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Word Count: 1,648
Throughout the novel The Quiet American authored by Graham Greene a conflict of identity is seen to occur within the narrator and protagonist Fowler Due to the complexity of his character Fowler as a narrator provides a valued yet sometimes flawed insight into the turmoil of his mind This turmoil is none better displayed through his indecisive nature about whether or not he is similar to Pyle the naive inexperienced and serious American operative working under the guise of an economic aid missionary As we are drawn into Fowlers complex web of determining who he really is he makes the statement that Was I so different from Pyle Must I too have my foot thrust in the mess of life before I saw the pain For as much as Fowler doubts himself here both him and Pyle and very much two separate entities The similarities they may share are far outweighed by their differences not to say that this encroaches upon their genuine friendship but it is seen through many instances such as valuing life experience love ideologies and even the way they hold the relationship between themselves This is mainly due to the separate worlds they have encountered with Pyle it is one comprised of books from which he sources experience from theory However with Fowler his knowledge comes not from books but reality his experience being exactly that Fowlers realistic views provide a sharp contrast to Pyles idealistic theories especially when their political ideologies and their attitudes towards the Vietnam situation come into play Immediately from the outset Pyle is eager for action paying attention to the slightest bang in hope of a grenade He seeks action adventure and has an unwavering desire to change the whole political scope of Vietnam for the better of the people However Fowler is seen to ignore the grenades and petty occurrences that take place amongst the crowded streets of Saigon and such His realistic nature
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