Grace Tjan's Reviews > The Heart of the Matter

The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene
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May 09, 10

bookshelves: 2010, british-literature, swapable, greeneland
Recommended for: Conrad/Maugham fans, Catholics, lapsed or otherwise
Read from May 06 to 09, 2010, read count: 1


In a world full of flawed characters, pity for another human being may be the greatest flaw of all. The story charts the gradual decline of Major Scobie, an upright colonial policemen who slowly succumbs to corruption and adultery. The irony is that the mortal sins (yes, this is a Catholic novel) that he committed are fueled not by garden-variety greed or lust, but by his propensity to take pity on other human beings. Pity for his wife --- he doesn’t love her but he feels an overwhelming sense of duty towards her wellbeing --- leads him to accept bribes. Pity for a friendless young widow, a war survivor, leads to an illicit relationship. Before long, he gets so entangled in a web of deceit that there is only one way out. You may or may not agree with Greene’s assertion that pity is a kind of pride that can lead to damnation, but there is no denying the power of this sparely told, bleak morality tale.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Ayu (new)

Ayu Palar First time reading Greene or no? I like Brighton Rock but I can't finish The Third Man.


Grace Tjan First Greene book. Likes it a lot so far.


message 3: by Rauf (new)

Rauf Ayu wrote: "First time reading Greene or no? I like Brighton Rock but I can't finish The Third Man."

Whuh? But The Third Man is good.


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