The Quiet American: Alden Pyle

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  • Topic: Communism, The Quiet American
  • Pages : 2 (599 words )
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  • Published : February 28, 2009
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‘Alden Pyle is dangerous, but he does not deserve his ultimate fate.’ Do you agree?

In ‘The Quiet American’, the Alden Pyle character is exceedingly patriotic to America and somewhat unrealistic in all that he does throughout the film. Pyle seems to be naive in thinking that he will be able to save an entire country, Vietnam, which at the time was embroiled in an intense battle between the French and communists. He believed that by establishing a third force in the country, it would assist the Vietnamese into gaining control and bringing peace back to the land. With Pyle's mind stuck on one side of the war, his innocent yet dangerous intentions steered him to an early death.

This film explores a variety of concepts which relate to political power such as communism, colonialism and democracy. In the beginning of the film, Alden Pyle arrives in Vietnam with a fixed perspective on his good yet idealistic intentions. Pyle represents the Quiet American in the film as a naïve and charming young man with a hidden agenda. Although his plans are somewhat good, they still come across as impractical with Pyle not being able to see the big picture on the present events occurring in the war-torn country. He comes into Vietnam with his narrow-minded views feeling invincible yet ignorant with the idea of translating certain American theories into a country miles away. Alden Pyle is dangerous because his ignorant attitude fails to recognize the actual lives of individuals; instead he is only aware of instigating certain principles to the country’s civilization as one. The Vietnamese people only see their need of food and shelter rather than this political concept of democracy which Pyle is striving to put into practice. Because of these ideals, I do agree that Alden Pyle deserves his own ultimate fate.

Pyle’s selfishness blocks his view of the real epitome of the war. As an undercover CIA agent, he uses his powers to stage a bombing at Saigon...
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