Table of Contents
The Whisky Priest, as a symbol of the Church, is the protagonist of the novel.
The Lieutenant, as the symbol of the Government, is the antagonist.
The conflict in The Power and the Glory is between the Government (the Power) and the Church (the Glory). The Government wishes to permanently destroy the Church. The Lieutenant is determined to capture the Whisky Priest, the last remnant of the Priesthood in the province, and rid the country of the Church's bad influence.
The Whisky Priest's meeting with the Lieutenant at the police station after spending a night in prison is the climax of the plot. This takes place in of Part II, chapter 3. The reader is in suspense because the Whisky Priest is likely to be recognized by the Lieutenant. Ironically, the Lieutenant does not recognize his adversary. In fact, he releases him from prison after one night and gives him five pesos. In spite of this bit of fortune, the Whisky Priest, at this point, realizes that he is nearing his end.
The story of the Whisky Priest ends in a tragedy when he is shot dead; however, his death does not mean the end of religion in Mexico.
On the last page of the book a priest knocks at the door of Luis's house and asks for shelter, which means the Church continues and cannot be repressed. This is a triumphant ending for religion.