The Green Mile

The Green Mile

by

Stephen King

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The Green Mile: Part 3: Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Delacroix, who does in fact know what is about to happen to him, has ordered his favorite chili as his last meal. Mostly, though, Delacroix is concerned with what is going to happen to Mr. Jingles. While constantly throwing the spool against the wall—a trick that the mouse never seems to tire of but which soon gets on Paul’s nerves—Delacroix shares his thoughts with Paul. Paul suggests that they could give the mouse to Delacroix’s maiden aunt or to one of the guards. However, Delacroix rejects all of Paul’s suggestions, and Brutal enters the conversation, suggesting that Mr. Jingles could go to Mouseville, a famous tourist attraction in Florida. Paul plays along with Brutal’s idea and Delacroix becomes very excited about the idea of Mr. Jingles joining a fancy circus.
While Delacroix does not necessarily express his emotions in a way that would clearly communicate his existential anguish and fear, his decisions demonstrate that he is in full control of his senses and knows that death awaits him soon. Delacroix’s concern for his mouse shows his capacity to love beings beyond himself—shows, in other words, that he, too, despite being a criminal, is capable of love and friendship. Brutal’s invention of Mouseville mirrors Paul’s commitment to reassuring inmates in moments of difficulty to help them avoid unnecessary psychic angst as best they can.
Themes
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing 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 the object slips through the cell door with the mouse following it, Percy violently steps on Mr. Jingles with his boot. Mr. Jingles is crushed, Delacroix screams out in horror and grief, and Paul notices that the mouse’s eyes express eerily human-like agony. Percy smiles, comments that he always knew he would get the opportunity to kill the mouse, and turns away.
Despite this warm moment of connection between Delacroix and the guards, Percy refuses to respect the inmate’s last day and obeys only his base instincts of revenge. Percy’s pleasure at seeing what he has done reveals his utter callousness, his inability to feel any emotion for others. The contrast between his behavior and that of Delacroix, who cares so much about his mouse, suggests that ordinary civilians are not necessarily morally superior to condemned criminals.
Themes
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon