Graham Greene: The End of the Affair (2139 words)


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Set during and immediately after the Second World War, Greene’s novel starts in the middle of its story. Partly for this reason, its well-known opening words have a strong resonance in the narrative: “A story has no beginning or end” (13). Maurice Bendrix, the writer-protagonist of the novel, makes this point in one context, but, as the narrative develops, it appears in others, to do with love, religion, eternity and free will. The fourth of Greene’s explicitly Catholic novels, The End of the Affair (1951) in fact concerns a love triangle. It is also a kind of detective story, in which the mysterious third party, of whom Bendrix is so jealous, proves to be spiritual. The novel presents itself as a story of not love but …

Citation: Childs, Peter. "The End of the Affair". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 October 2013 [, accessed 27 November 2022.]

965 The End of the Affair 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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