The Quiet American: a Political Warning by Graham Greene Essay

The Quiet American by Graham Greene is a novel that depicts a love trigon between a British journalist. an American secret agent and a Vietnamese miss in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It came out in the mid 1950ss when the American authorities was non straight involved in the War. The novel generated critics from both sides of the spectrum such as Walter Allen with his reappraisal titled “Awareness of Evil: Graham Greene” and Robert Gorham Davies with his reappraisal called “In our Time No Man is a Neutral” .

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On the one manus Americans viewed this novel as an Anti-american piece that offered an erroneous image of US policy towards Vietnam. This is the position of Davies who believes that Greene in his book is offering a incorrect description of American ideals in international personal businesss. On the other manus. the novel was viewed. as a warning for what US policy towards Vietnam would convey and how it would impact Vietnamese people. This position is embraced by Allen who sees the novel as statement of what a batch people think of American policies in the international sphere.

In fact the fresh topographic point a love narrative during war times that illustrates the complicated relationship that Vietnam. France. Great Britain and the US had at that clip. In fact. the Quiet American is a fictional novel that efficaciously communicates the political battle of the Vietnam War. Graham Greene through his characters and their narrative exposes how American foreign policy would impact Vietnam. He diffuses his message in the duologues and events that take topographic point in the novel. For illustration. in the first chapter of the book Fowler description of Pyle resemble a batch to what England idea of the US.

In this description he refers to Pyle’s “dilemma of Democracy” and the manner the American merely as his state feel it has a duty to make “good” . In this description he besides implies that Pyle likewise to the US has the capableness to make so. Additionally. the narration of the book is one sided and is based on the position of Fowler. The character himself takes pride in non taking any place and merely describing facts. This can be interpreted as the place that the British adopted during the Vietnam War.

An illustration of this is present in the first chapter of the 3rd portion of the book. when Fowler is holding a treatment with a Gallic pilot whom is seeking to convert him to take a side and acquire involved. This state of affairs absolutely illustrates a existent political state of affairs that could hold taken topographic point in Europe where the Gallic Imperialist authorities is proposing that its British opposite number should besides acquire involved in Asia. In passage. the turning point of the novel is the bombing event. which reveals the existent intent of Pyle being in Vietnam.

At this point Fowler understands what Pyle has been at that place for and from that point on do the determinations that he needs to acquire involved by acquiring rid of Pyle. The head province of Fowler is best describe by the interior conversation that he holds in which he describes Pyle as “innocent” and correlates his attitudes to that of his state. He believes steadfastly that Pyle merely like his state does non recognize what the cost of their actions would do. Therefore. he decides to travel in front and secret plan to acquire him killed.

Furthermore. Allen states that at the clip when the book appeared. a big sum of people identified with the judgement of Fowler towards Pyle behaviours. He asserts that this position described what people felt about US foreign policies. Allen besides justifies Fowler’s actions by doing mention to this “Quiet American” policy that his doing amendss in the name of democracy. Conversely. Davies expresses his the American response to the statement that most of the American policymakers held to the statement given by Greene.

He states that instead so depicting a fictional narrative ; Greene through the function of Fowler and Pyle is showing his Anti-american positions. Davies continues by seeking to turn out that Greene holds communist positions. He does so by correlating the event in the book with the Communist docket that extinguishing democratic cabals. Davies. exhibits the same thought that American policymakers held at this clip. which was that communism. was non to be spread in this Vietnam or it would catch other adjacent states.

Furthermore. the Quiet American characters relationship can be viewed as the relationship between their several states. In fact. Fowler. Pyle and Phuong exhibit the same attributes that England. the US and Vietnam have on the political phases at the clip. In kernel. Fowler represents old blue England and does non believe in God or any other mystical construct. He merely believes in facts and history for them. Pyle represents the immature American that is in a new land of job whom thinks that the ideal solution is to force for a new set of values. democracy.

He surely does non cognize much about Vietnam cultural history and believes that democratic ideals are to be adopted at all costs. for the overall prosperity of Vietnamese people. Phuong the immature Vietnamese miss is gorgeous and careless about the urgency of things. Her lone concern is to travel off from wretchedness and the class of action she and her household chooses is to acquire married to a successful alien. This word picture mirrors the image of Vietnam during the war. a immature district. which is at the centre of the difference between Europeans. and Americans. which is seeking to happen its topographic point in the universe.

Furthermore. the manner Fowler and Pyle perceive and act with Phuong is similar in a sense to the manner English policymakers. European Imperialist and American policymakers view and act towards Vietnam. That is Fowler thinks of her. as his comrade that is at that place to function his desire. He views Phuong as inferior and needing counsel. Whereas. Pyle thinks Phuong would be better off being a homemaker in the American manner by supplying for her and constructing a household with her. Phuong on her side is non given much infinite to show what she feels because in either instance she is non the decider of her ain destiny. merely as is Vietnam in this war.

In drumhead. Graham Greene. in The Quiet American. makes the statement that the US is prosecuting itself in Vietnam in an attempt to halt Communism. Through this narrative he gives his place on the Cold War that the US is taking portion in. with the Soviet Union. His statement is centered on the manner in which the US. which is new to this signifier of imperialist. is presuming its position of world powers. Greene is suggesting in a sense what would be the dominant political response of England to the foreign policy of the United States.

Through the actions of his characters he reveals an of import battle that is seeable in the universe political sphere. This is the battle of two colliding ideals ; the old blue manner of England against the new modern American manner. This is seeable in the manner Fowler and Pyle behave toward their common love Phuong. In kernel. he tries to convey the overall English attack to this US foreign policy that England Judgess unwise and non good to Vietnamese people. Therefore. for Greene this quiet American policy has to be reformed or eliminated because like Pyle it is slightly insane.


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