第一章是整個論文的概略。第二章探討弔詭的歷史及哲學背景，指認出卻氏在《布朗神父》中運用到的「弔詭」的典型。第三章討《布朗神父》中「弔詭」的故事梗概、人物性格。第四章則著重在討論作者卻斯特頓在其神秘故事情節裡所「遺漏的弔詭」。最後一章是本文的結論，並希望本文能刺激學者對二十世紀初期文學的研究興趣，同時更希望本論文對於偵探小說和弔詭文學有所貢獻。 This thesis is an investigation of paradox in Father Brown, one of the most popular works of G.K. Chesterton. Chesterton uses paradox as a rhetorical device, not only to overturn humdrum ordinary events into enthralling mysteries, but also to convey certain beliefs about the mystery of man and the reality that he perceives as full of contradictions.
Paradox is any self-contradictory statement or situation, but upon closer examination reveals a hidden message or truth. Chesterton has been dubbed as a master of paradox, because he constantly uses it to provoke delight in his readers and to challenge them to re-examine certain philosophical tenets under a different viewpoint. For Chesterton, paradox is ultimately rooted in the mystery of man and the analogical participation of being inherent in both the natural and supernatural realities as embraced by Christian philosophy.
The first chapter introduces the rationale behind the thesis, the theoretical framework and scope of the study. The second chapter explores the historical and philosophical foundations of paradox, identifying the type of paradox Chesterton employs in Father Brown. Chapter three discusses and analyzes some of the paradoxical characters, plots, and events in the Father Brown stories. The fourth chapter delves into the paradoxical truths and philosophical creed that Chesterton conceals in the mystery stories. The last chapter brings the thesis to its conclusion, with the hope that this investigation of Chesterton's paradox in Father Brown may elicit more scholarly research into one of the greatest thinkers of the early twentieth century as well as contribute to the understanding and function of paradox in literature, particularly in detective fiction.