The Quiet American Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe the old women on the street near Thomas Fowler's apartment.

The old women wear black trousers and squat on the street gossiping, possibly because it is too hot to sleep in their rooms.

2. What is the superstition in Vietnam about lovers who smoke opium?

It is said that a lover who smokes opium will always return if he goes away, even to another country.

3. What is the purpose for having Fowler and Phuong go to the Surete to see Vigot?

Alden Pyle has been murdered and it is a police investigation.

4. Why does Fowler want to answer Vigot's questions quickly and get out of his office?

Phuong's French and English are limited and Fowler knows she does not yet understand that Pyle is dead. He wants to tell her himself in private.

5. How does Phuong take the news of Pyle's death?

She sits back on her heels and thinks for a long moment. Then she picks up the needle and continues making Fowler's opium pipe.

(read all 60 Short Essay Questions and Answers)

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