The appalling mysteries: the vision of love in Graham Greene's novels

Woods, Michael J. (1975) The appalling mysteries: the vision of love in Graham Greene's novels. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that each of Graham Greene’s novels is obsessively concerned with “. . . the appalling mysteries of love moving through a ravaged world.” I do not wish to suggest that this obsession is absent from his other creative works, for an obsession, an overriding preoccupation, cannot be commanded to appear or depart as one chooses; however, because of this paper’s nature, I have limited this study to the “novels”, which are generally considered Greene’s most serious and important works, for they stress character development rather than physical action which is emphasized by the “entertainments” -- the very nature of the latter demands that the pace be maintained by revealing character quickly and accurately. The entertainments lack the subtlety and profundity of the novels, for they do not stress the supernatural consequences of human actions. The novels, for Greene, seem to have a more serious purpose and perspective. The entertainments, plays, short stories, essays and travel books are referred to when they illustrate a particularly relevant point. -- Since Greene did not explore his vision in chronological order, I have not examined his novels in this order. Instead, I have attempted to group the works according to the particular aspect of love with which each is concerned. This procedure provides a more complete and concentrated view of complex ideas which are frequently presented as integral parts of several novels. -- Two books usually classified as novels have been omitted from this study. The Name of the Action and Rumor at Nightfall, Green’s second and third published novels, are crude and exaggerated works which have been regarded as juvenilia by critics and refused republication by Greene who has completely rejected them: “There is no spark of life in The Name of the Action or Rumor at Nightfall because there was nothing of myself in them.” I agree with the contention of David Lodge here expressed: “Greene has excluded these two novels from the Uniform Edition of his works, and there seems no justification for resurrecting them in a study as short as the present one.”

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7944
Item ID: 7944
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 137-156
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: March 1975
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Greene, Graham, 1904-1991--Criticism and interpretation

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