where can i find some notes on graham greene's ' the heart of the matter'?

1 Answer

Relevance
  • Geomi
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is a review of Heart of the Matter. Check the Sources box for the source:

    The Heart of the Matter deals with Catholicism and moral change in Major Scobie who is a police officer in a British West African Colony. Scobie, a policeman with a long tenure, is responsible for local and wartime security. Scobie and his wife,Louise's only child, Catherine, died in England several years before. Louise is a devout Catholic. Scobie is passed over, for promotion to Commissioner. Louise gets upset for both for personal ambition and her hope that the local British community will accept her. Louise asks Scobie if she can go and live in South Africa to escape the life she hates.

    At the same time, a new inspector, named Wilson, arrives in the town. He and Louise strike up a friendship, which Wilson mistakes for love. Wilson rooms with another colleague named Ison Harris, who has created a sport for himself of killing the cockroaches that appear in the apartment each night.

    One of Scobie's duties is to lead the inspections of local passenger ships, particularly looking for smuggled diamonds. Scobie didn't forget the incident when Wilson offers him a bribe of one hundred pounds. Scobie is called to a small inland town to deal with the suicide of the local inspector, a man named Pemberton, who was in his early twenties. He left a note implying that his suicide was due to a loan he could not repay. Scobie suspects the involvement of the local agent of a Syrian man named Yusef, a local black marketeer. Yusef denies that he has anything to do with the inspector , but warns Scobie that the British have sent a new inspector specifically to look for diamonds. Scobie claims this is a hoax and that he doesn't know of any such man. Scobie later dreams that he is in Pemberton's situation, even writing a similar note, but when he awakens, he tells himself that he could never commit suicide, as no cause is worth the eternal damnation that suicide would bring.

    Somewhat later, Scobie tries to secure a loan from the bank to pay the two hundred pound fee for Louise’s passage to South Africa. It bad luck that he is turned down for the loan. As it turns out,Yusef offers to lend Scobie the money at four percent per annum. Scobie initially declines, but after an incident where he mistakenly thinks Louise is contemplating suicide, he accepts the loan and sends Louise to South Africa. Wilson meets them at the pier and tries to interfere with their parting.

    Shortly afterwards, the survivors of a shipwreck begin to arrive after forty days at sea in lifeboats. One young girl dies as Scobie tries to comfort her by pretending to be her father, who was killed in the wreck. A nineteen-year-old woman named Helen Rolt also arrives in bad shape, clutching an album of postage stamps. She was married before the ship left its original port and is now a widow. Scobie feels drawn to her, as much to the cherished album of stamps as to her being near him, but she is not beautiful. Nevetheless, she reminds Scobie of his own daughter.

    He soon starts a passionate affair with her. He sought her out even though he knows that he is commiting adultery. A letter he writes to Helen ends up in Yusef's hands, and the Syrian uses it to blackmail Scobie into sending a package of diamonds for him via the returning Esperança. When Louise unexpectedly returns fro, South Africa., Scobie struggles to keep her ignorant of his love affair. But he is unable to renounce Helen, even in the church confessional. In the confessional, the priest tells him to think it over.

    Shortly after, the priest witnesses Yusef's boy delivering a 'gift' to Scobie. Scobie's servant Ali is killed by teenage thieves known as the "Wharf Rats." Scobie had began to doubt Ali's loyalty, and he hints that he also distrusts Yusef. As the story goes on, it appear that Yusef arranged the death of Ali.

    Now desperate, he decides to free everyone from anything to do with himself,even from his God. Scobie thinks he will commit suicide, he still realizes that it will result in damnation according to the teachings of of his Catholic Church. For the sake of his life insurance, he feigns symptoms of angina thus receiving a terminal prognosis from his doctor. It is Scobie's attempt to have his demise look like a natural death. Instead, his efforts prove useless.

    The Heart of the Matter is lessons about coping with the issue of pride. The disastrous effect on human beings of pity as distinct from compassion are in the cruelty of pity. Finally, pity destroys. Love is not safe when pity is the dominant emotion of a person. The character of Scobie was intended to show that pity can be the expression of a monstrous pride. Good luck.

    Source(s): Wikipedia, The Heart of the Matter,@http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Heart_of_the_Matt...
    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.