Hostages are also being shot.
The Power and the Glory
The priest promises that he will hear confessions, say Mass, and then go. Maria shows him to her hut and brings him some brandy. Brigida comes into the room, but she shows him no affection, only contempt. He tries to play with her, but she is rude to him. Before dawn, he preaches to the villagers, but is interrupted by news that the police are on their way to the village. He finishes Mass in a hurry as the police arrive. He wonders whether this is the moment he will finally be caught.
He drinks the wine used in the Mass, and Maria gets him to bite on a raw onion to kill the smell of wine on his breath, which would give him away. Dawn breaks, and the police assemble all the villagers outside. They search the huts but find nothing. The lieutenant tells the people he is looking for an American murderer the gringo and a priest.
The lieutenant questions them all in turn. The priest gives his name as Montez. Maria says she is his wife. The lieutenant has an old photograph of the priest but does not recognize him from it. But he is suspicious. He asks Brigida who the priest is, and she says he is her father. The lieutenant tries to persuade the villagers to help him, but no one speaks up. He then takes a man named Miguel as hostage.
After the police leave, the villagers tell the priest he should go north, over the border to a different state, where there are still churches and priests. Maria tells him she has broken the wine bottle, and says he must go away. But again, he fails to get through to her and she is hostile to him. The priest leaves the village on the mule.
Instead of going north, he goes south, following the tracks of the police. After making inquiries about how to get to Carmen, the village where he was born and where his parents are buried, he gets the mule to swim across the river. A mestizo half-Indian man comes after him, saying he wants to go to Carmen too.
The priest does not trust the man, but they go forward together, the mestizo acting as guide. They reach a little hut where they rest. The priest goes into the dark hut and lights a candle while the mestizo takes care of the mule.
The Illusion of Escape Illustrated in Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory
When the mestizo returns, he asks the priest to say a prayer, which reveals that he has guessed his companion is a priest. He promises not to betray the priest, but the priest does not believe him. The priest lies awake, thinking back on his earlier, happier days as a priest, while the mestizo sleeps.
When the man awakes, he grabs the priest by the ankle and forces him to listen to his confession. When the priest finally gets free, he goes outside, planning to escape from the man and make his way to Carmen alone. But the man follows him, begging him not to leave him alone. They set off again together, the priest riding on the mule. After a while, the priest allows the mestizo, who appears to be feverish, to ride the mule.
The man again accuses the priest of not trusting him. The priest is certain the man will betray him. When they are two hours from Carmen, the priest pushes the mule on in the direction of the town, while he himself takes a different path. He tells the man that he is his witness that he has not been in Carmen. The man curses him. The priest assumes this is because he has lost his chance of the reward money. Analysis Part I of the novel was seen mostly through the eyes of minor characters, such as Mr.
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But in Part II, this changes. For the second time in the novel, the priest makes a decision not to take the quickest route to freedom. Just as in Chapter I, when he chose not to sail on the ship, in this chapter he chooses not to go north to another state, but to head south once more.
It is as if he feels unworthy of freedom, that he deserves to be punished. The cat-and-mouse game he plays with the mestizo which will be repeated in Part III , is really with his own conscience. Although his instincts for bodily preservation keep him running and hiding, his awareness of his own sinfulness keeps dragging him back into situations of danger. He cannot stop flirting with the idea of giving himself up, or deliberately allowing himself to be captured, so that he can receive the punishment he feels he deserves.
It is a form of self-torture, and there seems to be no escape from it. This chapter reveals more of why the priest is so tormented.
The Power and the Glory
This chapter also reveals that he had a child, conceived in a moment of drunken passion in the midst of despair and loneliness. Not only does the priest feel guilty about his act, but he is deprived of the normal gifts of parenthood—the love of a child, since Brigida makes no response to his attempts to show his love for her.
This chapter also shows, within a few pages, the clash of value systems between the priest and the lieutenant.
The lieutenant pleads with the villagers to trust him, and tries to convince them that they are worth more to him than the priest. Just six pages later, the priest tries to explain to Brigida, his daughter, how important she is. He is dressed in a shabby suit, and he engages a beggar in conversation. He tells the beggar that he is desperate for a drink, and what he really wants is genuine grape wine he needs this so that he can be prepared to celebrate Mass.
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He has fifteen pesos to buy the wine with. They go to a hotel and wait in one of the rooms for the cousin of the Governor to return. The beggar says that this man, who used to be his employer, can get anything.
When the man returns, he produces some brandy, but the priest insists on wine. He pays more money and the wine is produced. The Chief of Police arrives. The Chief of Police then starts talking about the priest they are hunting. He has deduced that the man must be in this town, since there is nowhere else for him to go.
He also says that there is a man in town who will recognize the priest when he sees him, so the priest cannot possibly escape. This is the mestizo who guided the priest to Carmen; the two men have already set eyes on each other in this town. The Chief of Police also says that they have had to shoot three or four hostages. The priest says he must be going and leaves. He stands in the doorway of the hotel for a few minutes, then darts to another doorway; it is raining and he has nowhere to go.
He goes through the door and finds himself in a bar, where soldiers are playing billiards. The soldiers hear the chink of his brandy bottle and quiz him about it, since the possession of alcohol is illegal. They think he is a smuggler. The priest runs away and several soldiers give chase. Then one of the soldiers catches up to him and he is arrested.
When it is discovered at the police station that he has no money to pay a fine, he is placed in a small, dirty, crowded cell. The soldiers do not know he is the priest they are seeking. Analysis This chapter provides what is probably the only touch of humor in the entire novel. But it is grim, tragic-comic humor.