Conflict: Character and Novel

Topics: Character, Graham Greene, Fiction, Conflict, The Quiet American, Protagonist / Pages: 20 (4807 words) / Published: Aug 7th, 2013
Graham Greene

READING THE NOVEL There are two main points of focus for your study of The Quiet American and for your responses as a reader. • Understanding the story of the novel and recognising the themes raised by the novel • Identifying and considering the cultural and moral issues presented in the story it tells. Understanding the Historical and Cultural Context To understand the themes and the moral and cultural issues raised by the novel, become familiar with the historical and cultural background of Vietnam in the 1950's. As you read the novel, you may find yourself asking questions such as: • What are people like Fowler and Pyle doing there? • Who are the opposing sides in the war? • What is the war about? Answers to these questions can only partly be found in the novel. You will need to research some of the history and culture of Vietnam to understand the presence and influence of foreigners in Vietnam at the time of the events described in the novel. Below there is a brief description of the background to this story. The questions in this material are for you to investigate. Set up a reading journal to contain your notes on these and other aspects of the novel. The Colonisation of Vietnam The country now called Vietnam has a long history of invasion and colonisation by foreign nations and a long history of resistance to these forces. At the time of events in the novel, Vietnam was known as French Indo-China and was part of the French colonial empire. Colonising large parts of Africa, Asia, America and the Pacific formed part of a traditional rivalry between European countries such as England, France, Holland, Portugal, Spain and Germany for empire, power and trade. Colonisation involves political, economic and cultural domination and exploitation of a country by the powerful foreign country. Questions to investigate while reading The Quiet American 1 In what ways do you think the domination by

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