Literary Precedents for The Quiet American

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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
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