How can we describe the character of the Mestizo in The Power and the Glory?

Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory, the character referred to as "the mestizo" is meant to represent the figure of Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrays Jesus. Inversely, the character whom he affects the most, the priest, is meant to represent a Jesus-like persona.

The mestizo is known as a "half-caste", after all he is racially mixed. He has a tendency to want everything for nothing, and to set up traps whenever he wants something for himself. He stops at nothing and resorts to everything, from lying to double dealing, to get what he wants. However, in his bad actions, he is the reason behind the good deeds of the priest. The priest sees in the mestizo someone worth helping and forgiving. Therefore, the mestizo is who actually sets the priest towards the ways of God. This is ironic, but makes the character of the mestizo seem more likable. After all, his bad deeds end up in good results.

The mestizo could be categorized as a comic character. His actions are so extremely calculated that he even expects the priest to bless him in order to be forgiven from all the sins he commits. He does not even stop to analyze himself and offer some form of self sacrifice. Never. The mestizo lives for himself only.

Additionally, the mestizo is a survivor. It is his surviving methods what instill in his character a sense of animal behavior. He seems to live for the day for the sake of having the basic elements for survival. This is why he is not remorseful for his actions. His existence is merely primitive, and not rational.