The ambivalent Catholic modernity of Graham Greene's Brighton Rock and the Power and the Glory
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AbstractThesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This thesis argues that the "religious sense" which emerged from Graham Greene's Catholicism provides the basis for the critique of the ethics of modernity in his novels Brighton Rock (1938) and The Power and the Glory (1940). In his depiction of the self-righteous Ida Arnold in Brighton Rock, Greene elicits some problems inherent in modern ethical theory, comparing secular "right and wrong" unfavourably with a religious sense of "good and evil." I suggest that the antimodern aspects of Pinkie in Brighton Rock are ultimately renounced by Greene as potentially dangerous, and in The Power and the Glory his critique of modernity evolves to a more ambivalent dialectic, in which facets of modernity are affirmed as well as rejected. I argue that this evolution in stance constitutes Greene's search for a new philosophical and literary idiom - a "Catholic modernity."
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