All artists have their own way of expressing themselves and this makes them identifiable and distinguishable from others. In literature, the style of Homer is different from that of Keats, Beckett and others. The unique style of the artist, is commonly reflected in his works. This is particularly true also when it comes to Graham Greene and his 'Twenty-One Stories'.
Every story has its own personality which differs from that of others. Greene tackles different themes which include childhood, fear, guilt, corruption. Although the same theme may be recurring, still it is explored in an original way. For example, the theme of childhood featured in many tales such as 'The Basement Room' and 'The Hint of the Explanation'. In both stories Greene mentions childhood but the experiences of the two boys are not the same, so is the effect of the incidents on the characters' lives. So, the tales are different from each other mainly as regards to themes, characters and plots. Despite all this, they are all written by the same hand. Therefore, the style of the stories is what brings them together.
A stylistic feature of the author that is definitely exposed in this collection is that the tales often start 'in medias res'. This tends to put the reader immediately in the scene. 'The Blue Film' clearly shows this with the opening words ''Other people enjoy themselves'' or 'The Innocent' starting 'It was a mistake to take Lola there'. Another interesting technique is the way Greene builds up tension very slowly towards a climatic point, especially in the horror stories. The effect of this literary device is mounting curiosity on the reader's part and sensing something is about to happen in the characters' lives. Climax works toward a surprising twist in the plot resulting in an unexpected ending. Some stories have more than one twist like, 'The Hint of an Explanation', where the first climax is reached when David swallows the Host, second being '[disclosing] the collar of a priest.' Despite the flashforwards and the symbolism that Greene uses, the endings are still unpredictable.
Mentioning symbolism, it is another technique favoured by Greene and his stories. Various images are presented, such as, the train in 'The Hint of an Explanation' which stands for the journey of life or the bridge that reaches its culmination in 'Across the Bridge'. The image of...