Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Green Mile by Stephen King

Stephen King's The Green Mile.., is about people causing harm to others. Death row in the Louisiana State Penintary is termed as Green Mile, where to be executed prisoners are held till they time to walk on a green floor to the electric chair.

Story told by Paul Edgecom, who is in charge of the death row inmates and to make sure prisoners are executed peacefully(!!?whatever that means) . Paul treats inmates with dignity and respect even with their history and conviction of horrific crimes. Assisting him are Brutus Howell, Dean Stanton and Harry Terwilleger, Percy Wetmore. Percy is newly-appointed guard, an sadistic pleasure of watching someone be put to death on the electric chair. Coffey got special healing powers and Paul-Coffey forge a strong bond. Many pages flows describing the positive bond between Paul and Coffey, contrasted to the negativity that Percy brings to the proceedings.

The book handles many topics and illustrates the true nature of the death penalty, showing how cruel and barbaric and how innocent people can easily be put in positions where they are executed unjustly. Its about compassion---Coffey a GOD-like figure who dies for humanity's sins, crucified by people who don't know better. Yet he himself is not capable of complete forgiveness, and thus involving him getting his revenge. Ultimately everyone seeks to harm someone else, whether justified or not. The parents of the children Coffey is believed to have killed have venom in their minds against him. Percy and a maniacal prison inmate seek nothing more than perverse destruction. Even the prison guards really have one sole purpose: to help killing. Coffey is who truly seeks to heal, but he too kills with his love.

King's stories are mixture idealism and cynicism view. Always, they exists a bleak view because of their exploration of darkness by humans. While the film does end up portraying a sanitised view of King's vision, underneath the surface lies the depiction of how depraved we "civilised" beings can behave.

No comments: