The Green Mile

The Green Mile

by

Stephen King

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Dean is a responsible—if occasionally too serious—guard on E block. He is nearly strangled to death by Wharton on the day Wharton arrives on the block. Dean has two young children. Because of his family situation, his colleagues try to spare him the danger of participating in Coffey’s illegal escape, so that he wouldn’t lose his job if the plan failed. However, Dean dies a few months after this event, brutally assassinated in C block, where he applied to transfer after Coffey’s execution.
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Dean Stanton Character Timeline in The Green Mile

The timeline below shows where the character Dean Stanton appears in The Green Mile. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Chapter 2
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...on E block, many of whom are temporary guards known as “floaters.” The regulars include Dean Stanton, Harry Terwillinger, Brutus Howell (nicknamed “Brutal” because of his size, despite his utter gentleness),... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 3 
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...trouble with Percy because of the way in which he told him to leave earlier. Dean, who is sorting files in Paul’s office, joins the two men’s conversation about how difficult... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
When Paul asks what his colleagues think about John Coffey, both Harry and Dean concur that he will not bring trouble, agreeing that he is very big but seems... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 7
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...the first time the mouse appeared on E block. From the hall, Brutal had called Dean and Paul, who were in Paul’s office, with an urgent voice. As the two men... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Dean wants to get rid of the mouse with a broom but Paul, wanting to save... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...the mouse’s appearance, calling it “Steamboat Willy,” a reference to Mickey Mouse. Paul laughs, but Dean says Brutal is going to get into trouble for that, since Percy could get Brutal... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 2
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...chases the mouse down the Green Mile, the mouse reappears during the shift of Percy, Dean, and Bill Dodge. The Pres (an inmate condemned to death for pushing his father out... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
Eager to show Bill what the mouse can do, Dean breaks off a bit of Ritz Cracker and feeds it to the rodent. Bill is... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
When Dean gives the mouse another piece of cracker, Percy, who had been taking aim, suddenly throws... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Dean and Bill, who know that Percy cannot bear to feel humiliated, try to defuse the... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
The following night, Dean tells Paul that what Percy doesn’t understand is that he has no real power over... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 3
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In the corridor, as Dean is telling Paul about what happened with Percy the night before, Toot-Toot, who sells snacks... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 4
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
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Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
In Bitterbuck’s room, where they are rehearsing the execution, Paul gives a short legal speech, Dean examines Toot-Toot’s head in order to make sure that he is well shaved and that... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
Escorted closely by Paul, Dean, and Harry, Toot enters Paul’s office, where he immediately kneels down to pray. He is... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
...curtly replies that he should simply observe and learn. When Toot sits on the chair, Dean and Paul kneel to attach the man’s ankles to the chair, crouching in a position... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...side to side, energetically crying out that he is frying like a turkey. Harry and Dean, though, have their backs to the chair and are not watching. They are looking at... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 5
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... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
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Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...(which he does not to attack Percy, but to grab the gurney). After Harry and Dean cover Bitterbuck’s body with a sheet, the guards lead the body toward the end of... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 9
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...cents for the cigar box but, when Toot-Toot proves reluctant to sell it, Paul and Dean contribute some more money. Toot-Toot only agrees to sell the box after Brutal reminds him... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 11 
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
That afternoon, after Wharton’s violent entrance into E block, Dean explains that they all thought Wharton was sedated from hospital drugs. Harry agrees, and even... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...his prison uniform, but the prisoner—his eyes vacant, his body limp—proves unable to comply, and Dean is forced to help him put on his pants. Throughout the morning, none of the... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...the extra guards stay in the vehicle and, as they exit the car, only Harry, Dean, and Percy are in charge of the prisoner. In a formation of three—Dean and Harry... (full context)
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When Dean steps forward to unlock the door, Wharton suddenly comes alive, uttering a shrieking, animal-like cry... (full context)
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...of a mean, stupid animal, intent on doing as much harm as he can. Meanwhile, Dean, his face red, is choking to death. Just as Paul draws his gun, Wharton spins... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 2
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
