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Infused as it is with spiritual and moral tensions, Graham Greene’s writing resonates heavily with medieval religious literature. His narratives are defined by complex dilemmas, by characters whose psyches are battlegrounds (often between their own divided loyalties) and by the looming threat of damnation and the notable absence of God. This influence of medieval writing seems nowhere more obvious than in “The Hint of an Explanation,” a 1948 short story where the motif of the soul as battleground is vividly drawn and where faith is deepened through moral crisis. Greene takes as a source for this text Host desecration myths in order to create a type of moral fable that rejects the stark contours typical of the genre. Here, he complicates interpretation to explore the nature of faith, morality, and redemption.


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19 Jul 2022
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  • Alternative title
    • A Hint of the Eucharist

  • Journal title
    • Graham Greene Studies

  • Volume
    • 2

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Keywords