Analysis of the Green Mile

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Knaub 1

Jill Knaub
Professor Janet Ward
English 110
November 3, 2011 Summary of the Novel, “The Green Mile”

A summary of any novel by Stephen King has to include a small biography of the horror novelist, himself. Publishing this novel in 1996 as a serial novel, with the first edition actually coming out as one of six small paperbacks that were eventually made into one novel. Stephen King is well known for his horror novels, therefore, this summary of the novel “The Green Mile” shows this book set in the 1930's and is a deviation from some of his other works.

The story is told in the first-person narrative by Paul Edgecombe, switching between Paul as an old man in the nursing home in 1996 and his time as block supervisor of the Cold Mountain Penitentiary's death row, famously known as”The Green Mile”. The corridor is covered in green linoleum, hence, the “last” or green mile the inmates take to their death. This particular year marks the arrival of John Cofey, a 6'8” black man who has been convicted of raping and murdering two small white girls. During John Cofey's time on the Mile, he interacts with fellow prisoners Edward “Del” Delacroix, a Cajun arsonist, rapist and murderer. Also, there is William Wharton. To himself he was “Billy the Kid” but to the guards he was “Wild Bill”, a wild acting and dangerous multiple murderer. Wild Bill was determined to make as much trouble as he could before his execution. There are other prisoners on the "Mile" such as Arlen Bitterbuck, a Native American convicted of killing a man over a

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pair of boots, he is also the first character to be executed; Arthur Flanders, a real estate executive who killed his father to commit insurance fraud, and whose sentence is eventually commuted to life in prison; and the infamous Mr. Jingles, a mouse, whom Del teaches tricks as if he was a pet.

Throughout the book, Paul and the other guards are annoyed by Percy Wetmore. He is a sadistic guard



Cited: “The Green Mile”. (King, Stephen). Screenplay by Frank Darabont. Director. Frank Darabont. Performers. Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan and David Morse, Warner Bros, 1999.

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