September 21, 11
Fact or Fiction?
The forces of colonialism have touched every corner of the earth. Although the
severity, ruler, style or time period may have differed, each nation has, in one way or
another, been affected by the power of colonialism. One country that particularly
embodies colonialism is Vietnam. Beginning in the late 19
century, French forces
established a colony known as Indochina. Indochina included present-day Laos,
Cambodia, and Vietnam and was kept under French rule until 1954, when it won
independence. The Vietnamese struggle for freedom continued with the Americans,
however, until 1975 when the North Vietnamese unified the country after what became
known as the Vietnam War.
Many authors have taken inspiration from the conflicts in Vietnam and addressed
the issues of colonialism in both fiction and nonfiction work. Two books,
Marguerite Duras, and
The Quiet American
, by Graham Greene, particularly reflect their
time periods and demonstrate life in Vietnam.
is an account of Duras’s life
growing up in Vietnam in the 1930s when it was still the French colony Indochina.
Because the book is a memoir and an autobiographical work, it is nonfiction.
is a novel set during the early 1950s about a British journalist, named Thomas
Fowler, and his life in Vietnam. It is a fictitious story that addresses the political forces
acting in Vietnam during the time period through Fowler, his American friend, Alden
Pyle, and his mistress, Phuong.