The Quiet American
“Many adjectives have been used to describe the novels and plays of
Graham Greene – timely, religious, melodramatic, even “seedy”” (Graham
Greene, A Collection of Critical Essays, back cover). Although this may
not be entirely true in Greene*s other work, it is certainly true in his
novel, The Quiet American. The Quiet American is judged as one of Greene*s
“entertainments” that include comedies, spy fiction, and thrillers that
take place in foreign countries (Introduction). According to World
Literature Critics editor, James P. Draper, The Quiet American is set in
South Vietnam and anticipates U.S. involvement in the Vietnam conflict.
The novel*s protagonist, Alden Pyle, who is ignorant of Oriental culture,
is depicted as a symbol of American arrogance (1537).
Written in 1955, The Quiet American is a tale of a young American
who is now dead because of his personal involvement in the French-Vietminh
war. A British reporter, Fowler, tells the story from his point of view.
Fowler and Pyle were both in love with the same woman, Phuong. Phuong
first started off as Fowler*s girlfriend, but when she realized he could
not give her what she wanted, children, because of his wife who will not
divorce him because of religious reasons, she
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