All the Characters in the Quiet American Are Victims in One Way or Another. Discuss.

721 Words Jul 31st, 2013 3 Pages
All of the main characters in The Quiet American are victims in some way or another. Discuss.

Throughout his novel The Quiet American Graham Greene successfully portrays a variety of themes, such as political conflict, loneliness, love, innocence and betrayal. Greene’s clever characterisations allow the audience into a world of heated atmosphere and interactions of contrasting emotions. He puts his characters into varied roles of the victim. Whether they are a foreign diplomat or a taxi dancer, the characters in Graham Greene’s The Quiet American all exhibit some form of victimisation.

Phuong could be seen as a victim from the western society’s perspective. This is a result of the relationships she has with both Fowler and Pyle.
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Despite being empowered with a large amount of responsibility, it’s almost like America didn’t educate him with enough sufficiency to be able to bring about political changes in Vietnam. His American education leaves him a victim to his own ignorance towards the cultural and social characteristics of the Vietnamese. Pyle is now the powerless, and America is the powerful. Pyle is a replaceable tool whose job can be taken at any time by another C.I.A agent.

Fowler, himself, is arguably in many regards responsible for his own victimisation. His extreme fear of loneliness, and the inevitability of emptiness in his life subjects him to endless questioning of his own life, and results in his anticipation of death as a release from the pain and vagueness of life. Towards the beginning of the novel, Fowler consistently claims to not be “engaged” in the political war, maintaining a reporter’s ethic of neutrality; however this suddenly changes because he is a victim of his own cynical attitude. He is finally forced to take sides and involve himself fully.

It is not only the main characters in The Quiet American who are subjected to victimisation. Vigot,

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