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Please boss, don't put that thing on my face. Don't put me in the dark. I's afraid of the dark.
~ John Coffey's last words and his most famous quote.
You tell God the father it was a kindness ya done. I know you're hurtin' and worried. I can feel it on you, but you oughta quit on it now. I want it to be over and done with. I do. I'm tired, boss. Tired of bein' on the road, lonely as a sparrow in the rain. I'm tired of never havin' me a buddy to be with, to tell me where we's goin' to, comin' from, or why. Mostly I'm tired of people bein' ugly to each other. I'm tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world every day. There's too much of it. It's like pieces of glass in my head, all the time. Can you understand?
~ John, reassuring Paul that he wants to die despite being innocent.

John Coffey is the deuteragonist of the 1996 Stephen King book The Green Mile, and its 1999 film counterpart of the same name.

He is a wrongfully convicted but extremely thoughtful and gentle giant who possesses special healing abilities, and who consistently helps everyone in the Cold Mountain Penitentiary by using said healing powers to their full potential.

He was portrayed by the late Michael Clarke Duncan.

What Makes Him Pure Good?

  • He attempted to revive Kathe and Cora Detterick after Wild Bill raped and murdered them. Also, in spite of being wrongfully convicted of that crime, he never holds grudges against anyone, even the twins father for attacking him and remains cooperative and genial with most of the prison staff and inmates alike.
  • Warned Paul to be careful as Wild Bill arrived at the prison, knowing Will Bill was dangerous and a bad man.
  • He cured Paul's urinary tract infection in an act mistaken by Del for an attack against him.
  • He gave Del and Mr. Jingles some of his own cornbread. While he didn’t share with Wild Bill, it was because he knew he couldn’t be trusted.
  • He revived Mr. Jingles after Percy stepped on him.
  • He cured Melinda's brain tumor after the guards covertly let him out of prison.
  • Although he was responsible for indirectly killing Wild Bill and subjecting Percy to a catatonic fate, it was out of divine punishment as he wanted to protect Edgecomb and other guards from Percy talking about what they did to him and getting them fired and he saw Wild Bill as extremely and irredeemably evil for raping and killing the two girls, and knew that he would continue to cause harm should he not dispose of them.
    • Furthermore, it’s possible that he didn’t actually force Percy to shoot Wild Bill and simply showed Percy all of Wild Bill’s heinous crimes and Percy shot Wild Bill willingly out of disgust for his crimes. He likely let Percy keep his life because he didn’t think he was as evil as Wild Bill.
  • He tried to reassure Paul that, despite the fact that he's about to kill one of God's true miracles, he has nothing to fear because he honestly considers his execution a mercy-killing.
  • Even though he is treated seriously, he doesn't really make the story's mood any darker than it already is.

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The Green Mile
Paul Edgecomb | John Coffey

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