The Quiet American

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Graham Green's novel, The Quiet American takes place in Vietnam as the French Colonization of the country is coming closer to an end. It is a time where the American's are beginning to arrive in Vietnam with hope of ending the colonization while attempting to "protect" the south from communism and the ever-dreaded "Domino Theory". Within this one novel, Graham Greene has different stories and can capture diverse readers. One story tells a love story between two people from different cultures, another is a tale of a love triangle between two friends and the single woman who comes between them, and there is the story of war, conspiracies, betrayal and murder. I feel that each of the characters in the novels can represent something else and the characters have many different personalities. The Quiet American is a story about a British reporter living in Vietnam during the beginning of the United States involvement with the war in Vietnam. The reporter Thomas Fowler is a man who is cynical about life and in all a sad man. I feel that at times, the intelligent Thomas can be insecure and tries to stop feeling in order to prevent him from getting hurt. He also uses Opium to dull the emotions or it may be perhaps a way for him to escape his reality. He is critical of himself and it may have to do with his relationship with the much younger Phuong. I feel that Green allows his characters to represent each countries feelings and positions regarding the war in Vietnam. Thomas Fowler represents European views in Vietnam. Phuong represents the mysterious Vietnam
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