The Green Mile, a 1999 cinematic production adapted from Stephen King’s novel by Frank Darabont, contains an abundance of literary elements that when examined reveal irony, symbolism, metaphors, and . Set during the Great Depression and narrated as a flashback of an aging nursing home resident, Paul Edgecomb recalls his younger days as the head prison guard at Coal Mountain Louisiana State Penitentiary in this film. The title is a direct reference to the name given to prison block E as the floors in the prison that lead from the cells to the site of execution at Coal Mountain are green. Inmates on death row awaiting their final moments in this life take their final walk down “the green mile” to the execution chair but when examined on a deeper level it is the unveiling and development of the characters of The Green Mile that merit literary analysis. Of the literary elements present, the allegory of Jesus Christ portrayed through the character of John Coffey is the most prevalent. John Coffey, a gentle giant of a prisoner, has supernatural powers that bring a sense of spirit and humanity to his guards and fellow inmates. As Paul Edgecomb’s awareness of Coffey’s gifts evolves, the allegory to Christ is unveiled and develops significantly throughout the entire plot of this cinematic production. Kozlovic identified Holy exclamations through which someone literally refers to the Christ-figure as God or Jesus. “For example, in The Green Mile, Paul Edgecomb reads the court transcripts of John Coffey, the film's Christ-figure, and then cries out in horror, ‘Jesus! Jesus!’(Kozlovic para. 66). Paul Edgecomb comes to realize that there is something quite different about John Coffey. As the plot unfolds, Coffey’s miraculous power to heal the sick and wounded as well as see what is in the hearts of others is revealed, parallel traits to those of Jesus Christ. In The Green Mile, John Coffey heals Paul’s bladder infection, fixes Mr. Jingles broken back when Percy...
Cited: Michael Clarke Duncan. Warner Brothers, 1999.
of Saskatchewan. 25 Nov. 2007.
Colorado Springs: Zondervan, 2002.
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