The Green Mile Literary Techniques

Stephen King

Literary Techniques

The Green Mile is a serialized novel in six installments: The Two Dead Girls, The Mouse on the Mile, Coffey's Hands, The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix, Night Journey, and Coffey on the Mile. In his "Foreword" to the first installment, The Two Dead Girls, King explains his decision to serialize The Green Mile. An admirer of Charles Dickens, King planned a series of chapbooks, modeled on the nineteenth-century practice. King believed that his "constant readers" would, thereby, experience the story more intensely. They could neither "gulp" the story at a single sitting nor cheat by peeking at the ending. The installments of The Green Mile were issued monthly, beginning with The Two Dead Girls (March 1996) and ending with Coffey on the Mile (August 1996). The first installment, King stated, appeared before he knew how the story would end. While the experiment was successful in terms of sales, King admits in his "Afterword" that the book shows signs of haste and that some of the details of the 1930s milieu were anachronistic. Were The Green Mile to be published in a single volume, it would need revision.

In The Green Mile, King uses the literary device of the "frame story." The story of the executions and healings at the Cold Mountain Penitentiary is framed by glimpses of narrator and protagonist Paul Edgecombe at 104 years of age, writing his story in a nursing home....

(The entire section is 440 words.)