The Green Mile

The Green Mile

by

Stephen King

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Convicted for raping and murdering a young girl, and then involuntarily setting fire to the adjacent building (leading to the deaths of six more people), Delacroix shows no sign of cruelty by the time he reaches E block. Instead, he appears to be a fearful old man, terrified of the cruel Percy Wetmore. His forlorn attitude changes dramatically with the arrival of the mysterious, hyper-intelligent mouse, Mr. Jingles, who brings Del endless joy—a feeling of happiness that Paul believes is probably the greatest the man has ever experienced. Del dies a horrific and agonizing death on the electric chair after Percy, who hates Del, sabotages his execution by not wetting the sponge.

Eduard “Del” Delacroix Quotes in The Green Mile

The The Green Mile quotes below are all either spoken by Eduard “Del” Delacroix or refer to Eduard “Del” Delacroix. 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 1: Chapter 2 Quotes

In a way, that was the worst; Old Sparky never burned what was inside them, and the drugs they inject them with today don't put it to sleep. It vacates, jumps to someone else, and leaves us to kill husks that aren't really alive anyway.

Related Characters: Paul Edgecombe (speaker), Eduard “Del” Delacroix
Related Symbols: The Green Mile
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3: Chapter 7 Quotes

This is the real circus, I thought, closing my eyes for a second. This is the real circus right here, and we’re all just a bunch of trained mice. Then I put the thought out of my mind, and we started to rehearse.

Related Symbols: The Green Mile
Page Number: 216
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: Chapter 3 Quotes

Meanness is like an addicting drug—no one on earth is more qualified to say that than me—and I thought that, after a certain amount of experimentation, Percy had gotten hooked on it. He liked what he had done to Delacroix’s mouse. What he liked even more was Delacroix’s dismayed screams.

Related Characters: Paul Edgecombe (speaker), Percy Wetmore, Eduard “Del” Delacroix
Page Number: 253-254
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: Chapter 4 Quotes

I could hear Del breathing in great dry pulls of air, lungs that would be charred bags less than four minutes from now laboring to keep up with his fear-driven heart. The fact that he had killed half a dozen people seemed at that moment the least important thing about him. I’m not trying to say anything about right and wrong here, but only to tell how it was.

Related Characters: Paul Edgecombe (speaker), Eduard “Del” Delacroix
Related Symbols: The Green Mile
Page Number: 269
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: Chapter 5 Quotes

As for your witnesses, most of them will be telling their friends tomorrow night that it was poetic justice—Del there burned a bunch of people alive, so we turned around and burned him alive. Except they won't say it was us. They'll say it was the will of God, working through us. Maybe there's even some truth to that. And you want to know the best part? The absolute cat’s pajamas? Most of their friends will wish they'd been here to see it.

Related Symbols: The Green Mile
Page Number: 286
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Green Mile LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Green Mile PDF

