The Green Mile Summary
Stephen King

Everything you need to understand or teach The Green Mile by Stephen King.

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The Green Mile Summary

Although King depicts the moral issues surrounding the death penalty in black and white, The Green Mile's depiction of God's role in human affairs is extraordinarily ambivalent. Unfailingly ethical in his response to events, Paul Edgecomb, was raised in what he jokingly calls the "Church of Praise Jesus, the Lord is Mighty." While, by 1932, his descriptions of the religious fervor of his childhood have an ironic edge, he has retained the habit of interpreting events in scriptural terms. Witnessing the healing of a dying woman was, Paul says, akin to seeing "the scales fall from Saul's eyes on the Road to Damascus . . ." (Coffey on the Mile). Paul (and, with him, the reader) believe that Coffey's healing both of Paul's urinary infection and of Melinda's brain tumor are miracles.

Yet Paul moves from traditional Christianity to anger at a God whose acts of mercy are arbitrarily parceled out. In 1932, Paul's...

(read more from the Short Guide)

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