Power & the Glory- Allusions to Biblical Characters

Graham Greene, author of The Power and the Glory, was a 20th century English novelist. He converted to Catholicism in 1926, due to his wife’s practices in faith, which is right around the severe persecution of the Roman Catholic Church during this time period. In 1936, ten years after he converted to Catholicism, Greene traveled to Mexico with the specific purpose of studying and writing about this persecution. His two most common themes displayed in his novels are violence and religion. Evidently, in this novel it is clear that it was influenced by his travels to Mexico, as several of Greene’s characters are parallels to some of those who are in the bible.
      Padre Jose can be compared to Peter the Apostle. After being a follower of Jesus for three years, Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. Not until Jesus resurrected did Peter begin to fully understand who Jesus was. Similarly, Padre Jose denied God by turning away from the priesthood and renouncing his faith so that he would not be persecuted. Rather than being killed and becoming a martyr, he chose to give into the government and married his housekeeper. After doing so he continues to abandon his faith by refusing to give blessings. For example, he was asked in the cemetery during a funeral to give his final blessing, yet he did not believe it was possible. His response to the people was “Leave me alone. I am unworthy. Can’t you see?—I am a coward” (49). In addition, he denied his faith again when the lieutenant came to his house asking him to hear the whiskey priest’s confession. He was afraid of being set up by the government, and he again shows his unworthiness by ignoring his sense of duty. Padre Jose’s abandonment of the priesthood does not say that he no longer believes in God and the Catholic Church, but it does show that he fears pain, one of many common themes in Greene’s novel.
      In addition, the Whiskey Priest can be paralleled to Jesus Christ. The Whiskey Priest’s execution can be...