Eduard “Del” Delacroix Character Timeline in The Green Mile

The timeline below shows where the character Eduard “Del” Delacroix appears in The Green Mile. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Chapter 2
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...briefly in the hospital. Paul himself suffers from illness: a terrible urinary infection. The inmate Delacroix arrives at E block. Finally, and most importantly, John Coffey is sentenced to death for... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...meantime, while Paul is preparing to welcome Coffey on E block, both Percy Wetmore and Delacroix, the only other prisoner on E block at the time, are watching the scene. Percy,... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Paul also tells Del—who is watching the action from his cell with his mouse Mr. Jingles on his shoulder—to... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Despite the awfulness of his crimes, Del seems devoid of any malicious intent. Paul explains that this is the worst aspect of... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 6
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...go over Brutus Howell’s report of the previous night. In the report, Brutal mentions that Delacroix cried a bit before going to bed but that he took his pet mouse, Mr.... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...that the warden’s chief assistant, Curtis Anderson, has written. In this note, Anderson explains that Delacroix’s DOE (date of execution) will come soon, but that before then a new prisoner, William... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
...speedy way to get rid of Percy would be to put him in charge of Delacroix’s execution. Certain that Percy is going to make a mistake, Paul nevertheless finds himself forced... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...for another day in prison, and the endless waiting of which each day consists—waiting for Delacroix to die, for Wharton to arrive, and for Percy to leave. (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 7
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Paul calls Delacroix’s mouse one of God’s mysteries. He recounts the first time the mouse appeared on E... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 8
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Paul recalls how, a few moments before Delacroix’s execution, he promised Delacroix to protect his mouse. He notes that, in fact, he always... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...colored with wax Crayola crayons. Brutal and Paul realize that the mouse saved pieces of Delacroix’s colored spool in order to remember him after his death. While both guards think about... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 6 
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...from its very first appearance on the Green Mile, Mr. Jingles had been looking for Delacroix. (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 7
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...of calm on E block, with The Chief and The Pres gone, one day Eduard Delacroix is sent to the Green Mile. In E block, Paul, who is waiting on the... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...explanation, saying that this type of behavior is unacceptable on E block, Percy says that Delacroix tried to touch his penis and that he was punishing him for it. Paul looks... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Paul goes to Delacroix’s cell to give him his usual speech about life in prison, but the new prisoner... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 8
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...a while, tranquility returns to E block, except for a few instances when Percy harasses Delacroix. Paul, who has already had many conversations with Percy about his behavior, decides, as a... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
One night, the guards hear Delacroix laughing in his cell and, when Paul hears that Harry is laughing, too, he goes... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...confirm, and Paul notices unusual serenity in the man’s face. When Paul tells him that Delacroix wants a box for the mouse, Percy says he has seen a cigar box on... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...make Paul lose his job, he told Percy he would be put in charge of Delacroix’s execution, which succeeded in calming the young man. (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 9
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Delacroix gives four cents for the cigar box but, when Toot-Toot proves reluctant to sell it,... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
A week later, Delacroix calls the guards to show them Mr. Jingles’s latest trick. Paul arrives to see Mr.... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
A week later, Delacroix excitedly shows Paul a trick that Mr. Jingles can do with a wooden spool, which... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
A few days later, Harry brings Delacroix some Crayola crayons he has found in the restraint room, so that Delacroix might decorate... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 10
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
In the meantime, Delacroix’s DOE (date of execution) is moved forward two days, and William Wharton’s trial lasts longer... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 3
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
In the immediate aftermath of Wharton’s attack, Percy remains silent except to yell at Delacroix, who desperately wants to know what happened. Paul realizes that Percy deeply hates Delacroix, for... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
From his cell, Delacroix warns Paul not to go in, but Paul tells him to keep quiet. Coffey tells... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
While Delacroix is yelling that he wants to know what is going on in Coffey’s cell, Paul... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
When Paul exits Coffey’s cell, Delacroix, who finds Paul completely different, becomes convinced that Coffey has worked a magic charm on... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 6
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
...When Paul drives back to the prison, he remembers it is time to prepare for Delacroix’s execution and feels a deep sense of dread at the idea that Percy will be... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 7
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
To make Delacroix leave his cell for the guards to rehearse his execution, Brutal takes Delacroix and Mr.... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 8
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
After the rehearsals of Delacroix’s execution go well, Paul is impressed with Percy’s behavior and realizes that the reason the... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
