Dana SarchetFollow




English and Modern Languages


Master of Arts (MA)


Matthew Towles


Analogy, Connaturality, Freud, Graham Greene, Maritain and Aquinas, Suffering


English Language and Literature | Literature in English, British Isles | Philosophy | Religion


Freud, Maritain, and Aquinas have greatly influenced the literature of Graham Greene, and Greene's The Power and the Glory is no exception. As both Freud and Greene attest to the irrevocable influence of childhood on adulthood, we must read Luis, the primary child character in The Power and the Glory, in light of the characters who impact his transition into his adult life. But these characters reflect yet another thread in Greene's perspective of personhood; studying Catholicism at least four years before writing Catholic fiction, Greene was also greatly influenced by the theological thought of Aquinas and Maritain, and this influence as well surfaces in The Power and the Glory. As a result, these disparate philosophies--the secular ideology of Freud and the theological ideology of Aquinas and Maritain--must be paired in an analysis of Luis and triangulated with the novel's theme of suffering. When closely analyzed through these disparate ideologies, Luis and the key characters who influence him--his own parents and the Lieutenant--reveal that an experience of suffering, particularly in childhood, can lead to a cycle of suffering as the sufferer, divorced from love of God, establishes destructive perceptions and patterns of behavior, and as a result perpetuates suffering both in his own life and in others'. However, an analogical demonstration of God's love amidst this suffering can break this cycle at least minimally, as it can provide the needed context for the sufferer to either return to or cultivate love of God amidst his suffering. Ultimately then, as depicted in the whiskey priest and his impact on Luis, this demonstration enables the sufferer to develop connatural knowledge, thereby paradoxically providing him with a more unitive existence.