Taken the easy way out is not always the high road everything has consequences, what might see feasible short term might not be long term. This is the case in Graham Greene’s novel The Tenth Man, were a French lawyer named by Chavel is imprisoned by the Germans during WWII. Chavel is faced with death, but having power trades his wealth with another prisoner so he could live on.
The story opens with an illustration of time, “in fact there as many times as there were prisoners” (29). Through-out the story there is a tone of chaos. This opening statement is a perfect example of how Chavel, Charlot emotions are mixed. He feels that there is so much that he caused and so little then he can do to fix it.As we read further into the story we learn that Chavel is a prisoner held by the Germans. The narrator uses the term “hostage” (30), and Chavel brings this word comes up again. Chavel literally is a hostage in prison in part one of the story, but he remains a “hostage” trapped within himself, because of what he did, trading his life with Javier. After he was released from prison, Chavel for the first time in his life was poor. “The shame he felt now shuffling like a beggar up to the door of the house went nearly as deep… The empty windows watched him come like the eyes of men sitting round the wall of a cell…When he put out his hand and pulled the bell it was like a gesture of despair. He had tried his best not to return but here he was” (60). He felt dirty, ashamed, and homeless, he had no where to go. He ended up going back to his old house and meets Javier’s sister, at his former house. He is mad that none of his father’s portraits are on the wall; this is an example of his arrogance.
Graham Greene also uses Therese to put even more guilt on Chavel. As Graham writes:
“I’ve got such hate, she said, it just goes on and on all day and all night. It’s like a smell you can’t get rid of when something’s died under the floorboards… She put her hands over her eyes as if she was ashamed of this physical display of grief. He thought, this is all my work…He thought to himself, it isn’t fair.