Brighton Rock Essay

2199 Words 9 Pages
How far would you say that the novel is not so much about Brighton as about Heaven and Hell?

The choice of Brighton as a setting in the novel 'Brighton Rock' proves to be a well-drawn pitch for the action; for its atmosphere of constant bustle and goings on; for its close alignment with Pinkie and also as a metaphorical device for depicting the eternal realities of heaven and hell. Although the writer goes into detail about place names in the town (he mentions the Palace Pier, Montpellier road, the
West Pier and the racetrack) the specific setting of Brighton appears to have little significance, as it could be any seaside town -
"yesterday Southend, today Brighton, tomorrow"

Greene's opening description of Brighton appears
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Pinkie accepts the Roman Catholic teaching of heaven and hell, but in a rather perverted way - although he believes in heaven he can form no view of it, he does however have a vivid picture of hell: "Of course there's Hell. Flames and damnation." Pinkie believes that hell is waiting for him after death and that he cannot avoid it: "Hell - it's just there. You don't need to think about it - not before you die." He thinks of himself as pre-destined, unfairly, for damnation, because of the experiences of which "his cells were formed," Pinkie is from the underworld of the poverty stricken areas of Brighton unseen by the masses and feels tied back by this. What Pinkie wants is to obliterate his past in Paradise Piece and the knowledge of his parent sexual habits, and to escape his room at Frank's where his plotting and planning is made harder by the interruptions of his gang members. What
Pinkie comes to realise about his original view of things is that it is mistaken, and that hell is all around us. In trying to silence
Rose, he finds himself committing a sin more serious than murder by corrupting her innocence and her soul.

Greene's interpretation of Ida presents her as a kind of representative for the people and of the popular world view for the readers of the novel. Ida, like Dallow only believes in what she sees, she is superstitious, being quite ready to

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