William J. Lederer Writing Styles in The Ugly American

William J. Lederer
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The Ugly American is an unusual novel in that there is only a loose connection between all the different episodes. The only semblance of a unified plot is in Ambassador Gilbert MacWhite's gradual accumulation of the knowledge about how to win the struggle against communism. Each story serves as a parable, illustrating either the folly of U.S. behavior and policy or a positive alternative. According to M. H. Abrams, a parable is “a short narrative presented so as to stress the tacit but detailed analogy between its component parts and a thesis or lesson that the narrator is trying to bring home to us.” Thus in the first story, of “Lucky” Lou Sears, every detail contributes to the theme of the book: Americans in foreign service are not performing their jobs in a way that is likely to bring any success, but they are mostly unaware of...

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This section contains 895 words
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