Fowler - Richard Knowlton The Quiet American In 1952 French...

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Richard Knowlton 12/8/06 The Quiet American In 1952, French Indochina was amidst an independence movement led by the Communist forces of Ho Chi Minh. The situation was worsening for the French hold of it's colonial jewel, and it would surely fall out of it's hands without the aid of an outside force. In The Quiet American written by Graham Greene, Thomas Fowler, a middle aged British journalist had been covering the strife for some time, living there as a correspondent. Fowler had grown to love the land and it's people, and he wasn't about to get involved in the conflict by choosing sides. He prided himself in holding a neutral perspective of the conflict, he was British after all and had little ties to either side; it was journalism he was looking to write. This "third force" that was needed to keep the territory afloat came by American aid and armament to the French. Enter, Alden Pyle. Pyle was an astute, young gentlemen from the United States and his role in the story soon became apparent when he fell for Fowler's lover, Phuong. From here out Fowler and Pyle became tied up in a civil and subtle tug-of-war bout for the heart of their infatuate. More and more did this tension bubble over in the mind of Fowler, creating a hatred for America, and even the world itself. Thomas Fowler, as a reporter tried to numb himself from the rest; whether it comes from an opium pipe doesn't matter. He is detached. The British journalist is a cynic at best, seeing the world with a fatalistic eye. Even before seeing the true casualties of war, he held a morose attitude of humanity and it's people. The Englishman was in fact dead, and he was cold. Phuong was not a woman to set his soul aflame, "she was a certain hour of the night and the promise of the rest" (p. 22); she fed his physical hunger. However, when Pyle, the young and intellectual American, enters the chase, Phuong becomes a vehicle of deep rivalry between the two men. And somehow, this rivalry seems to awaken Fowler from his comatose state and his distaste for
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course HIST 021 taught by Professor Coohill during the Fall '07 term at Penn State.

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Fowler - Richard Knowlton The Quiet American In 1952 French...

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