"The Power and the Glory" by Graham Greene. Includes bibliography.

Essay by CKpepe86College, UndergraduateA, February 2003

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When reading a novel a person usually finds that a character or a multiple of characters within the novel change throughout the story. These characters can change their behavior, their views of a certain situation, or even their personality altogether. However, when reading the novel The Power and the Glory written by Graham Greene the reader does not find this quality within one of the major characters. The lieutenant, the antagonist and one of the two main characters of the story, does not change much throughout the story. Neither his views of the church nor his values and beliefs are altered through the events of the story. It is because of these negative views of the church as well as the priest escaping him at every turn that causes the statewide hunt for the priest and the plot for the novel.

In the story, the Mexican state that the story takes place in has outlawed the church and anything associated with it.

This includes religious pictures, objects, and reading material. It is the job of the lieutenant to enforce these laws and bring justice to those who violate them. It just so happens that the lieutenant's views of this situation coincide with that of the state. The lieutenant wants to wipe out Catholicism and create a better, communistic society. He does not believe in God or an afterlife as implied by the lieutenant when saying, "No, I don't fight against a fiction [God]" and "Death's a fact. We don't try to alter facts" (194). He believes that the church is corrupt because a person can buy a place in heaven, a person having an indulgence when paying to pray and to go to mass, and a person having to pay for a priest to perform a baptism. The lieutenant believes...