The Green Mile

The Green Mile

by

Stephen King

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Green Mile can help.

Arlen “The Chief” Bitterbuck Character Analysis

First elder of his tribe on the Washita Reservation and member of the Cherokee Council, Bitterbuck is a relatively calm, reserved man. He is convicted for drunkenly murdering a man over a trivial matter, smashing his head with a cement block. His execution is the first one that is described in the novel, and it goes according to plan.

Arlen “The Chief” Bitterbuck Quotes in The Green Mile

The The Green Mile quotes below are all either spoken by Arlen “The Chief” Bitterbuck or refer to Arlen “The Chief” Bitterbuck. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Pocket Books edition of The Green Mile published in 1996.
Part 2: Chapter 5 Quotes

It was over. We had once again succeeded in destroying what we could not create. Some of the folks in the audience had begun talking in those low voices again; most sat with their heads down, looking at the floor, as if stunned. Or ashamed.

Related Characters: Paul Edgecombe (speaker), Arlen “The Chief” Bitterbuck
Related Symbols: The Green Mile
Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Green Mile LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Green Mile PDF

Arlen “The Chief” Bitterbuck Character Timeline in The Green Mile

The timeline below shows where the character Arlen “The Chief” Bitterbuck appears in The Green Mile. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Chapter 6
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...gotten rid of Percy earlier if he had not put him in the switch-room during The Chief ’s execution. Paul, shocked and confused, does not understand what the warden is saying—why, for... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 2
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...in to violent impulses. By interrupting the tranquility, Percy visibly upset the two inmates present, The Chief and The Pres. Dean’s anger also comes from the fact that he is beginning to... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 3
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...next evening, on Percy’s night off. Paul has taken an extra hour to talk to The Chief , whom he can see is becoming increasingly scared and nervous as his date of... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 4
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
The date of Bitterbuck’s execution arrives. Paul explains that while everyone calls him The Chief, he is not, in... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
While The Chief receives the visit of his second wife and a few of his children, Paul and... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
In Bitterbuck’s room, where they are rehearsing the execution, Paul gives a short legal speech, Dean examines... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
...Harry asks if The Chief has asked for “some Cherokee medicine man,” Paul explains that Bitterbuck is a Christian and has accepted the Baptist man who came for the previous execution. (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 5
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Bitterbuck’s execution goes according to plan. Before the execution, The Chief’s eldest daughter, a very dignified... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
The guards follow the ordinary procedure and, when Van Hay rolls on two, Bitterbuck’s body brutally leaps forward in the chair under the effect of electricity. During the thirty... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Harry and Dean load Bitterbuck onto the stretcher. The horrible smell is so strong that the men have to take... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...slaps the dead man’s cheek. Indignant, Brutal tells him severely not to do that, for Bitterbuck has paid his due. Percy cuts Brutal off but steps back fearfully when Brutal approaches... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 7
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
While The Chief is executed according to plan, The Pres sees his death sentence commuted to life and... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
After a period of calm on E block, with The Chief and The Pres gone, one day Eduard Delacroix is sent to the Green Mile. In... (full context)