Writing Techniques in The Quiet American

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The novel begins with Pyle's death, and then proceeds as a flashback. Beginning with the ending could destroy any chance for suspense, but Greene, a master of suspense and surprise, actually uses the technique to increase suspense. In the opening, Fowler expresses a sense of guilt over Pyle's death, but the reader is encouraged to think this guilt is like that of a person who does nothing to save a drug-addicted friend, and then feels guilty when the friend dies of an overdose.

Fowler says, "They killed him because he was too innocent to live. He was young and silly and ignorant and he got involved." It is not until the end of the novel that the reader discovers just how direct Fowler's guilt is.

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This section contains 125 words
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