Essay #3 & #4.docx

Essay #3 & #4.docx - Matthew Marino AML 2580-01 Jason...

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Matthew Marino AML 2580-01 Jason Dubow May 14, 2015 Essay #3: The Quiet American The Quiet American is an ironic title given to Alden Pyle by the main character and narrator Thomas Fowler. In the beginning of the film Fowler refers to Pyle as a “Quiet American”, and then we learn that Pyle has been stabbed and killed. This prompts the French detective to respond by saying “yes, a very quiet American”. This first use of calling Pyle a “Quiet American” is a metaphor meaning that he is dead. This is not the only use of the term “Quiet American” to describe Pyle, and it is not the only way it is used. This term is also ironic and serves as motif throughout the story. In the beginning the way Fowler talks about Pyle to the detective it throws you off from the truth about Pyle. We are lead to believe that Pyle is a medical aid in Vietnam looking to help, but throughout the course of the film we learn that this is actually a cover. He turns out to be a CIA agent sent to steer the war in America’s favor. When this information is learned it clearly shows the irony in the term “Quiet American”. He masqueraded as a quiet man but he was really the main cause for all the noise going on in Saigon. What I realize now after watching the film is that the title “Quiet American” serves a purpose more than just being a description or ironic, it’s a motif. I think the
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  • Spring '14
  • English-language films, Alden Pyle, Quiet American

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