Graham Greene’s The Quiet American

August 31, 2009

So as I had said before I just finished this Graham Greene novel and now that i have some time to reflect on it I thought I would share my thoughts with everyone. So, first off this was the first of Greene’s books I’ve read and I loved it. The prose were not heavy and they conveyed the sense of Vietnam on the verge of war perfectly. But that is not the main point of the novel. Throughout the book the protagonist, Fowler, constantly states how he is not involved and that he is neutral at the same time as he falls deeper into actually becoming involved. Involved with the war in his fight and hate for Pyle and involved with Phuong – his lover in the country. I think what Greene is trying to say here is that we, as people, are not capable of being these creatures that judge on the sideline without emotion or judgment – that we are all involved simply by being in the situation. Greene goes on to further say it is impossible to not make a choice in a situation, you may fight against it but you will always choose something. I think this is a very strong point to make about society and how we interact. So the next time someone says they aren’t involved you’ll know that they have already made a decision and just abstain to keep from hurting your feelings.


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