green mile (paul edgcombe)

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Paul Edgecombe A Peculiar Man
Paul Edgecombe, the narrator of Stephen King's novel The Green Mile, is a character faced with many moral dilemmas. He works at a job where he sees injustice and the judgment of the state placed on the inmates there. Looking at the economic situation of society, he sees good men going without work and unable to provide for their families. “Better men than me were out on the roads or riding the rails. I was lucky and I knew it.” (p.46) Paul tries in his own personal way to right the wrongs of the brutal treatment of the inmates with kindness, and tries to quiet his conscious when the time comes to put a man to death. Paul Edgecombe's meditations and thoughts on other characters are insightful and show us a great deal about his personality and beliefs.
Mr. Edgecombe is a married man with grown children. He took a job at Cold Mountain Penitentiary to support himself and his family long ago. Now, during the economic depression of the nineteen thirties is unable to quit, despite how he feels. The narrator seems to be an educated man with a definite ethical standpoint, a conscience, and strong religious beliefs.He makes references to Edgar Allen Poe (p.100) and Lewis Carroll' s Alice in Wonderland (p.56) when commenting on his surroundings in the prison. This is not something one would expect from a prison guard in the South during the depression.
Paul is tormented by the duties his job requires of him.”I couldn't do this job much longer. Depression or no depression, I couldn't watch many more men walk through my office to their deaths.” (p.65) Paul experiences empathy for the prisoners on the green mile that is touching and surprising.”For a moment I imagined to myself to be that mouse, not a guard at all but just another convicted criminal there on the green mile, convicted and condemned but still managing to look bravely up at a desk.” (p.54)