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Book Title: Сила и слава|
The author of the book: Graham Greene
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 339 KB
Date of issue: 2009
Read full description of the books:This little gem turned out to be quite a surprise. It is indeed powerful and it is glorious. Greene's writing seems really simple and is easy to read, and yet is so full of meaning. I am still soaking it all in.
As the lead character, the 'whiskey-priest', moves from one place to another, Greene takes us along on a journey taut with suspense and tension. However, it is really his moral journey which is the most captivating. We not only witness the priest's struggle to escape, we also get to look into his tormented soul and his ambivalence. He is constantly torn between following what his religious faith has taught him while his worldly sense seems to make more practical sense. He feels guilty for his sins, but he loves the fruit of his sin. He almost wishes that he be caught so that he could be rid of the fear and the misery. But doesn't his faith teach him that it is his duty to save his soul? He has sinned and is immoral, but he is also full of compassion and love for fellow human beings.
A question that haunts the priest and the reader throughout is whether he will find redemption and if his soul will achieve salvation? Or do immoralities and sins always overshadow a man's goodness? Greene makes it so easy for one to understand his characters. The priest, with his virtues and his flaws, feels like a very real person. It is not at all difficult to imagine such a person walking some part of this earth in flesh.
While we read the thoughts and the convictions of the priest, the lieutenant serves as the opposing voice. Both have some ideals which I do not completely agree with, but I also don't consider either of them to be totally wrong. I also liked that the priest and the lieutenant, though rivals, are able to see the good in each other and have mutual respect. Through these two characters, Greene brings forth the impermanence of beliefs through which one defines what is "right". Life can always take such turns that one's firmly believed ideals cease to make sense anymore.
As the journey proceeds and we encounter various places and characters, Greene also reveals the misery, poverty, disease and utter desolation that has engulfed these wastelands. He captures the feeling of the place and the moment with just the right words. Through his words, you can almost feel the oppressive heat or the thundering rainstorm or the tranquility and freshness of an early morning. Different characters that we meet give a sense of how bleak and despairing their life is. There is a person who cannot shirk off the idea of death, there is another with a desperate cheerfulness who has to constantly remind himself that he is happy. There are several instances where we see the difference between the world-view of adults and children. Adults who have known better times and have only those memories to draw any happiness from. While the only world their children have seen is this world of misery. These children haven't known what happiness, hope or faith means. They have matured before they have aged. All the playfulness and innocence of childhood has been drained away.
Another frequently encountered theme is that of abandonment. The words 'abandoned', 'abandonment' crop up very often..be it a man who has abandoned his family, a child abandoned by her father, a man deserted in the forest. However, what Greene is really hinting at is the abandonment of this land and its people. They are cut-off from the rest of the world to rot in suffering, while the world and civilization outside progress. The future holds no promises, all hope and faith has vanished. Life has ceased to have any meaning, God himself has ceased to exist. Death is an everyday affair for them and life is just a duty to be performed from day-to-day without ever knowing its joy and charm.
She said: "I would rather die."
"Oh," he said, "of course. That goes without saying. But we have to go on living."
"She was one of those garrulous women who show to strangers the photographs of their children: but all she had to show was coffin."
For the most part the novel is bleak and grim, but it speaks of hope as well.
"It is one of the strange discoveries a man makes that life, however you lead it, contains moments of exhilaration: there are always comparisons which can be made with worse times:even in danger and misery the pendulum swings."
Greene also reminds us of how peace and beauty can exist in the smallest of moments, which people often fail to notice until it has been left far behind.
"It was nearly like peace, but not quite. For peace you needed human company-his alone-ness was like a threat of things to come. Suddenly he remembered - for no apparent reason - a day of rain at the American seminary, the glass windows of the library steamed over with central heating, the tall shelves of sedate books, and a young man - a stranger from Tucson - drawing his initials on the pane with his finger - that was peace. He looked at it from outside: he couldn't believe he would ever again get in."
There is so much more I have to say about this novel, I could never cover it all in a review. Let me just say it is so very human.
Read information about the authorHenry Graham Greene, OM, CH was an English novelist, short story writer, playwright, screenplay writer, travel writer and critic whose works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world. Greene combined serious literary acclaim with wide popularity.
Although Greene objected strongly to being described as a “Catholic novelist” rather than as a “novelist who happened to be Catholic,” Catholic religious themes are at the root of much of his writing, especially the four major Catholic novels: Brighton Rock, The Heart of the Matter, The End of the Affair, and The Power and the Glory. Works such as The Quiet American, Our Man in Havana and The Human Factor also show an avid interest in the workings of international politics and espionage.
(Excerpted from Wikipedia)
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