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Topic: Anti hero in The Tenth Man.

Submitted by: Group 4, Department of English Language and Literature, Islamic International University, Islamabad

Anti Hero
Graham Greene is greatly acknowledged because of his characterization. Usually his characters undergo a transformation during the course of the novel. So, the development of the characters is seen in this novel. The Tenth Man is one such novel, in which the development of the characters is quite vivid. Chavel is an anti hero by the start of the novel. However as the story line grows his character underwent a change and finally he comes out to be the hero of the novel. Chavel is one of the prisoners of the jail. He was a famous lawyer but luck brought him to jail, when he was captured by the Germans. Chavel possesses a number of qualities because of which we cannot name him as a hero; rather he is an anti hero. Chavel was an arrogant person. Perhaps he had a reason for being arrogant because he belonged to the elite class and now in the jail he was being accompanied by poor people. So, he didnt make friends with other prisoners, as Greene said, The lawyer seldom spoke and had no friends. An incident happened in the jail that totally changed the circumstances. Three of the prisoners had to die. So, lots were cast. When Chavels turn came to pick up his lot, only three slips were left. This scared Chavel too much and he became fearful, It appeared to Chavel monstrous injustice that there were so few choices left to him. Chavel picked the slip with the cross. Chavel became furious and said that he had never consented to draw. This showed that he was not accepting the fate. At lat in a state of utter hopelessness and helplessness he made a grand offer for the person who will die for him. but his offer was not accepted till he said, Ill give you every thing Ive gotmoney, land, everything, St. Jean de Brinac. This episode is a vivid depiction of the cowardice of Chavel. Later on he himself admitted that he was a coward. Dan Haggard remarked that, Chavel is destitute and ashamed of his cowardice. In this way Chavel sold his death to Janvier, who accepted Chavels offer in greed of money. His cowardice is also apparent when he hesitates from facing people, in fear that people will recognize that who he was. I am going to die tonight. What does it matter if someone does recognize me? In the whole area his name was associated with cowardice.

Chavel was also a self centered person because he took Janviers life to save his own life. However later on he feels guilty on his selfish attitude and wishes that he had not done so. He wanted to convince himself that he was not responsible for two deaths. Her Greene has highlighted the darker side of man or the evil in him. The evil in Chavel was quite vivid when he took Janviers life. G. Chandramohan said, Greene is primarily obsessed with evil, the dark side of human nature. Chavel, who once belonged to the aristocratic class, was no more wealthy when he came out of the jail. He had become a tramp, without any money, His money was nearly gone. His clothes looked shabby and dirty, pointing out their rubbed cloth, the missing buttons, the general dinginess. He was even unable to get a job. He even said, I would begin at a low salary. But still he was unable to get a job because he didnt have any papers with him to prove his identity, He had no papers. So, the anti hero in this novel is caught in the identity crisis. He is also called an anti hero because he had an escapist approach. He didnt want to face the harsh and brutal realities of life. This was apparent when the Greene said that, He didnt want to face the house, which was no more his own. Whenever he faced a trouble he thought about death which showed that he had an escapist approach, There is always a time in which to die... All these instances prove that he had an escapist approach. Norman Sherry pointed out to the fact that Greenes characters have escapist approach because Greene himself was an escapist. He said, Greens life long journeying can be seen as escapist. So it is basically his own character that his reflected in the characters of his novels. Another quality of Chavel was that he lied too much in order to hide his identity. When Therese asked him his name he said, Charlot. Jean Louis Charlot. At another point he said about Janvier that, he was the life and soul of the prisoneven the guards liked him. He also concocted the false story of Janviers death. Deception is one of the greatest qualities of Chavel that make him an anti hero. He deceived Therese by hiding the fact that he himself was Chavel. He also deceived the person, who mistook him for Pidot Carosse and gave him 300 francs. He also deceived the pseudo Chavel by telling him the trick regarding torch, through which his friend instantly recognized that Chavel was in danger. This made Pseudo Chavel fearful so he shot Chavel and ran away.

The real development of the character is seen when Chavel comes to live in the house of Janvier as a servant. He started liking Therese because, she didnt treat him like a servant. She was also too much kind to him and sometimes also did the work for Charlot. E.g. once she brought for him a glass of water. This also brought him closer to her. He no longer despaired of a livelihood: he despaired of life. Soon after Chavel recognizes that pseudo Chavel had the intention of marrying Therese so that he could get hold of her money and property. Pseudo Chavel himself revealed his intentions that, What a triumph if I married her before Chavel came...I need money. So, to protect Therese from pseudo Chavel he reveals his identity and later on also came up with the trick of torch. This trick makes pseudo Chavel fearful and in fear and haste he shot Chavel and ran away. Chavel named his property to Therese and in this way he sacrificed his life for the sake of Therese. Through this action, his character was redeemed and from an anti hero, he became a hero. In Greenes novels this transformation is often seen, as G.Chandramohan said that, Spiritual transformation of a sinner into a saint, is seen. In a nutshell we observed the remarkable development of character from an anti hero to a hero. Chavel, who was a self centered person, possessing the qualities of an anti hero is transformed into a hero through his noble action of securing the future of Therese.