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The quiet American


            
             The Quiet American by Graham Green is a story set during the Vietnam War before the United States entered it. The main character is Thomas Fowler, an English reporter stationed in Vietnam. The story follows approximately six months of his life where he is faced with personal, professional, and ethical trials. The story also follows the lives of two close friends, Pyle and Phuong. Each of the three main characters are from a different country, and they were used to represent it. As the main character in the novel, Fowler possessed many complex levels to his psyche. He came across as a bitter, cold-hearted person but in actuality was probably the character that felt the most in the book. Like the typical Englishman, he kept his emotions to himself, and out of sight from others. He had his own stand points on religion and politics that he definitely stood by. In the war, England did not take sides, on account of their immense losses during WWII, and like them, Fowler did not take sides. Different people in the story felt that "One has to take sides. If one is to remain human" (174), but as an a European, especially an Englishman, he was for the most part, neutral. Americans were not very popular in Greene's novel, and Pyle was the hated American. He immediately assumed a close relationship with Fowler upon just one meeting. He became accustomed to calling him Thomas, and not only as a referential name, but in almost every sentence he called him Thomas, as if to reassure his fragile friendship with Fowler. He came across to everyone as the innocent American, aiding the economy with the selling of plastic. He is the perfect gentlemen, has money, and a good future. Pyle was "a very quiet American"(17). Only he does possess one flaw, he is an assassin. He aids in the making of bombs and helps with the actual bombing of areas. He was responsible for the bomb that killed several women and children in the town square and all he could think about was the fact that he had to clean the blood off of his shoes before he met with the Minister.


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