The Quiet American: a Political Warning by Graham Greene

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Mor T Faye
Hist 304: The US and The Vietnam War
Prof. Nolan
Spring 2013

The Quiet American: A political warning by Graham Greene
The Quiet American by Graham Greene is a novel that depicts a love triangle between a British journalist, an American secret agent and a Vietnamese girl in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It came out in the mid fifties when the American government was not directly involved in the War. The novel generated critics from both sides of the spectrum such as Walter Allen with his review titled “Awareness of Evil: Graham Greene” and Robert Gorham Davies with his review called “In our Time No Man is a Neutral”. On the one hand Americans viewed this novel as an Anti-American piece that offered an erroneous picture of US policy towards Vietnam. This is the perspective of Davies who believes that Greene in his book is offering a wrong description of American ideals in international affairs. On the other hand, the novel was viewed, as a warning for what US policy towards Vietnam would bring and how it would impact Vietnamese people. This view is embraced by Allen who sees the novel as statement of what a lot people think of American policies in the international arena. In fact the novel place a love story during war times that illustrates the complicated relationship that Vietnam, France, Great Britain and the US had at that time. In fact, the Quiet American is a fictional novel that effectively communicates the political struggle of the Vietnam War. Graham Greene through his characters and their story exposes how American foreign policy would affect Vietnam. He diffuses his message in the dialogues and events that take place in the novel. For example, in the first chapter of the book Fowler description of Pyle resemble a lot to what England thought of the US. In this description he refers to Pyle’s “dilemma of Democracy” and the way the American just as his nation feel it has a responsibility to do “good”. In this description he also...
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