Brighton Rock

Brighton Rock novel was written by a British writer Henry Graham Greene dating back to1938. Later in 1947 The novel was developed to a film, which was further modified in 2011. The writer has used many literary skills in relaying his ideas about characters and events in the novel. Some of the most outstanding literary skills used in the novel comprise of metaphors, similes and are used to express styles, themes as well as other figurative language applications.

The novel consists of seven major characters, whose traits and expression has helped in expanding the mood of the novel. These characters include:  Pinkie, Dallow, Hale, Cubitt, Spicer, Rose, and Ida Arnold. Throughout the novel, Pinkie has been portrayed to be the main character. Although young, he was merciless to anyone, who became his victim at any given time in the novel. Pinkie is only 17 years old, but he holds a very high position in the gang leadership structure.

Dallow falls the second in domination after Pinkie in the gang, and thus, among all the characters. Due to his reliability and dependence, he is the only character well trusted by Pinkie. In the entire gang, Dallow is portrayed as the closest friend and the most loyal to Pinkie’s gang leadership. The friendship and trust are just, but due to the allegiance trust for not leaking the criminal acts of the gang anywhere. Hale is clearly shown in the novel as a modestly behaved character in the set up. He is good at article publishing, an art, which he uses to reveal the illegal actions of Pinkie’s predecessor in the gang leadership.  In response to the article, Pinkie takes matters seriously and chooses to execute him. Hale eventually finds it insecure, and therefore, resorts to seek protection from the government. He, however, finally fell into the bloody hands of Pinkie and lost his life.

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Cubitt is another member of the gang, who resides with Dallow and Pinkie at Billy’s. He actively takes part in the gang activities until he knew that Pinkie was fully responsible for Spicer’s death. Rose is the first female character exposed in the novel.  She is a well behaved naïve, poor and modest in all she does. In the novel character roles, Rose is at first Pinkie’s girl friend and finally became his wife. Despite all her good reputation, she gets married to a gang leader just because of the religious bond of the Roman Catholic Church. On the other hand, Pinkie is married to this innocent girl in order to cover his criminal acts from revelation.

Ida Arnold is yet another female character who tirelessly pushed for justice to prevail in the set up. Her efforts were all directed towards eradicating crime from the society. As far as she is concerned, she strongly believes in evidence as well as exhibit before any accusation is made. Even though, she is very much aware of all the criminal activities taking place in the society, she works so hard to obtain a tangible piece of information about the criminal cases. In the novel, her presence symbolizes the government role in fighting crime.

Each of these characters has far much exposed the main themes in the book. The most pronounced theme in Brighton Rock novel is Crime. Crime dominates the entire novel set up consisting of the majority characters being gang members. The first case evidence of the criminal act is evident in Hele’s article, which expounds on the criminal actions of the gang within the society. The piece of information about the gang stirs up the government, which then works tirelessly to eradicate this mess.

The author illustrates prevalence of crimes using deaths that occur within and without the gang members. A unique case of crime is evident in the mysterious murder of Hale who after leaving the mob revealed gang secrets to the public. His death follows various threats as well as narrow escape scenarios, when he met with Pinkie. The murder of Hale is a criminal offence portrayed in the novel set up. The theme of crime is further fanned into a flame by the hidden intention of Pinkie at marrying Rose. At the back of his mind, his main idea is to cover up his criminal deeds from being detected by Ida. The author elaborates this moral decadence to crime expanse in the novel set up.

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Crime can additionally be demonstrated by the author in terms of fame flowing among the characters during the time. The author clearly demonstrates Pinkie as one who felt good about fame and sought for it with the whole of his might. In the novel, the writer depicts that Pinkie sought to perform the most of crimes in order to be famous of all the gangsters. She  also illustrated that within a short period of time, Pinkie and his gang succeeded in carrying out numerous fresh crimes. They participated in all these crimes with an attempt to cover up the evidence of that they ever murdered hale.

The author uses poise in confiding amongst mob members to demonstrate continuation of crime. Dallow was the second in the command after the leader and was specially regarded. Pinkie felt that Dallow was the only person he could confide in since he was loyal to the gang. In a mob secrets ought to be maintained thus when most group members had departed, Dallow remained faithful. In case of unfaithfulness, the leader is expected to execute the disloyal ones.