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...to shoot, Brutal suddenly enters—by some miracle—and hits Wharton on the head with his baton. Dean crawls away and Paul tries to lock Wharton, now unconscious, in his cell. He calls... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
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Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...not to show his surprise, Wharton threatens to do to him what he did to Dean. Paul calmly replies, remarking that, given the circumstances, he will spare Wharton his usual welcome... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 8
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...He threatens the guards to get them fired if they tell anyone what has happened. Dean reassures him and Percy, furious and shameful, begins to threaten Delacroix, but then he decides... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 2
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
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After Percy crushes Mr. Jingles, Dean angrily shouts at him, asking him what he has done, and Percy walks away. In... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 3
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...but Brutal in turn threatens to tell everyone about Percy’s apathy when Wharton almost strangled Dean. (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 4
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...gives his mouse one last kiss, which puts the guards on the verge of tears, Dean, Brutal, and Paul escort him to Paul’s office where he says a Catholic prayer in... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
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...head. Neither Brutal nor Paul—who is still upset about Mouseville—notices that anything is wrong. Nevertheless, Dean and Brutal are showing visible signs of distress and Paul realizes that while they all... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
...Paul later understands to be a mix of burning hair and sponge. Paul looks at Dean, who is panicking, and a popping sound is heard underneath Del’s mask. Paul runs to... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
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...them what happened was the result of a power surge from the lightning. Paul tells Dean to grab the doctor’s stethoscope and places it on Del’s burned body, where his skin... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 9
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Paul calls Brutal, Dean, and Harry to invite them for lunch, noting that neither of them seem sleepy, which... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...people’s diseases and releases them in the form of black insects. As the conversation continues, Dean interrupts to say that he accepts these interesting facts as the work of God, but... (full context)
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...escape and, in doing so, risking his job and his freedom to help Melinda Moores. Dean asks if Paul truly believes that Coffey could heal her brain tumor and Paul says... (full context)
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...the truth about Percy’s complicity in Delacroix’s botched execution and in Wharton’s attempt to strangle Dean. (full context)
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...would never allow it. When he mentions that he had thought of using his car, Dean notes that it would be impossible to get a man of Coffey’s size inside it.... (full context)
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When Dean raises a final objection about the fact that Coffey is a murderer and could become... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 2
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
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...three men confirm that they will all participate in Paul’s plan. Paul then announces that Dean is the one who will stay on the block. Brutal supports this decision, reminding Dean... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 4
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
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...illusion, since people have been cleaning the room all day. When Brutal arrives, followed by Dean, Paul asks Dean if he can go get him a heating pad at the infirmary... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 5
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
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...an outrageous accumulation of lies but tells him it is fine, and Percy walks away. Dean and Brutal pretend to be absorbed in a game, but they are all aware that... (full context)
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When it is almost midnight, Paul gives Dean a sign. Dean goes into Paul’s office to get a Cola drink and gives it... (full context)
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...might think about what he did to Delacroix. When the men re-enter the Green Mile, Dean fakes surprise and indignation at what is happening and Brutal tells him to shut up—a... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...there is no turning back now, they go open Coffey’s door. The men make sure Dean knows what to say if anyone comes by the Green Mile. Suddenly, as they get... (full context)
Part 6: Chapter 2
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
When Dean sees them, he expresses relief but worries about John’s appearance. Dean tells his friends Percy... (full context)
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...Paul to get him out of the straitjacket and Paul slaps him in the face. Dean gasps and Percy looks at Paul with shock. (full context)
Part 6: Chapter 5
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...spent a long time wandering around the state. The way that Wharton tried to strangle Dean, too, made it seem likely that he could have killed the dog on his own.... (full context)
Part 6: Chapter 9
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
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When Paul, Dean, and Harry go to Coffey’s cell, Paul gives him his official speech. Dean and Harry... (full context)
Part 6: Chapter 10
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...Brutal to obey John’s wish. Brutal then places the wet sponge on John’s head and Dean secures the straps on his chest. Paul recounts that Dean later asked to be transferred... (full context)