Studium anglistiky na KAA UPOL

Greene, Graham. (1904 - 1991).

W o r k

- preoccupied with political and religious problems

- projects his anti-imperialism and Catholic faith in his writing

- considers Christianity a single ray of hope x his characters perceive God as distant and ‘appallingly strange’

- reinforces his themes by using troubled and disorienting topographies

- typical setting: countries suffering under the effects of imperialism, or countries torn by war

- typical characters: outsiders and rebels, double-sided characters with destructive tendencies, and characters suffering under their sense of sin and moral unworthiness

The Man Within (1929):

- the title: from Sir Thomas Browne’s quotation ‘There is another man within me that is angry with me.’

- introduces the recurrent two-sidedness of his protagonists

Brighton Rock (1938):

- the protagonist: a self-destructive Catholic gangster fascinated by the concept of ‘Hell, Flames, and damnation’

The Power and the Glory (1940):

- the protagonist: a whisky-priest in the restless anti-clerical Mexico

- concerned with faith, doubt, and failure

The Ministry of Fear (1943):

- set in the phantasmagoria world of the blitzed London

The Heart of the Matter (1948):

- set in a flyblown, rat-infested, and war-blighted West African colony

- the protagonist: a suicide accussing God of ‘forcing decisions on people’ and blaming the Church for having all the answers

The Third Man (1951):

- concerned with citizens, refugees, and military occupiers in Vienna 

- all of the characters are equally wrecked, divided, and guilt-ridden

The End of the Affair (1951):

- set in the blitzed London

- concerned with an illegitimate love affair, sin and guilt, and moral decision

The Quiet American (1955):

- set in Vietnam during the war

- argues for the necessity of expressing one's political loyalties

Our Man in Havana (1958):

- set in Cuba

The Comedians (1967):

> provoked an international scandal: the Haitian Government brought a case against it for its having damaged the Republic’s tourist trade


(Photo: Wikimedia Commons).

  • Author

    Henry Graham Greene. (1904 - 1991). British.
  • Work

    Novelist. Short story writer. Author of The Quiet American (1955).
  • Genres

    Modern fiction. Political novel.


Abrams, Meyer Howard, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.

Barnard, Robert. Stručné dějiny anglické literatury. Praha: Brána, 1997.

Baugh, Albert C. ed. A Literary History of England. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967.

Coote, Stephen. The Penguin Short History of English Literature. London: Penguin, 1993.

Sampson, George. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946.

Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. New York: Clarendon Press, 1994.


"You're a devil, God, tempting us to leap. But I don't want Your peace and I don't want Your love. I wanted something very simple and very easy: I wanted Sarah for a lifetime and You took her away. With Your great schemes You ruin our happiness like a harvester ruins a mouse's nest: I hate You, God, I hate You as though You existed."

From The End of Affair (1951).


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