Check out the GradeSaver themes page below:. The Quiet American study guide contains a biography of Graham Greene, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. The Quiet American essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Quiet American by Graham Greene.
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We suggest:. Students should be listening for new vocabulary words to add to their organizer. Day 2: Play the next 30 minutes of the title. Students can draw one or two detailed scenes from the title. Label the characters, setting, etc. Discuss the events in the title as a class, or in small groups. Day 3: Play the next 30 minutes of the title.
Students should write down what they think Ha and her family are going to do. Day 4: Play the next 30 minutes of the title. Do some research on refugees and where they end up, why, etc. Give students resources online and books to research past and current refugees.
You cannot exist unless you have the power to alter the future" Directly after Fowler sets in motion the plan to have Pyle killed, he wants to give Pyle a way out. He wants to give Pyle a way to save himself but can not bring himself to tell Pyle what will surely happen if he meets Fowler for dinner at the Vieux Moulin. As a result, Fowler gives him a choice. He tells Pyle that if he is going to be late for dinner to simply come back to Fowler's home and wait for him to return. Fowler has done this in order to remove the blood from this own hands and place it on the hands of a God that he does not even believe in.
Doing so allows Fowler to excuse his behavior. Fowler, throughout the entire novel, has maintained that he refuses to become involved in the conflict. He is a mere observer, nothing more. By letting God decide Pyle's fate, he can continue to fool himself into thinking that he has not intervened. If Pyle does die, Fowler can go on believing that it is Pyle's fault for putting his fate in the hands of a God who does not "have the power to alter the future". The decision to gamble with Pyle's life suits Fowler's personality throughout the novel.
Fowler attempts to avoid becoming overly emotional, remaining cynical in his views of death, war, and religion. At times throughout the novel, Fowler has claimed that he wishes he could believe in God but that he cannot given the horrors he has seen while in Vietnam.
As a pragmatic and practical person Fowler would need something to prove to him that God does exist, some form of proof that he has not witnessed up to this point in his life. He says to God, "You cannot exist unless You have the power to alter the future". Fowler is giving God a chance to reveal himself by saving Pyle. It is clear that Fowler is desperately trying to avoid feeling as though he is single-handedly responsible for Pyle's death.
He finds comfort in thinking that he can blame God if Pyle dies while simultaneously solidifying his lack of faith. When Fowler visited the American Legation Center in order to confront Pyle after he woke up with Phuong gone, he endures a flood of emotions. Because Fowler is accustomed to always having a woman beside him, Phuong's disappearance comes as a grave shock to him. As he breaks down symbolically in the men's bathroom, he notes that he has not cried until now. Fowler's description of the "temperate tempered air" reveals that the environment he is currently in has made his initial sadness turn into utter pain.
This major and abrupt shift in Fowler's sense of comfort and reliance has caused him to have a rush of emotion that began with tears, but has then has devolved into feeling like life being was ripped out of him, as the seed in his body dried up. The seed in one's body is one's ability to reproduce and give life, but since this has dried up inside of Fowler, he no longer feels a drive to move on and keep living. In addition, people produce saliva when they crave food, and food gives life and comfort to people.
The feeling of having cotton mouth is not only unpleasant but can also be feeling lifeless. Fowler uses this analogy along with the seed in his body to show his loss for the taste of life after Phuong leaves him for Pyle. He had a return ticket. With the assurance that he has a way home, Harding is not in the same position as many other men. He has a sense of security and therefore is able to act courageously.
A monk removes himself from the world and therefore is unlikely to sin or commit any sort of wrongdoing, making it doubtful that he would ever need to flagellate himself. Similarly, an intellectual exercise is just used as a tool to think about things that one would never actually be faced with. It is easy to perform intellectual exercises because there is no risk.
What about? How did I get into this? The shadows had already reached the holy mountain, where General The held out, up to recently the Cao Dai Chief of Staff. I have a wife at home. He and the other Americans believes they can reach the same ending by skipping steps. Ignorance to these small moments of beauty end up being what hinder the American, Pyle, as he becomes caught in the duality of black and white: right and wrong.
The situation that Harding is in is safe, providing him the opportunity to be courageous. It is not true courage because he has no reason to be fearful and it is easy for him to display. The implied, unspoken surrounding lines of the stanza help to make this even clearer. He never wants to leave Phuong, and he never wants to leave Vietnam. With this revelation, the original line has added meaning, too.
Moreover, in the original poem, this paradise is a place the author wants to go to in order to escape the past. This is what Fowler is trying to do: running away from his regrets murdering Pyle by retreating to a world of his own Phuong. Finally, though he wants to retreat into the security Phuong provides, he feels betrayed by her for cheating on him with Pyle.
Pyle could see pain in front of his eyes. At the House of Five Hundred Girls, Pyle is perplexed and offended that such beautiful girls should be treated poorly like men like Granger. Pyle clearly has an instinct to protect beauty and grace. The first time Pyle saw her she was dancing, so that would clearly appeal to his protective urge. The second sentence of this quote seems ironic, given what Pyle would go on to do. Oscar I really liked your analysis of this quote.
My favorite part is your explanation of what this quote shows about Pyle's character, that his tendency to misunderstand people causes him to do harm even as he thinks he's doing the right thing. This brings up several questions for me. Are Pyle's actions selfish?
Or is he truly too ignorant to see how his attempts to fix things hurt others? I think that as he is courting Phuong, he believes he is saving her from Pyle. I wonder what it is that Pyle witnesses in this scene that causes him to believe Phuong is in pain and needs rescuing. Part 1, chapter 3, pg 31, "I am very glad to meet you, he said and blushed 'you come from New York?