Student

Topics: Liberalism, Idealism, Thought Pages: 2 (643 words) Published: August 28, 2013
When Fowler first meets Pyle he involuntarily likes him. He is quiet (unlike most of the Americans that Fowler comes into contact with), thoughtful, and naive. Pyle’s intentions in Vietnam are ernest: “He was determined – I learned very soon – to do good, not to any individual person, but to a country, a continent, a world.” (Greene 32) Pyle is obsessed with an author called York Harding, an American who writes about the virtues of democracy and especially about a “third force” in Vietnam. The third force would be a native army fighting for democracy. Later in the book it becomes obvious that though Pyle’s intentions are invariably good, he isn’t self aware and is consequentially destructive. At one point Fowler converses with Pyle: “I’ve been to India, Pyle, and I know the harm liberals do. We haven’t a liberal party anymore – liberalism’s infected all the other parties. We are all either liberal conservatives or liberal socialists; we all have a good conscience. I’d rather be an exploiter who fights for what he exploits, and dies with it. Look at the history of Burma. We go and invade the country; the local tribes support us; we are victorious; but like you Americans we weren’t colonialists in those days. Oh no, we made peace with the king and we handed him back his province and left our allies to be crucified and sawn in two. They were innocent. They though we’d stay. But we were liberals and we didn’t want a bad conscience.” (121) In that situation there is no doubt that Pyle is the liberal. His actions are all selfishly motivated because they all serve to qualm his own ideals, his own moral standards; he never stops to see the concrete results of his actions. Though Pyle’s blind belief in an ideal is at first endearing (if mildly annoying), he goes too far when he plants a bomb in a crowded market in Saigon at the bequest of General The, who he believes is the “third force”. Fowler is initially livid at Pyle for causing the deaths, but after berating him...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Student Essay
  • Student Values Research Paper
  • Students and Politics Essay
  • Motivating Students Essay
  • College Student Essay
  • Student Involvement Essay
  • Student Teaching Essay
  • Student Veteran Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free