The Green Mile, March 1999
Stephen King, 1947-?
Summary: John Coffey is brought to Cold Mountain accused of rape and murder. It becomes known that he has a healing touch. Paul Edgecombe, the superintendent, has sympathy for Coffey and later finds out that Coffey is indeed innocent, but can find no way to stop the execution. Coffey proclaimed that he “wanted to go” and thus allowed Paul to accept Coffey’s fate as he must, and go on with his life. Central Characters: Paul Edgecombe, probably over 100, narrator, was the head of E block (death row) at Cold Mountain Penitentiary. Paul faces an internal struggle between what his job wants him to do and what he sometimes knows is the “right” thing. Kind and gentle, he recounts this episode of his life from Georgia Pines, his retirement home. John Coffey is a huge, muscular black man but is very slow in the mental sense, brought into a situation where death surrounds him, yet he has the power to heal by his own touch. Other Characters: Dean Stanton, Harry Terwilliger, Brutus Howell, and Percy Wetmore were all guards on E block. Percy was the most significant; he was a banty-rooster sort of guy. He liked to pick fights. He represented the fears of Paul Edgecombe. Though it is not obvious at the beginning, it becomes clearer as Paul ages. Toot-Toot was portrayed as a jester to lighten the mood of the story. His humor is what kept the other guards sane. Hal (Warden) Moores was the warden of Cold Mountain Penitentiary. Melinda Moores, Hal’s wife, is portrayed as a sick elderly woman. She is used in the story to demonstrate the miraculous healing power that John Coffey held. Janice Edgecombe was Paul’s wife. She died in a bus accident, setting up the character of Elaine Connelly, who Paul met at the retirement center in his later years. Eduard Delacroix was a tiny, timid Frenchman sentenced to die in “old sparky’s” lap. He was the owner of the...
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