“The Quiet American" by Graham Greene
“The Quiet American" by Graham Greene was released in 1955.
The author describes scenes and situations that he has lived but his language he uses never overstates the sense of horror and emphasizes things: it is the very scene that must create terror in the conscience, not the description.
It rages a world of chaos, but the real chaos that we perceive, if you do not feel a bit of empathy towards an outside that opens up like a squabble of conscience, is the protagonist. Fowler is a cynical journalist and alienated by life: he brings back what he sees but does not seem to ever get involved.
The personal character contradicts the well-respected and patriotic Alder Pyle: their world is completely different, yet they are linked by a character: Phuong. However, their conception of love is also different: on one side, brutal, on the other, idealized and ethereal.
Around them three wheels are a story of desolation and misery, which is filtered out as Fowler also decides to show us and make us be with him to contemplate all the misery.
In this context, "anti-American" is placed: Pyle is not a bad character but is too abstract and blind to the terror and the violence that comes around. He immolates everything for a higher cause, but the dead are dead and they do not come back. Even the cynic seems to be getting caught and must finally make a decision, choose where to find himself in the war when he has always opted for neutrality. Even Pyle eventually becomes a victim for a higher cause, which could be the end of violence. You find yourself in a vicious circle where there is no way out.