The Tenth Man
by Graham Greene The book " The Tenth Man" by Graham Greene takes place in
in the 1940's during the German occupation. The book begins in a German prison with the narrator talking about the prisoners. He singles out two, the Mayor of Bourge and Pierre an engine driver. Through a situation concerning these two men, we are introduced to the main character, Jean-Louis Chavel who later changes his last name to Charlot. The narrator goes on to describe how the prisoner can hear the executions that occur every night. One night a German was killed, so for punishment three prisoners were to be killed from each shed. To be fair, the men in the cell wherein the story begins, drew marked paper from a shoe. Chavel drew the last marked slip which condemned him to death and he became hysterical. In his hysteria he offered to give every thing he owned to someone if he would die for him. A man named Janvier, thinking of his sister and mother, spoke up and took his offer. After the agreement, Janvier drew up a will leaving everything he now owned to his sister and mother. The next morning he was executed. The story then shifts to months later in Paris where Chavel, whose name has been changed to Charlot, is looking for a job since he had given everything away. Charlot then returned to his old home where he meets Janvier's sister and mother. Because Janvier's sister, Therese, did not k now who he really was, she gave him a job because he knew her brother. While working at the house, Charlot had several run-ins with many childhood and adult friends but managed to fool them in some way or another. As time passes, a beggar came into the town and pretended that he was the real Chavel who had escaped persecution for being a collaborator with the Germans during the occupation. Vividly he explains the whole story and convinces Therese that he is the real Chavel. Charlot didn't do anything because he wanted to find out how he knew the story and what he wanted. As a plan to get all the land and money that Therese got from her brother, the impostor Chavel convinces Therese that Charlot made him look bad and her brother proposed the deal to him. While proving that the impostor was in fact an impostor Charlot was shot and killed. Before he died he made sure that Therese would receive no trouble about the property and money by leaving it to her in his will. One moral issue in this book was the willingness to give up one's life for another and the motives for doing so. People sometimes sacrifice their life for another when that other person is faced with death. I think the author put this in the book because in today's society very few people are willing to give up their life to save another, and if they are willing they usually would do it for the wrong reasons. For example in the book Janvier gave up his life for another, but his motive was unclear. He could have done it for his own personal glory because he would have died a rich man. He could have also done it for his family so they didn't have to live the rest of their life struggling to survive. He could have also done it to save Chavel's life because he thought it was the right thing to do. Also in the end of the book Chavel gave up his life so Therese would have no problems with land arguments and because he loved her. In today's society, I believe that most people would hesitate to save someone else if they could end up dying or getting seriously injured. For example if someone was going to get hit by a car and another person had a chance to push the other person out of the way but they may injure or kill themselves in the process, I don't think they will try to save them. People today have the attitude that someone else will do it or I am not going to do it because I don't like that person. If people are willing to try and save the person, they will do it for the the wrong reason. People today are looking for some way to become the great hero so they can have their picture on the news and everybody will remember who they were. Another reason people would try and save someone else would be because of money or some other form of reward. There are some people who would do it for what I think are the right reasons. I believe if you do it because you care for some else or for that other persons well-being you are doing it for the right reasons . If you do it because you are trying to get into heaven you are also doing it for the right reason, because after all our goal in life is to go to heaven because we are promised a better life once we get there. I don't know if would try and save some one if I know I would die trying. I am unsure because at the time I would probably not have chance to way the situation and would the consequences of my actions would be. I can not also speak about what I would do in this situation because I was never in one, I presume that instinct would take over and probably do what would be needed to be done to help that person in their time of need. Another moral value in the book was giving up your riches to save your own life and not thinking of others in any way what so ever. People who believe in something, when faced with a problem or difficulty, take the values of the people imposing the problem on them. I think the author included this issue in the book because in today's society, people sell out what ever they believe in, just so they can get a little ahead in life. In the book they talk of collaborates who sold out t o the Germans and agreed to follow their rules just so they would not be killed. What they didn't think about is the many people who died trying to fight for what they believed in and what the many people who were now forced to live under these rules would have to go through. In today's society, especially in the business world, people disregard what they value because they want that better job or that raise or just to get on the boss' good side. This is not exclusive only to the business world. Many people lie about what they believe just to belong to a group or to impress someone. This is a real problem among children. They will relinquish their beliefs because they don't want their friends to ridicule or mock them. One more moral value in " The Tenth Man" was not to take advantage of some one who is depressed, hurt, injured, etc. in any way. A lot of people use someone who has just gone through a loss to take advantage of him/her. Once again the author put this in the book because it is a prevalent problem in the world. He also included this issue to show how it can lead to more serious problems because these people were already hurt and now they are hurt worse. In the book after Therese's mother died she was very upset as any child would be, and Chavel felt an attraction towards here. He was warned by the priest not to take advantage of her. He made the right decision in the book by not mentioning it and taking it to his grave. In society today many people prey on people who have been hurt or depressed for one reason or another and take advantage of them. They try to win their love and then take them for everything they have. The right thing to do in these situations would be to care for the person who is hurt or down and help them through their problem. Once they are stable you can tell them how you feel about them or anything else. Deceiving someone else about who you truly are is another moral issue in the book. People deliberately lie about their identity or other information to take advantage of another person. The author included this in the story to teach that deception is wrong. In the story Chavel pretended that he was Charlot. He did that so that Therese would not find out that he was responsible for her brother' demise. In the end it back fired and caused more problems then it solved. Many people do not tell important information about themselves to other people in the hope of avoiding problems.. A good example of this is when applying for a job and you are asked if you were ever arrested. Many people lie so that they can get the job. However, what they don't seem to realize is that the employer will check their references and find out the truth. One moral that was not openly discussed but was hinted at, was the issue of war and whether or not one should be forced to fight. I think the author was for war if the cause was a fair one. This is still an area of controversy today. In all the wars we have fought since WWII, we have questioned if it was really necessary. I believe that you should not be forced to fight in any war that you do not believe that we should be fighting in as a nation The book portrayed many morals that society of today needs to learn. If society learns these morals this world will be a better place for everyone.