Themes surrounding the Vietnam War.

Essay by ToiletbowlCollege, UndergraduateA-, December 2007

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

Graham Greene's novel, "The Quiet American," explores a wide range of themes surrounding the dilemma in Vietnam during the Indochina War. Being published in 1955, well before US direct military involvement in Vietnam, gives a perspective of Greene as himself as he was living during the time of turmoil in Vietnam through the main character Thomas Fowler. One can see the interest Greene had in Vietnam and his opinions surrounding the chaotic atmosphere in Southeast Asia. Different characters represent different political views, and sometimes lack there of. Although Greene lives through Fowler, each character holds equal weight in the scheme of the book and the underlying political environment created by Greene.

Not only are characters of the book key components to the personal views of Greene but also serve as the conflicts and accords between interests of the United States, powerful and influential people of the world, the Vietnamese people and Vietnamese Nationalists.

The relationship these characters form between each other is representative of different sects during this time in history.

Alden Pyle, a humble do-gooder who also runs an arms trade under wraps while posing as a humanitarian agent of the Economic Mission. He is an American hiding behind the façade of someone with a legitimate purpose. His involvement in against the Japanese and French occupations is noble. He however goes wrong when he becomes too involved. His involvement leads to his death; which may have been a premonition Greene had of future US involvement in Vietnam. Greene makes his views of a resistance towards involvement in other countries' issues clear. Foreign powers should stay foreign countries.

Pyle also is involved in a love triangle with Fowler and Phuong is also of intrigue. He can care of little more than he does of Phuong whom...