The Green Mile

The Green Mile

by

Stephen King

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The Green Mile: Part 2: Chapter 6  Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Paul recounts that, at the age of nineteen, he wrote a passionate, four-page love letter to the woman who would become his wife. At the time, he thought he would never write anything longer, but he has now found that he can write this long story. Writing, he explains, unlocks his memory, allowing him to understand certain events with greater clarity—such as the fact that, from its very first appearance on the Green Mile, Mr. Jingles had been looking for Delacroix.
The distance that writing grants Paul does not spare him emotional trauma but does allow him to better understand the chronology of what has happened. In particular, it reinforces his belief in a kind of destiny, as he trusts that Mr. Jingles knew all along that Delacroix was going to come—suggesting that certain events are perhaps mysteriously scripted before they even happened.
Themes
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Paul realizes that his decision to write about John Coffey has led him much farther back in his memory than he would have thought, but he nevertheless asks the reader to focus on John. He describes Coffey’s sobs for the reader, explaining that they felt like an unceasing, profound sorrow, as though Coffey were crying for all the suffering in the world. Even though Paul often tried to comfort him, part of him also felt that Coffey deserved to suffer for what he did. Nevertheless, he asks the reader to keep John Coffey’s ceaseless stream of tears in mind throughout this narrative.
Paul insists on a single one of John Coffey’s characteristics: his ceaseless suffering. As such, Paul presents Coffey as a martyr, a person bound to suffer a cruel fate in the name of something infinitely greater than him. Paul wants this characteristic to come through more than any consideration of Coffey’s crime—suggesting that Coffey may be more innocent than he seems.
Themes
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
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