The Green Mile

The Green Mile


Stephen King

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

The Green Mile: Part 1: Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Paul explains that he didn’t find out such details from only one visit to the library, but that what he did learn there was enough to make him feel distressed for the rest of the day and night. At home, when his wife, Janice, asks him what is wrong, he lies to her for one of the few times in his marriage, telling her he is bothered by a problem with Percy Wetmore. Janice invites Paul to come to bed with her, implying that he would feel better if they made love, but Paul tells her that he is experiencing a lot of pain from his urinary infection. Before going to bed, Paul pees outside and feels a deep, burning stab of pain in his groin. During the night, he dreams of blonde girls with bloody hair.
Paul is beginning to feel obsessed with John Coffey and, in particular, with the details of Coffey’s crime. His decision to lie to his wife can be understood as a desire to protect her from the horror of the crime against the Detterick twins—or, perhaps, as an early sign that Paul is already doubting John’s guilt and that, in the absence of proof, he does not yet wish to share any information of that sort.
Morality and Justice Theme Icon