The Power and the Glory

Writing Help

Suggested Essay Topics

Writing Help Suggested Essay Topics

Choose an important scene of dialogue and try to characterize it. Are the characters connecting through the dialogue, understanding each other, listening to each other? What would you say about communication in this novel in general? Are people able to communicate? What hinders communication?

This novel contains a few important scenes of mistaken recognition. Most notably, the lieutenant fails to recognize the priest in two face-to-face encounters. Besides lending a sense of tension and excitement to the novel, why would Greene choose to have his enemies meet in this way? Do these scenes help us to understand the two characters better?

Discuss the novel's title. Where are "power" and "glory" found in the book?

Discuss the importance of forgiveness and self-forgiveness in the novel with specific reference to the priest and two other characters.

The novel opens at a dentist's house. What is significant about Tench's occupation? What role does pain play in the novel?

Discuss the importance of dreams in the novel. Why does Greene occasionally choose to represent his characters' thoughts and feelings through depicting their dreams?

Escape is a significant issue in this novel. Does Greene seem to make a distinction between escape and escapism, or between physical, geographical escape and mental escape? How are they related? What is the relationship between escape and abandonment?