Graham Greene: The Heart of the Matter

(2008 words)

An important work written soon after the war and published in 1948, The Heart of the Matter is one of Graham Greene’s handful of explicitly Catholic novels. Its somewhat arbitrary colonial setting can be accused of gratuitous exploitation of Africa for local colour, but this choice of location arguably creates a disorienting or alienating atmosphere which contributes to a better understanding of the behaviour of the principal characters. Nonetheless, Greene’s characterization of Africans is at best sketchy, with only cursory discussions of their interior lives, even though the skilful use of extensive free indirect thought in Greene’s portrayal of the Europeans is one of the narrative’s major strengths. Since its first …

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Childs, Peter. "The Heart of the Matter". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 October 2013
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Catholic literature