The Quiet American, The book by Graham Greene

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The Quiet American, The book by Graham Greene

Historical Context- The book by Graham Greene has focused on the Indochina War where political upheavals were taking place. The war took place between the years 1946 upto 1954. Westerners refer to this war as the First Indochina War and the Vietnamese refer to it as the Anti-French War. The characters in the novel were used as representatives of the existing political and national factions. The Americans were involved in the war, which was between the Vietminh, Communists and the French. At first, the Americans wanted to provide aid, but they found themselves engaging in other activities that were not part of their initial plans. The Domino Theory can explain why the Americans wanted to make their presence felt in the Indochina war. If the French were to succeed in taking over Vietnam, they would even decide to even conquer the other neighboring Asian countries. At the time, Ho Chi Minh was one of the Vietnamese leaders who wanted to gain power and lead his people. The French withdrew their forces from Vietnam after they were defeated at Dien Bien Phu. Also, the Geneva Accord ensured that the French would no longer colonize the Vietnamese people. Furthermore, the Geneva Accord ensured that a 17th Parallel existed and it would ensure that Vietnam would be divided into South and North Vietnam. Elections were even held in South Vietnam and Ngo Dinh Diem won, and unfortunately he was a ruthless leader who massacred many of his people. Luckily, in the year 1963, he was killed after a coup that was supported by the Americans.  It should be known that Chinese tactics were used by Ho Chi Minh and Giap in order to win the war. Therefore, the Vietnamese resorted to withdraw and head to the mountains, jungles and countryside so as to avoid battles that were decisive. On the other hand, the French resorted to using air supply lines and support, and artilley during the war. However, because of the support the Americans offered the Vietnamese, the latter were able to win the war. Greene wanted the world to know about what was going on in the war because he had first hand experience. Also, he had a close friend who gave him much of the needed information needed in writing the book ‘The Quiet American’. Indeed, the Indochina war will forever be remembered because an author such as Greene ensured that he would write about it.

Pyle-The ‘quiet American’ in the book is Pyle because he is from the United States and works for the CIA. This means that because of the nature of his job, he is meant to go unnoticed so as to spy for his country on what is taking place in Vietnam. He came to Vietnam during the beginning of the 1950’s as part of his country’s medical assistance team. Pyle is a character who will do anything for his country even if he knew that his life would be in danger since he was going to a country experiencing war. His main aim in being in Vietnam is to work as an undercover CIA agent. His other mission was to ensure that a certain splinter group in Vietnam was armed so that it could win the war and thus promote American interests. Pyle is truly a patriotic and loyal American who will do anything for his national interests. Pyle is described as being all American as his parents have both made outstanding contributions to the American society. Furthermore, Pyle wants to be like his parents and even contribute to the success of his country. It is not surprising that he wanted to become a member of the American ‘Third Force’. The French and the Americans have different cultures and the issue of doing what is write is quite different. For example, Fowler did not believe that the Third Force caused political obstructions. On the other hand, Pyle was a firm believer of the Third Force and the reason why he wanted to join it. People need to be fully aware of other people’s cultures so that they do not perceive and interpret things in the wrong manner. It is no wonder that Fowler was not able to understand the true nature and character of Pyle and thus the reason for thinking that he was naïve.

Phuong-Phuong was a beautiful and young Vietnamese woman who was also Fowler’s lover. She is often referred to a symbol of Vietnam as she often struggles to find protection and security. This is similar to all other people in Vietnam who wanted to form relations with the colonizers so that they could not suffer. Phuong took advantage of the fact that she was a beautiful woman in order to attract Fowler and Pyle and later, benefit from them.  She did not even mind the fact that in her society having two l.............


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