When Delacroix returns from his show, Percy jokingly lurches forward to scare him. In his fright, Delacroix... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...the corridor’s silence. Paul initially believes it is coming from Wharton but soon realizes that Delacroix is laughing and pointing at Percy, saying he has wet his pants. Paul looks down,... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 9
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
The night before Delacroix’s execution, the weather turns unbearably hot and humid. When Paul arrives at the prison, he... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 10
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Delacroix, who does in fact know what is about to happen to him, has ordered his... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
While Paul is wrapped up in Brutal’s fantasy, Percy slowly approaches Delacroix’s cell. Suddenly, when Delacroix throws the spool a bit too hard against the wall and... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 2
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...and Percy walks away. In his cell, Wharton laughs heartily, saying that Percy has taught Delacroix a lesson for making fun of him earlier. While Delacroix is crying and the guards,... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...looks normal again, if not for a little bit of blood on his whiskers, and Delacroix laughs and cries when he holds him in his hands again. Brutal brings Delacroix the... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 3
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...what he did to Mr. Jingles but also, and to an even greater extent, hearing Delacroix’s horrified screams. (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...more convincing, Percy finally agrees to apply for transfer to Briar Ridge the day after Delacroix’s execution. Even though Paul feels that Percy has a funny look in his eyes, as... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 4
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
...by a huge thunderstorm. Preparations for the upcoming execution initially seem to go smoothly, as Delacroix waits in his cell and the witnesses arrive. However much the witnesses might have joked... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
After Delacroix gives his mouse one last kiss, which puts the guards on the verge of tears,... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Del walks up to the chair, the men tie him to it, and Paul feels a... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
After the roll on one, Percy steps forward, gives his official speech, and asks Delacroix if he has anything to say. Delacroix apologizes for his crimes and, in a whisper,... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Percy places the mask on Del’s face. Then, instead of wetting the sponge in brine, which allows electricity to flow through... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Suddenly, when Percy is done fitting the cap on Delacroix’s head, Paul notices that he sees no water running down the condemned man’s cheeks. He... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
...sponge. Paul looks at Dean, who is panicking, and a popping sound is heard underneath Del’s mask. Paul runs to stop the electricity, but Brutal, extremely pale yet perfectly in control... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Del begins to scream as his body slams back and forth in the chair, his bones... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...remainder of the execution lasts two full minutes, excruciatingly long for everyone. Paul believes that Del is conscious through most of it, even as smoke came out of his face, the... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
When Del’s body slumps back and it becomes clear he is dead, Paul orders Van Hay to... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 5
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
After the guards successfully get Delacroix’s body out of the execution room, Brutal, moved by uncontrollable rage, goes to hit Percy... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Paul says that Del is dead and they cannot do anything about that. He controls his own urge to... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...them laugh, deflating the atmosphere. Brutal tries to argue that the execution was successful—and that Del’s horrible death is poetic justice for the people Del himself burned. Paul tells Curtis that... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 6
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...of tears running down his face and hears Wharton sing an inventive, sadistic song about Del’s execution. Paul tells Wharton to shut up but grudgingly admits to himself that Wharton is... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 9
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...argues that it sounds more like Paul is trying to account for what happened to Delacroix. (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...explaining that he feels he has to atone for his involvement in what happened to Delacroix. This justifies participating in the illegal act of helping a man escape and, in doing... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...something they could threaten to talk as well, revealing the truth about Percy’s complicity in Delacroix’s botched execution and in Wharton’s attempt to strangle Dean. (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 1
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...he knows from John Coffey, can be dangerous. When he wrote down his memories of Delacroix’s execution the day before, he wrote in a steady flow that brought him back to... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 2
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
At his home, Paul tells the guards that, after Delacroix’s execution, he gave Coffey his shoe and told him to tie it. Coffey soon found... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 4
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
When Paul walks into prison that evening, he is convinced that he can still smell Delacroix’s burned body but he knows that must be an illusion, since people have been cleaning... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 5
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...hours in the restraint room, so that he might think about what he did to Delacroix. When the men re-enter the Green Mile, Dean fakes surprise and indignation at what is... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 6
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...of it, his arms full of goosebumps. Coffey says that he can hear pieces of Delacroix still screaming, and the men are terrified by this thought. Paul takes control of the... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Paul makes Coffey lie down on the gurney—which they used the night before to transport Delacroix’s body—and the men push him down the tunnel. Coffey smiles and says he is having... (full context)
Part 6: Chapter 2
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Paul tells Percy that he deserved to be punished for what he did to Delacroix, and that he will be sorry if he ever tells anyone what happened, for they... (full context)