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Of Crime, Man, And Mystery Essay

828 words - 4 pages

“Every man at the bottom of his heart believes that he is a born detective.” (-John Buchan) The detective story, full of mystery and intrigue, has held the attention of readers since the beginning of the age of novels. People like to play detective; the rush and thrill of mental stimulation are traits men praise. But what makes each series famous, and so endears it to the public is its detective. The English novelists G.K. Chesterton and Ellis Peters have each crafted a detective story and series, and all of it hinges upon their own distinct detective. The detectives- Father Brown and Brother Cadfael- are similar, both monks, but different completely in mannerisms, beliefs, and styles. We ...view middle of the document...

"Has it never struck you that a man who does next to nothing but hear men's real sins is not likely to be wholly unaware of human evil?"(Father Brown, G. K. Chesterton) While we now understand how each detective solved crimes, we gain further understanding by understanding why they choose to solve crimes at all. Father Brown solves crimes, because, as he states, he is aware of man’s evil, and therefore can solve the most dastardly of crimes by his intellect, supremely familiar with the inner workings of evil man. Simply, he solves crimes because he can. Justice can be preserved, and crimes are a stimulating puzzle with which to exert mental proficiency. He can, and it gives him a rush. Brother Cadfael, contrarily, solves crimes because of nobility. He is deeply affronted when evil men escape with their deeds. Justice must prevail, and he solves crime to bring order to a fallen world.
“You attacked reason. It's bad theology” (-Father Brown, G.K. Chesterton) At each final root of everything, each detectives’ driving force and crime-fighting style emits from their worldview- or specifically, how they each view mankind. Through Chesterton, Father Brown views man as fallen, but as striving for good. Man, although fallen, paints a pitiful picture for Brown- a fate he can save them from. In the final end, Chesterton knows that all wrongs will be righted. So as he solves crimes, he does so with the...

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