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The moral decadence is used by the author to elaborate on crime among the young people. Greene successfully writes to show that the whole group was relatively a young blend of the society. Since the gang was made up of young men who showed that they all lacked upright moral upbringing. Pinkie was barely 18 years of age and he possessed a gun. Additionally, he was the ring leader and together they got thrilled by brutally killing people. Crime, therefore, is used to show the absence of moral uprightness in the young people. As shown, they mercilessly murdered their former colleague Hale and found joy in it. This is completely contrary to the expectation of forgiveness and reconciliation.

The author demonstrates that threats were very prevalent due to the crime and violence increase. The gang leader Pinkie used to threaten everyone who seemed likely to leak any information concerning the group of gangsters to outsiders. Spicer became uncomfortable due to the increase in crimes committed b y the gang. Spicer’s expressions of fear made Pinkie mistrust him and eventually killed him.

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The author shows betrayal as an aspect of crime as a theme in the novel. Hale is portrayed to be a betrayer to the gang in which Pinkie is the leader. He previously was a gang member, but after parting, he wrote on the magazine about their involvement with the loss of a track. Criminals always uphold accord of maintaining secrets and togetherness at all circumstances. Bleach of such an accord leads to extremely fatal consequences like torture and death.

The author successfully illustrates ruthless behavior as an aspect of crime amongst the gang members. Hale had previously been a part of the gang and took part in most of their criminal activities. He later defied the initial gang leader and revealed their secrets about a stolen slot machine racket. Pinkie, the current gang leader, could stop at nothing to kill Hale for betraying the gang. Pinkie combed the streets and lanes and afterwards mercilessly killed Hale. Additionally, the gang took part in several other fresh murders in order to cover up for the death of Hale. 

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The author shows crime to be associated with fear and inner guilt. The gang members continually take part in the criminal activities, which involve killings, theft, rape, and forced kidnapping. They additionally commit more crimes in order to cover up sources of evidence for their crimes. For fear to be sought by police, Pinkie searches the town to kill Hale who had revealed their activities to the media. On the other hand, Hale felt threatened, while being in the town since the gang sought to kill him. Additionally, Pinkie fears that Spicer would reveal to the police or to Ida Arnold about them, so he ends up killing him.

Additionally, Greene illustrates Crime as often associated with incidences of sexual relationships. Men in the gang usually acquire lots of money, and thus, find the need to find female companions as casual sexual partners. The author uses sexual relations between pinkie and rose to show intimacy thus enhancing secrecy. Pinkie sought Rose for a relationship with an intention to keep the gang’s secrets from being revealed. Rose was imaginatively involved with the murder of Yale and would easily reveal to the police who the perpetrators were. Therefore, by getting married to her, Pinkie would succeed in suppressing the truth.  

The author demonstrates how competition amongst major criminal groups would easily lead to death of some members by suicidal actions. There was competition between various gangs due to the numerous murder cases and other criminal offenses committed by the gang. Pinkie’s marriage to Rose was a source of protection since no one would get to know of their past actions. He, however, felt afraid when competition hard-edged. Consequently, he organized with Rose to carry out a mutual suicide. This act of suicide led to the unanticipated tragic end of the novel.

The author displays another aspect of crime in the novel to be Justice. The writer presents Ida as a gracious, sober woman who represents a tranquil intervener between various parties in the novel. She comes in play, when the Pinkie threatens and murders Hale. Her intention is to follow up on the murder case as well as defend Rose from Pinkie’s dangerous trap of marriage. Later she gathers very important information through the help of Cubitt about the groups’ activities and secrets.

The author uses metaphorical skills to show desperation as an aspect of crime. The main actor Pinkie took part in several of the killings and seemed confident with all his actions. Pinkie could not stop at anything to be recognized as the best in crime. This act of self confidence did not, however, last long, since his motivation to war declined. The author displays his desperation by his desire to commit suicide. He later planned a mutual suicide and took his life using his own hands.


The author uses various literary skills to show the traits of the characters and the occurrences in the novel. The character roles are distributed according to their function in the novel, thus enhancing crime. The author illustrates some of the major aspects of crime. They include; fame, sexual relationships, betrayal, fear and guilt, desperation, justice, threats and ruthless killings within and without the mob circle. To culminate crime as a theme in the novel, the author shows the progression and ending of each character as surprising. To show the startling ending, Greene shows astounding ending of Pinkie.


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