“I’ll still be reporting, whoever wins”: Journalism and the Media in the Fiction of Graham Greene's Stamboul Train, It’s a Battlefield, and The Quiet American
Hutton, David Craig
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This is an examination of Graham Greene’s use and characterization of journalists in three of his novels. Greene uses journalist characters as vehicles to critique the practice of journalism and the media in three novels in particular: Stamboul Train (1932), It’s a Battlefield (1934), and The Quiet American (1955). This study examines the influence and manifestation of journalism and, more broadly, the mass media in these three novels. Through an analysis of Greene’s journalist protagonists, this study investigates the complex relationship between writer and subject, his portrayal of the mass media, and the various themes attached to Greene’s conception of journalism and the role of the journalist in society. In these novels, Greene critiques the function of journalism in society, the responsibility of the journalist in a democratic society, and the misuse of this power by journalists and editors alike. Observing and participating in the world, Greene’s journalist protagonists find themselves in situations where they must choose between involvement and neutrality, attachment and detachment, and, often, damnation and salvation. As a renowned journalist himself, Greene travelled to troubled places to report on revolution, social change, individual and collective suffering, thereby experiencing situations both physically dangerous and morally disturbing. I argue that Greene ultimately adopts a less stringent view of journalistic observation, understanding that knowledge itself is an interpretive achievement. His observations in this regard are crucial to an understanding of Greene and increasingly important in a media dominated world where the role of the journalist is increasingly critical.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeGarcea, Joe; Bidwell, Paul; Hynes, Peter