The Quiet American

Graham Greene’s The Quiet American is a story about love. The main focus of this love is from Pyle and Fowler to Phuong. Through the novel Fowler and Pyle battle for this women’s love, but the reality is that Phuong’s love is not obtainable. The two men even speak of her in the third person, which reflects their idea of her as an object. Phuong sells herself to the highest bidder and is just looking for the best situation for herself. Phuong’s whoring personality is seen through her relationships with three characters during the course of the novel. In Phuong’s relationship with Fowler she is treated like a prostitute. Fowler’s relationship with Phuong is built on sex. ” I don’t care that for her interests. I only want her body. I want her in bed with me. I’d rather ruin her and sleep with her than, than . . . look after her damned interests, – (p 59). While he does later express an interest to divorce his wife and marry Phuong this interest only arose out of the possibility of losing her in bed. Fowler doesn’t want a deep relationship, he just wants security and to feel comfortable. This is seen in his conversation with Pyle in the tower. ” I just don’t want to be alone in my last decade, that’s all, – (p 104). Fowler would rather be with a woman that he didn’t love than have to be alone. Phuong provides an easy woman to obtain with little emotional involvement. Fowler just flat out uses Phuong as one would a prostitute. He takes sex from her and a sense of security. All this is in exchange for sustaining her lifestyle. Fowler’s and Phuong’s needs compliment each others, but Pyle provides a more enterprising opportunity for Phuong. In her relationship with Pyle she shows how willing she is to sell herself. She goes behind Fowler, who is the man she is with, to pursue possibilities with Pyle. While never directly said it can be inferred from the passage where Pyle recognizes Phuong’s footsteps and the passage where the two look as if they have just parted from kiss.

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