An examination of selected novels by Graham Greene : with reference to the Teilhardian concept of the world and salvation
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
In this thesis I have applied some of Teilhard de Chardin's concepts about the world, man and salvation to selected works by Graham Greene. Having found strong similarities between the subject matter and attitudes of the two writers, I believe that the comparison helps to demonstrate more clearly a systematic unity of theme and purpose in those novels I have selected, as well as offering some new insights into Greene's doctrine. I have made use of selected writings by Teilhard, in particular Le Milieu Divin and The Phenomenon of Man, as well as critical writings on these and his other works. Besides various critical writings on Greene and his works' I have selected for particular study the following novels: It's a Battlefield, Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory; The Heart of the Matter and The End of the Affair.
In Chapter 1, I examine the interest of both writers in Peguy and compare Teilhard's main ideas on the world and salvation with the way these matters are dealt with by Greene in general. The remaining 6 chapters deal with the five novels individually and provide a summary and conclusion. While the question of any positive influence of Teilhard's writings on Greene's own work is at present difficult to establish with certainty, there is such similarity between the concepts of Teilhard on the one hand and their fictional presentation in Greene's work on the other, that a more than coincidental link is suggested.