The Power And The Glory Essays

The Power And The Glory Essays-8
Politics, as represented by the socialism of the lieutenant, concerns itself with improving social conditions, especially for the poor.Religion, as represented by the priest, concerns itself with the salvation of souls.The theme of the hunted man establishes an exciting and nightmarish atmosphere to this novel and makes it a thriller.

Politics, as represented by the socialism of the lieutenant, concerns itself with improving social conditions, especially for the poor.Religion, as represented by the priest, concerns itself with the salvation of souls.The theme of the hunted man establishes an exciting and nightmarish atmosphere to this novel and makes it a thriller.

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But the fact that he constantly indulges in an orgy of self-reproach about his own sins may raise questions for the reader about the value of a religion that leads its representatives into such an overwhelming, soul-destroying sense of guilt.

After all, the priest does his best in extremely difficult circumstances. Although the priest never wavers in his belief that as a priest he has the power to save souls, and to communicate, through the Mass, the essence of God, the novel is so bleak that it raises questions about whether God is active in the world at all, or even if He exists.

But on the other hand, there are plenty of hints about the hypocrisy of the church, which is always ready to take people’s money while ignoring the miserable social conditions in which they live.

And the priest as a representative of the church is of course a badly flawed figure.

The question is posed through imagery of insects, which are mentioned frequently in the novel.

In one incident, the lieutenant sees a tiny insect racing across the page of a book in front of him. Another insect appears on the book, “scurrying for refuge: in this heat there was no end to life” (Part II, Chapter 3).

It is, in fact, his self-knowledge that raises him to the level of the heroic.

When he is in prison for possessing brandy, he tells one of the pious inmates who thinks he is a martyr, “My children, you must never think the holy martyrs are like me.

At least in part, this is what the lieutenant believes.

He looks on the earth as a “dying, cooling world, of human beings who had evolved from animals for no purpose at all” (Part I, Chapter 2).

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