Popular Literature Paper - the Green Mile

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Popular Literature Paper - The Green Mile

INTRODUCTION
The intent of this paper is to describe and analyze a piece of popular literature and to provide a critique of the literary work and a commentary on the influence of the work in popular culture. The work chosen for analysis is The Green Mile written by Stephen King and “originally published in 1996 in six self-contained monthly installments, The Green Mile is an astonishingly rich and complex novel that delivers over and over again. Each individual volume became a huge success when first published, and all six were on the New York Times bestseller list simultaneously. Three years later, when Frank Darabont made The Green Mile into an award-winning movie starring Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan, the book returned to the bestseller list -- and stayed there for months” (Barnes & Noble website, n.d., para. 3). It is not possible to write a summary of the story without including a bit about the famous horror novelist, himself. King is, perhaps, best known for his horror stories, and The Green Mile, is somewhat of a departure from many of his other works. This paper will provide a brief description of the novel and the author’s background and how this novel fits with other literature of the genre. Finally, this paper will discuss the cultural significance of the work; whether the novel is economically successful or has fan followings and also what cultural values are reinforced or challenged. BACKGROUND

The story is told in flashback and narrated by “Paul” a very old man who is living in a retirement home. Paul is remembering and reflecting on events that occurred while he worked as the head guard on death row in a Georgia prison in the 1930’s. "The Green Mile" is the name of the corridor (with green colored flooring) that leads from the prisoners cells to the execution chamber. The story is primarily about a gentle giant named John Coffey. Coffey is a very large, black man...
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