The Green Mile Essay, Research Paper
The Green Mile
Set on Death Row in a Southern prison in 1935, The Green Mile is the remarkable story of the cell block’s head guard, who develops an emotional, and unusual relationship with one inmate who possesses a magical gift that is both mysterious and miraculous. This inmate is John Coffey, who beyond his simple naive nature possess a supernatural gift. This gift is what introduces the correlation between Coffey and Jesus Christ.
The easiest similarity to find between the two characters is there initials. There is a connection between JC, John Coffey and JC, Jesus Christ. Despite his size John Coffey was humble and gentle. Though the guards were slowly but surely convinced that something was different about this man, no one noticed that he was a hero. It was almost like the guards were his apostles; they were the only people who knew the truth about his special talent.
The execution of John Coffey was powerful. People mocked and jeered and yet the men that were closest to him really knew he was innocent. Even though he knew he was on the way to his crucifixion, he still performed his mission without complaint. The prison guards were brought to tears because of the life of this one man who humbly accepted the execution that should have been for someone else. He even asked for forgiveness and was humbled to the point of death. This is another strong quality he shared with Jesus. Jesus was deserted by all his friends, yet through his strong heart he endured. In John Coffey we see a true Christ figure that had miraculous powers and died in the place of another. This movie is a great representation of Jesus Christ and the life that he lived.
Upon doing research for this paper I also found out many other similarities that I had not realized when I read the book. For example, when asked by another prisoner if he wants to help him escape, “John Coffey’s response is surprising and perfect. He wants to die, wants to return, to leave this earth, because the pain of other people is too strong to bear (”like shards of glass in my head”), hence the constant mourning for others, not for himself or for his own fate. This is a clear connection to Christ in that modern desires to die almost always only stem from an intense personal pain, not a pain felt for others. He does show a hint of a human side in his nervousness and as he sings “heaven..I’m in heaven..” before the switch is thrown. This correlates well when Christ himself calls out to his father while on the cross (”heaven”) and also when he prayed beforehand in the garden.”
Though these two characters have many similarities they also share differences. The first is there appearance, though John Coffey was very gentle, you would never know it by his appearance. The difference in appearance between the two characters is significant. Their height, weight, occupation, and nationality all differ.
Another big difference is when Coffey transfers evil from his mouth to the mouth of the guard (Percy). Though Percy was evil, Coffey deliberately held it until he was near Percy. This action resulted into both murder and insanity. Though this act might have been justified the question is would Jesus do such a thing? I personally cannot see this happening.
Though they did share some differences in John Coffey you get to see a true Christ figure that had miraculous powers and died in the place of another. This book is indeed a great representation of Jesus Christ and the life that he lived.
Movie: The Green Mile