More coursework: 1 - A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I - J | K - L | M | N - O | P - S | T | U - Y

The power and the glory

A saint can be defined as one of God's chosen, usually Christian people. A brave person can be defined as someone who has allot of courage. In the novel The Power And The Glory, the whiskey priest states that he isn't a saint and not even a brave man. Greene shows this was an accurate statement when he talks about the fact that the whiskey priest was an alcoholic, also that the whiskey priest lets himself commit a mortal sin. Greene shows this was an inaccurate statement because the priest doesn't think just of himself and goes to help others in need and how the whiskey priest is able to forgive and forget very easily. The author Graham Greene shows throughout the novel this was an accurate and also inaccurate self-assessment of the whiskey priest.

Graham Greene demonstrates how brave and courageous the whiskey priest is when he is willing to forgive people that turn on him. The best example of this is when the Mestizo tells the whiskey priest that a fellow fugitive is in trouble and needs his blessing. This is a trap that later costs the whiskey priest his life, but he is willing to overlook this. This is best shown when he eventually forgives and even prays for the Mestizo who betrayed him: "The priest waved his hand; he bore no grudge because he expected nothing else of anything human..." (P. 198) This shows that that whiskey priest is a forgiving man and this indeed helps to validate that the whiskey priests statement is inaccurate.

Graham Greene portrays to the reader that the whiskey priest thinks of others before himself. This is clearly evident when he goes to help the child's dyeing mother even though he knows that he will miss his boat:

But the stranger got up as though unwillingly he had been summoned to an occasion he couldn't pass by. He said sadly,

"It always seems to happen. Like this."

"You'll have a job not to miss the boat."

"I shall miss it," he said. (P. 17)

This example displays that the whiskey priest is a good man and helps to prove the whiskey priests statement false.

On the other hand, Greene displays the accuracy of the whiskey priest's statement when he shows how much of an alcoholic the whiskey priest was. There are many places throughout the novel when this is shown. First early in the novel when we first meet the whiskey priest and he reveals a flask of brandy from the side of his hip:

"I have a little brandy," the stranger said.

Mr. Tench regarded him sharply. "Where?"

The hollow man put his hand to his hip- ... (P. 11)

Also when the lieutenant asks the whiskey priest if he would like one final drink:

"I've brought you some brandy."

"Against the law?"


"It's very good of you." He took the small flask. (P.206)

These examples show the whiskey priest is an alcoholic and that the statement was accurate.

To the extreme of not being a saint, the whiskey priest commits a mortal sin of having a sexual relationship with Maria and getting her pregnant. Later abandoning his daughter Brigitta:

"When you-know-what happened, I was proud. I thought the good days would come back. It's not everyone who's a priest's women. And the child... I thought you could do a lot for her. But you might as while be a thief for all the good..." (P. 79)

This quote is used to show that the whiskey priest is not saintly and that his statement was correct.

In conclusion, in the novel The Power And The Glory, Graham Greene's shows that the whiskey priest's self-assessment, that he isn't a saint and not even a brave man, is proven throughout the novel by Greene that this was an accurate but inaccurate statement by the whiskey priest. The whiskey priest even though being alcoholic and committing a mortal sin was still able to make the right decision to help the dyeing mother and forget the sins of the betrayer. Graham Greene portrayed the whiskey priest as a saintly and brave man.

Source: Essay UK -

About this resource

This coursework was submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies.

Search our content:

  • Download this page
  • Print this page
  • Search again

  • Word count:

    This page has approximately words.



    If you use part of this page in your own work, you need to provide a citation, as follows:

    Essay UK, The Power And The Glory. Available from: <> [30-05-20].

    More information:

    If you are the original author of this content and no longer wish to have it published on our website then please click on the link below to request removal: