The Honorary Consul Essay

This essay has a total of 1493 words and 5 pages.

The Honorary Consul


Latin America and its way of life is the setting to Graham Green's story. It is a story of
terror and kidnap, a story of two men's love to a woman out of a brothel. All this is a
discussion about the love & honour in a person, in a violent atmosphere. The Honorary
Consul is a book of conflicts and paradoxes, which will be discussed in this book report.

The main character in the book is Doctor Eduardo Plarr. Dr. Plarr is the only Doctor in a
small town. He was half English, half Spanish. The English part of him was in prison or
dead, and the Spanish part was a fat woman in Buenos Aires who loved cakes. In fact,
Eduardo's mother love for cakes is the only real love in the book. A reader could hesitate
if Eduardo loved Clara (Clara is a girl out of a brothel, the wife of Charley Fortnum, the
British honorary consul who was kidnapped), but he couldn't do it in this cakes. It
affected Dr. Plarr, for he didn't love people. He only committed adultery with them and
saved their lives. Although Dr Plarr was born in Argentina, he did not see himself as
Spanish. He didn't touch people when he spoke to them, he didn't gossip with them in the
cafe, and preferred to speak English when possible. One of many themes in the book is the
theme of the Catholic belief. According to the Catholic belief (and many other religions)
life is holy. Dr. Plarr did everything he could to save people's life, even when they
couldn't pay him. Along the book, he tries to save the life of Charley Fortnum, the
British honorary consul who was kidnapped by mistake. Why Dr. Plarr is so brazen to save
Fortnum's life? Is it because life is holy, or because he is a doctor and he is obliged to
save one's life? Plarr was not a Catholic, and not a great believer. He committed adultery
with Fortnum's wife- a great breach of the religious law. It is interesting to contemplate
how such a man could be judged by others. A believer would probably say that Plarr's
errand in this world is to save people. A scholar would say that Plarr is loyal to his job
as a doctor. A priest may say that Plarr is a sinner. And this doctor, sinner, saint,
Englishman, whatever one could call him, was the only one who tried to save Fortnum's
life. Eduardo saved Charley's life, but his life was taken instead. God made us all, we
became doctors, consuls, sinners, kidnappers, and all this "party" is living on one world.
How would we look, if we make efforts to save other's life instead of taking it? I'm sure
we'll look well.

There're three metaphysic factors in our world. One is fate, the second is coincidence,
and the third is the "Hand of God". One can't know for sure which of this was responsible
for Fortnum's kidnap by mistake. Again, we have three different views. The atheist will
say it was a coincidence, the astrologist will say it was fate, and the believer will say
it was the "Hand of God". In fact, as I have already mentioned, religion is an important
theme in our book, so I think that the answer is the "Hand of God". Charley Fortnum was
the British honorary consul. He drank whiskey like it was water. There was alcohol in his
veins instead of blood. He was a fool, and married a girl out of a brothel. For sure, he
was not one of the town's backbones. He was even kidnapped by mistake (the kidnappers'
plan was to take the American ambassador), because he hung a diplomatic number plate on
his car, although he was forbidden to do so. He was in love with his car, to which he
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