everything to do with the catholic religion and he even killed the people who sheltered the priest. In addition, the two represent the theme of opposite joined because the priest struggled with his faith and guilt to cure himself from his vices and past in order to gain salvation but the lieutenant acted in revenge of what he experienced with the church while still a youth.
Greene, Graham. The Power and the Glory. New York: The Viking Press, 1940. Print.