Read Brighton Rock / The Power And The Glory / The Heart Of The Matter by Graham Greene Free Online
Book Title: Brighton Rock / The Power And The Glory / The Heart Of The Matter|
The author of the book: Graham Greene
Edition: Quality Paperback Bookclub New York
Date of issue: 1991
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 455 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.3
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The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene and adapted for the BBC
A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list... and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
The Heart of the Matter is an absolute masterpiece.
It has been included on the list of best 100 books of the last century, written in English, available on the Modern Library site:
The hero is Major Henry Scobie and he is the second in command in a country that in the adaptation is identified as Sierra Leone.
Graham Greene had been an operative for MI6 and we can assume that a lot of details in the book have been based on his own experience.
At the center we have a conflict between passion and duty, the struggle of the protagonist to ease out of the contradiction between his beliefs as a catholic- the author himself belonged to this church- and his love and infidelity.
As Henry says
- “I don't believe anyone who says love, love, love. It means self, self, self.”
Alas, Henry is ready to sacrifice himself for the others, while suffering on account of his “sins” and condemning his own acts.
While policemen used to take bribes from the Syrians who controlled the trade, in diamonds and other things, major Scobie is beyond reproach and doing his duty, notwithstanding the fact that is passed by when a promotion is available.
The commissioner is retiring, but instead of his second in command, the authorities are sending in a younger man to take his place.
This is humiliating for Louise, Henry’s wife, who feels her spouse should either retire or move to another place.
Because she cannot stand the attitude of the people in this colony, who had not liked her and would be even more arrogant now that major Scobie had been just neglected a deserved career move, Henry tries to find the means to pay for her move.
She wants to travel to South Africa, but with his pay and considering his honesty, there is not enough money for the boat ticket.
The bank refuses a loan, since he has no collateral and as aforementioned his salary is rather small and the only way out is to borrow from Yusef.
But the Muslim Syrian is involved in illegal trade and is also engaged in a serious conflict with the Christian Syrian Tallit, who is a competitor and apparently a smuggler as well.
To complicate matters, a spy arrived on the scene, Edward Wilson and he thinks that he is in love with Louise Scobie.
Considering himself a rival of the husband, Wilson tries hard to find something that he can use against major Scobie.
And there is now the financial transaction with Yusef that even if it should be just a business matter, that includes an interest, is speculated by Yusef who is blackmailing Henry and wants him to send a package for him.
MI6 sends a colonel to investigate the reports that Tallit had been taken in by force at the police station and Henry Scobie has something to hide.
Helen Rolt is a nineteen year old widow that arrives in the colony, helpless and in need of moral support.
She falls in love with Henry and he loves her in return, all the while regretting the sin he is committing that he feels is:
- More serious that murder
In his confession to the priest, Henry says that he has doubts, he does not know if he believes in God anymore.
Since he makes Helen suffer, for he cannot divorce as a Catholic and he does not feel as he thinks he should about his wife, Henry is willing to go to an extreme and keeps thinking about a way out, considering that:
- People do not need the dead…nobody needs the dead
Graham Greene has said about Henry Scobie and The Heart of the Matter:
- "A weak man with good intentions doomed by his big sense of pity". He further says in the preface, "I had meant the story of Scobie to enlarge a theme which I had touched on in The Ministry of Fear, the disastrous effect on human beings of pity as distinct from compassion. I had written in The Ministry of Fear: 'Pity is cruel. Pity destroys. Love isn't safe when pity's prowling around.' The character of Scobie was intended to show that pity can be the expression of an almost monstrous pride."
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Read information about the authorHenry Graham Greene, OM, CH was an English novelist, short story writer, playwright, screenplay writer, travel writer and critic whose works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world. Greene combined serious literary acclaim with wide popularity.
Although Greene objected strongly to being described as a “Catholic novelist” rather than as a “novelist who happened to be Catholic,” Catholic religious themes are at the root of much of his writing, especially the four major Catholic novels: Brighton Rock, The Heart of the Matter, The End of the Affair, and The Power and the Glory. Works such as The Quiet American, Our Man in Havana and The Human Factor also show an avid interest in the workings of international politics and espionage.
(Excerpted from Wikipedia)