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The Power and the Glory

  • Study Guide
Quotes

Important Quotes Explained

Quotes Important Quotes Explained

He dreamed that the priest whom they had shot that morning was back in the house dressed in the clothes his father had lent him and laid out stiffly for burial. The boy sat beside the bed and his mother read out of a very long book all about how the priest had acted in front of the bishop the part of Julius Caesar: there was a fish basket at her feet, and the fish were bleeding, wrapped in her handkerchief. He was very bored and very tired and somebody was hammering nails into a coffin in the passage. Suddenly the dead priest winked at him—an unmistakable flicker of the eyelid, just like that.

In the novel's final chapter, Greene depicts the reactions of various people to the priest's execution. Fittingly, he ends with the young boy. Extremely significant here is the way Greene weaves imagery of Jesus Christ into the boy's dream. "Julius Caesar" of course, besides being another victim of betrayal and murder, has the same initials "J.C." Notice also the mention of baskets of fish, feet and bleeding, references to both the wedding feast of Cana, the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, and the crucifixion. The "resurrection" here is much less dramatic, but still significant: the priest flickers his eyelids, implying that he has returned to life after his execution. In fact, the priest has attained a kind of resurrection primarily because his image and his example remain in the boy's mind after the priest dies.