The Green Mile Readalong Halfway Point

Friday, April 16, 2021


Welcome to the halfway point in our Green Mile readalong! Care and have been having a blast reading all your thoughts and theories on the book so far. King's tone can be cheesy at times, but it's his characters that pull me in. Even the side stories are powerful. Paul's time in the nursing home making him feel weak and helpless, the warden's raw grief over his wife's diagnosis, the reporter's cold reaction to the realities of the world after his dog turns on his children, each moment stays with you. 

I also loved this quote. It's from a moment when Paul is pouring out his memories in a journal in the nursing home and realizing how powerful the act of writing is. 
“What I didn’t realize was how many doors the act of writing unlocks, 
as if my Dad’s old fountain pen wasn’t really a pen at all, but some 
strange variety of skeleton key.”
What are your thoughts so far? Feel free to post here, on Care's blog or on Litsy or Twitter or Instagram, wherever you prefer! The hashtag is #GreenMileAlong and you can find both of us at the following spots:

Litsy: @BKClubCare and @Avidreader25
Instagram: @BKClubCare and @Avidreader25
Twitter: @BKClubCare and @MelissaAvidLife


Care said...

I must say, this doesn't feel like a 600 page book! King always reads fast. I'm loving the fact that I got the individual serialized collection. I can only care the part around that is "in progress" and try not to pick up the next to avoid reading ahead. (Tho I admit, I'm ready for Part 5 which we scheduled for April 21. That's all the way to next Wednesday - what will I do?!)
Part 3 brings us back to a contest question - I keep meaning to google if they did a big announcement on the winner way back when... The main question contrasts one of the guards with one of the inmates who 'resides' on the Mile - on of the men scheduled to be electrocuted. It's obvious that the point is the death penalty is not a black and white issue - certainly not in the contrast of Percy to Delacroix, both white men. (we could get into the race issue but let's best suggest everyone read Just Mercy for the nonfiction question of what is fair and what is justice and who is on what side of those questions.) You could consider just the interesting contrast of Percy often referred to by his first name and Eduard Delacroix always being referred to by his last name. Usually, last name reference is a higher sign of respect.

Laurie C said...

Interesting question! Homophobia was what I thought King was getting at with Percy's instant hatred of Delacroix. Especially given Percy's name and the mention more than once of his having "small hands", he was probably either bullied at school or, if protected by his family's name back then, too, became a bully himself early on. Percy's fear of humiliation and desire to prove himself to be powerful and masculine seem to be his motivation for everything he does.
When Delacroix, who is already in pretty much the most powerless position he will ever be in, is essentially chosen by the mouse that escaped Percy's power, it infuriates Percy even more. Having Percy do what he does to Delacroix, who seems to Paul to be an innocent man convicted of murder, King seems to be saying that the wrong person was on Death Row and pointing out the unfairness of the justice system which not only targets people of color but people who are "different", "foreign", or outsiders in some way.

Ti said...

This last part I was more into but it's been hard for me to read this series while reading other books. I wish I had planned this a little better. And no, it doesn't seem like a long read at all when it's broken down like this. King is always a pleasure to read but I just wish I had cleared by review titles before sitting down with it.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Care – I love your thought about the full name being used as a sign of respect. We certainly see Paul’s preference for Delacroix. Although he does refer to Brad Dolan (the nursing home employee) by his full name. I second the recommendation of Just Mercy! That would be a great nonfiction companion to this book. I think it’s so fun that you found the original serialized version!

Laurie – That’s true, Percy is a bully. Even though it isn’t his power, he is constantly threatening those around him with “the breadline” and anything else his connections could do. I never felt like Paul thought Delacroix was innocent, just that he was no longer a threat to anyone and there was no need for him to die. I wonder what prompted King’s exploration of Death Row in this. I need to check and see if there were any prominent cases happening in the news around that time.

Ti – It’s always hard not to drop everything when reading King!