The Quiet American

Topics: South Vietnam, Vietnam War, Cold War Pages: 1 (298 words) Published: August 17, 2013
nflict often causes one to take sides”

Throughout human history, war has become the norm. In the process of such, the bystanders often inevitably choose a side, and in some cases, a side is not chosen, but given. The Vietnam War depicts this idea, as does Germany during the cold war. In “The Quiet American” by Graham Greene, similar ideas can be drawn from the text.

During the Vietnam War, a major division between the north and the south occurred. The Viet Cong were the supporters of North Vietnam; they were trained by the government to fight anyone who opposed them. The conflict between the north and south was the reason people chose sides, depending on their ideology, they could choose if the wanted a communist or democratic country. The people in Vietnam had little choice but to take a stand despite the fact South Vietnam fought for the same ideals as the North, a free and independent Vietnam.

In “The Quiet American”, Fowler prides himself on being an objective observer without opinions, "I wrote what I saw. I took no action -even an opinion is a kind of action." This clearly demonstrates Fowler's unyielding motivation to keep to himself away from the situation. He tries not to place values or judgments on events or other people, but attempts to see things as they are. However, by the end of the novel, Fowler takes a side when Captain Trouin takes him up in an airplane and gives him an aerial view of what's really going on and furthermore telling Fowler, "One day something will happen. You will take a side". Fowler understands the cost the Vietnamese people are paying for French intervention. He realises that he cannot sit back and let Pyle continue to kill innocent people.
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