The Heart of the Matter is a novel written by an English writer. The name of the author of this tale is Graham Greene. The story was published in 1948. The publisher name is Wiliam Heinemann.
Scobie is a major. He lives in a society of Africa in the West Coast during World War II. During wartime, he has to perform the duty of security. Louise is Scobie’s wife. She is very unsocial. She is interested in poetry and prose. Louise has no friends and does not want to make friends. Scobie feels that he is responsible for her sadness but he does not love her. Catherine was their single kid but died in England. Scobie gets upgrade and becomes Commissioner. But Louise is not happy for Scobie’s promotion. She feels so uncomfortable with British community. So, she asks her husband to go back to Africa.
Meanwhile, a new supervisor reaches in the city. His name is Wilson. He is incompetent informally. He loves poetry. But he hides his love for poetry. He is frightened of barring by his co-workers. Wilson and Louise become friends. Wilson mistakenly falls in love with her. His roomie is Harris. Every night, Harris is busy in killing cockroaches in the apartment. He asks Wilson to join him. But first night their match ends up just with a fight.
Scobie also guides native travelers of the ship. He also checks any kind of smuggling. A ship arises into port, Steward tells him that there is a secret letter captain’s room. Scobie discovers it and finds that it is spoken to someone in Germany. He has to seize it. Captain requested that ignore this event. He tells Scobie that it was just a letter to his daughter. When Scobie checks the letter, he came to know that it is harmless. So, he does not give the letter to specialists.
Scobie was called to see a suicide case. A native overseer died by suicide. His name was Pemberton. He was very young. His leftward suggestions show that he was unable to pay a loan. So, he makes the decision of suicide. Scobie distrusts the connection of a Syrian man, Yusef. Yusef rejects it. He advises Scobie to be very careful as British guided a new checker here. Scobie took it as a joke. After that, Scobie saw a dream in which he feels the condition of Pemberton. When he wakes up, he decides that he will never suicide.
Scobie wants to take some amount from the bank as a loan to pay for Louise’s route and refuses first but sometimes he accepts the offer. He takes the loan and sends to Louise in Africa.
After that, stayers of the ship reached at sea after forty days. Most of them were safe. A young girl was killed there. Scobie tries his best to save her just acting like his father. Helen Rolt also reached in poor condition. She was just 19 years old but the widow. She was not so pretty but when Scobie sees her and missed her daughter.
Soon, Scobie falls in love with her even by knowing that he is not doing good. He writes a letter to Helen but Yusef catches the letter and starts blackmailing Scobie. He demands a package of diamonds from Scobie to send him through ship without telling to inspectors.
Suddenly, Louise came back. This is a tough time for Scobie as he does not want that Louise knows about his affair. Scobie does not want to reject Helen even his master guides him to think again about it as he is making a great sin. After that, Scobie receives a gift from Yusef but he does not accept it. Though Scobie’s worker sees Helen and Scobie while they were hugging each other lovingly. Scobie goes to Yusef and tells him that he trusted Ali but he is a very unfaithful person. Yusef says to check out the problem but this matter soon ended up by the death of Ali who was murdered by a native young boy, Wharf Rats. Scobie claims himself for death.
Scobie feels so hopeless and destroyed, he decides to distance himself from everything. He wishes for death so he acts as a heart patient and starts taking sleeping pills. He knows very well that suicide is not allowed according to their religious rules but he compels suicide by taking pills. The result of this death was dullness of Helen. And Louise was aware of her husband’s affair.
The concluding chapter consists of a short encounter between the Louise and the confessional priest. Louise tries to square Scobie’s suicide with his Catholicism, to which the priest advises that no one can know what’s in a person’s heart or about God’s mercy.
This tale ends up with the meeting of Louise with their rector. She was making a link between her husband’s death and religion Catholicism but their pastor wants to make her clear that nobody can know about God’s pity and someone’s thinking.
This is the best novel of this writer. The marvelous story engages the reader mentally.