The Green Mile Characters

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Because The Green Mile is an anti-capital punishment exemplum, characters are defined morally in the simplest terms.

King emphasizes the fundamental humanity of the two men who are the first to be executed, Arlen Bitterbuck and Eduard Delacroix. While King tells the reader that the two men are murderers, he shows them speaking and acting with such dignity, love, and simple faith that one perceives their executions as evil, unnatural acts. Sentenced to die for crushing a man's head with a cement block in a drunken argument, Arlen Bitterbuck ("The Chief) fantasizes about a mountain lodge in Montana, where he hopes to return after death. Mass murderer Delacroix lovingly cares for his pet mouse and, before going to the electric chair, recites the "Hail Mary" in French.

The other characters in The Green Mile are polarized between totally evil and unequivocally decent. William "Billy the Kid" Wharton (a...

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This section contains 668 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Green Mile Short Guide
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The Green Mile from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.