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GRAHAM GREENE AN INTERPRETATION OF SALVATION
- GRAHAM GREENE AN INTERPRETATION OF SALVATION
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- 대학원 영어영문학과
- 이화여자대학교 대학원
- In Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory and The Heart of the Matter, Greene has steadfastly explored his dominant theme: the human soul engaged in its adventure with eternity. Pinkie, the whisky priest and scobie are precccupied with the issue of salvation and damnation.
Green is concerned with the predicament in which human beings find themselves. He attempts to place his characters against the background of a world in which they are seen through the eyes of God. He chooses to deal with the seedy, the unlikeable, the unhappy, those in whom he feels the strange power of God.
Pinkie, the whiskey priest and Scobie are all sinners: they have committed sins of murder, fornication, adultery sacrilege and suicide. According to the Catholic view of point there is no hope for them; damnation awaits them after their deaths. But Greene looks to the mercy of god for their salvations which salvation is impossible for his own faith is an "all pervasive poddibility" and without which salvation is impossible for his sinners, who usually retain their freedom to renounce their sins, to respond to the tug of divine grace.
In describing his characters, Greene implies that even sinners have some good in them. He finds their goodness in love, any kind of love, they fell for others: the fooling of tenderness and pity Pinkie fells for Rose in the last hours of his life; the whiskey priest's compassion for humanity; and Scobie's "horrible and horrifying emotion of pity" and responsibility for Louise, Helen and others. Greene claims that this love his sinners have in their hearts is good enough to deserve a big of God's mercy, inspite of their sins and apparent damnations.
Another cause, besides love, Greene claims for the mercy of God for his sinners is the soul-tearing agony and suffering they experience in the course of their corruption and fall. Greene's novels peimarily deal with the fall of man: Brighton Rock is about Pinkie's fall, The Heart of the Matter about Scobie's and The Power and the Glery is about the whiskey priest's fall as well as his ascension ot sainthood. The three men, all sinners, suffer and suffer to their complete down fall, or to his glorious martyrdom in the case of the priest. While they suffer, they become purified from their sins and qualified enough ot receive the mercy fo God who in Greene's own faith must feel pity and love for the corrupted.
In The Heart of the Matter Scobie impatiently says to Father Rank who pronounces the attitude of the Church concerned about a young police officer who committed suicide over his debts: "Even the Church can'y teach me that God doesn't pity the young..." Greene's own faith in the love and mercy and mystery of God, along with his handling of his sinners in his books seem to be fully explained by the following words of John Donne:
Thou knowest this man's fall, but thou knowest not his wrasrling; which perchance was such that almost his very fall is justified and accepted of God.
in Greene's novels man's search for salvation is reached by Greene's own interpretation of the love and mercy and myatery of God as well as man's conscious effort of free will to accept God's mercy when it tis offered. Greene's concept of God's mercy if against the orthodax catholic view of point. That is why much has been said about his theological implications by both his Catholic and non-Catholic critics.
Greene's breach of the orthodox Catholic doctrines reveals that Greene claims the right to say what he likes as an artist, to be the keeper of his own artistic conscience. In a broadcast discussion with elissbeth Bowen and V. S. pritchett called "The Artist in Society" (July 1948) Greene said:
Disloyalty is our privilege. But it is a privilege you will never get society to recognize. All the more necessary that we who can be disloyal with impunity should keep that ideal alive. If I may be personal, I being to a group-- the Catholic church-- which would presenr me with grave problems as a writer if I were not saved by my disloyalty.
You remember the black and white squares of Bishop Blougram's chessboard? As a novelist, I must be allowed to write from the point of view of a black square as well as of a white. Doubt and even denial must be given their chance of self-expression, or how am Ifreer than the Leningrad group?
Greene's nearly unorthodox conception of the mercy of God that may save Pinkie, Scobie, the whickey priest and all the rest of his sinners, may make him a poor apologist for Catholic orthodoxy as it is conventionally viewed, but it does make him one of those Catholic novelists who write novels, employing values learned in their faith, but seeking essentially in their own artistic way, for the truth.
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