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Literary Precedents for The Quiet American

This Study Guide consists of approximately 41 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Quiet American.
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Literary Precedents

The theme of the American innocent abroad is as much a theme of American literature as it is British. It goes back to Mark Twain's novel Innocents Abroad (1869), and in Henry James's "Daisy Miller" (1878), Daisy dies because of her innocence. Yet Greene's novel is more sophisticated than a simple condemnation of American naivete. Even though Pyle is condemned, Fowler is far from exonerated. The story is more related to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1902). Although it would seem at first that it is Kurtz, like Pyle, who has lost his innocence in a strange third world, but in being there, in being forced to act, Marlow, too, like Fowler, becomes implicated in the world around him, a world that does not quite conform to his expectations.

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This section contains 129 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Quiet American Study Guide
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The Quiet American from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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