Greenes Revival Essay Research Paper The protagonist

Greenes Revival Essay, Research Paper

The protagonist of the book is the unnamed priest, known as the

Whisky Priest. For eight years, he has been defying the

government and carrying on with his priestly duties. He lives as a

fugitive, trying to escape to safety. Each time he is about to

escape, someone needs him and because of his basic goodness and

sense of duty, he cannot refuse. He risks his life to help Luis’

mother, the Indian child, Maria and Brigitta, and the Gringo. On

the other hand, two people lose their lives because they do not

inform the police about him.

Before the book begins, the Priest, in a weak moment of despair,

has sex with Maria and becomes the illegitimate father of Brigitta.

Until the very end of the novel, he has a great sense of guilt about

this mortal sin. More than anything else, he wants to confess and

gain a pardon. Before his execution, Padre Jos , the weak priest,

refuses to hear his confession. In the eyes of the official Church,

he, therefore, dies an unforgiven sinner.

As the book proceeds, the Priest is followed on a journey filled

with various events and self-analysis. Much is revealed about the

Priest. He feels it is his duty to save himself because “God

intended for man–the enormous privilege of life–this life.” He

broods over the validity of existence and comes to the conclusion

that he will stay alive as long as God wants to use him for some

service to his fellow man. After Montez is shot dead and Miguel

is taken hostage, the Priest begins to doubt his purpose, for lives

are lost at his expense. Fears of retribution prevent the common

people from welcoming him. At the same time he feels he must go

on because he is still putting God into the mouths of the people.

Over the years, the Priest has learned many things. When he was

young, he became a priest for the good life he could have. He

enjoyed the respect of the parishioners and the grandeur of all

celebrations. Being ambitious, he hoped to become a bishop.

Charging the poor for his services did not bother him, for he had a

lifestyle to maintain. He also had no qualms about his debts. He

spoke eloquently about the political changes taking place in

Mexico but was not really concerned. He was put to the test when

the government sacked his church and banned all religious


After losing his church, the Priest had to struggle to perform his

duties, as well as survive. With lots of time to ponder life, he

begins to really understand the mystery of religion. Instead of

focusing on himself and the attention he receives, the Priest starts

to appreciate human nature. When people needed him to celebrate

mass, to baptize people, and to say the last rites for the dying; he

strongly believed it was his duty to help them, no matter the risk

to himself.


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