Literary Essay Sample on The Power and Glory

Published: 2019-10-04
Literary Essay Sample on The Power and Glory
Categories:  Literature Religion
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 899 words
8 min read

Plot and Theme

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The Power and Glory is a novel by Graham Greene that is centered on religion, belief and power. The main character is a priest that tries to flee from a country that is hostile to believers; Mexico is the last clergyman who is being pursued by the police for his faith. Missing his boat while saving a dying woman, the priest hides from a lieutenant who is an enemy to all religions. Throughout the whole novel, the priest evades the lieutenant who fails to recognize him as the villagers are threatened to turn him in or the hostages taken face execution. All through his running, the priest encounters several people who are significant in his life while others play the Judas role of betrayal (Greene, 1962). Among the people, the priest meets include his illegitimate daughter and Maria; a woman he once had a brief affair.

Another important aspect of the novel is the priest and the wine where in most cases is seen to carry the bottle of whisky until his arrest (Greene, 1962). Mestizo is also an important figure in the novel as he is occasionally affiliated to the priest though does not turn him in. The priest is caught when he is trying to get a confession from a wounded gringo. He is later executed as Mr. Trench watches through a window. Later a new priest knocks his door, and he lets him in through the believe that the executed priest was a martyr and a hero. The events can be related to the Catholic religion which celebrates mass and uses wine for the purpose. Additionally, the confession requirements conform to the catholic ways and doctrine.

Personal Journal

One of the experiences I have encountered regarding my religion and faith is when I was confronted by my fellow Christians and Muslims on issues of confessing to the priest, praying through Mary as the mother of Jesus and finally the allegations that we as Catholics worship idols as they are many in our churches. This situation led to a strong debate that was becoming personal at a point. Since I was the only Catholic in that discussion, I resolved to stay off the subject and advised my fellow colleagues to stick to their faith. Some of the lessons included the different beliefs we have and that there is no one who is right about any religion. We just argue on facts we found existing and do not know the real truth. Also, everyone will do what it takes to degrade the other religion by studying its weaknesses

Muslim Religion

Among the situations that bring out the religion and belief is the criminal gang ISIS on Jihad where they term it as a holy war, most people have associated ISIS to the Muslims. According to the Quran, ISIS uses the Jihad in performing its acts which include the killing of Christians in the name of God. Though Islam allows self-defense, it does not condone the killing of non-aggressors whether it during war or not (Wood, 2015). Further, it is alleged that killing in the name of God is a passage to heaven which is not the case. Jihad according to the Islam community refers to the struggle and perseverance that aims at improving the Muslim life. It is also described as a struggle for self-defence be it on the battlefield or during our normal lives. The Christians and other good Muslims have to stand their ground regarding their faith even if it means dying by it.

State and Church Conflict

In the Greene novel, there is a conflict between the state and church. Though he has personal weaknesses, the priest who is referred to as a whisky priest represents the church while the lieutenant represents the state. The conflict is about religious persecution of the believers. The priest undergoes suffering for his believe and is chased by the state until he is caught up with and later persecuted. Though earthly power, the state wins over the church that is assumed to remain poor if they are to keep their faith (Greene, 1962). This conflict is resolved through persecution of the believers such as the priest who remain loyal in their religious course. Personally, this relates to me regarding my religion. The conflict being Catholics and other religions through praying the rosary and going for confessions. Despite being mocked and rebuked for my faith, I have continued to worship and follow the Catholic doctrine.

Main Character

The main character in the novel is the priest whose attitude towards religion is positive characterised by humility, diligence, confident and reliability. These traits can be depicted from the chronological of events such as the priest fore-going his travel to attend to the needy woman who is suffering (Greene, 1962, p.39). He is also passionate about his religion as in several occasions such as during mass and confessions. An example is when he wants to confess personally before the executions (Greene, 1962, p.128). Also, he asks Maria to bring their daughter in the ways of the church (Greene, 1962, p.79). Personally, I view the priest as a hero who does not relent on his course of priesthood and religion. He maintains his stand on religion even when he is caught and celebrates the mass with the prisoners.


Greene, G. (1962). The power and the glory. Penguin books.

Wood, G. (2015). What ISIS really wants. The Atlantic, 3.

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