Existentialism and the Power and the Glory

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Traditionally, Christian literary works are set in an idealized Christian reality, based upon values sourced from scripture. In this reality, the Deus ex Machina is strictly literal, admitting at any needed time a supernatural element to the story which, in all functionality, serves as miracle, in either pivot of the plot or in character arc. It’s a cliché of storytelling that has become heavily condescended by readers and critics because it leaves little challenge, application, or relation to both the characters in the story and the impact it makes on the audience. They’re experiences that a normal individual could never expect to have, leading many to frustration and confusion. Graham Greene plants The Power and the Glory firmly in reality, and while we still may find his character’s experiences outside of likelihood in context of our own, they remain realistic. They doubt God for good reason, and for the same reason they believe. Their inner struggles are complex and anchored with honesty. The easy path is not taken here. The Power and the Glory is set in revolutionary Mexico, in a time of persecution and political turmoil. Poverty and crime is rampant, common liberties are threatened, and the hearts of everyone are heavy. The transgressions Greene’s characters experience already exceed most of our own, helping us see our common struggles in a more legitimate, harsh light. They more than ever have reason to be discouraged, and anything that can turn their calloused

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