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In "Twenty One Stories" Graham Greene Is Concerned With A Number Of Themes. Choose Any One Of These Themes And Discuss By Making Close Reference To His Collection

710 words - 3 pages

Death is among the themes which are explored in Twenty-One Stories just like relationships, childhood, religion and others. "The Basement Room", "A Case for the Defence" and "A Drive in the Country" are stories related to the theme of death. However, there are others in which death is featured more prominently.Greene speaks about death in conjunction with fear. It is clearly seen in "The End of the Party" and "The Second Death". In the former, the cause of Francis' death is "fear, fear of the party, fear of being made to hide by himself in the dark." Moreover, for the adult in "The Second Death" fear is about the afterlife. He fears judgement because of the immoral life which he led. He believes that suffering is eternal and says, "when one's dead there's no unconsciousness any more for ever," it is not like sleep "or rest in peace."In "Proof Positive" and "A Little ...view middle of the document...

Alongside with the handkerchief which "exhaled as rich and sweet an odour as a whole altar of lilies" to conceal the smell of decay and the constant reminder of the voice, getting more worse. The very fist sentence is "the tired voice went on" later "his voice squeaking up like bats" and then it "grew tired" until it "scraped into stillness, like a needle at a record's end." Major Weaver try to prove that the spirit can outlive the body. However, he was incapable to prove this because without the body it decayed.Craven in the other story, who fears resurrection, has a recurrent nightmare where human bodies did not rot and "under the ground the world was littered with masses of dead flesh ready to rise again." The setting plays an important role in discussing death: "the darkness of the stalls", the monotonous tune of the piano "in the dead darkness", the empty cinema and the silent film itself." Then, the stranger's hand described as "damp and sticky", his voice deteriorating and the movement of the head "lolling sideways."Greene perceives death in another way. In "Brother" and "A Chance for Mr. Lever" the reason behind death is hopelessness. The young man in "Brother" dies because he is unable to escape. In the other story it is not only hopelessness of the individual but also the diseased environment that help Greene to convey his idea about death. The rectangular holes are used as graves for the dead. Seeing Davidson dying, Mr. Lever thought that "death wasn't solemn; it was a lemon-yellow skin and a black vomit." The brutality of nature brings the end of Davidson's life and an anticipation for Mr. Lever's life too. Hope and the struggle of survival fail to win when fighting against the hostility of nature and destiny.After discussing the theme of death in some stories of the collection, I can conclude that Greene uses the setting, the characters and features of style effectively. These have brilliant effects on his works, one of which being, the interesting and original way of exploring themes.

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