• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

THe Quiet American - Sooner or Later, one has to take sides

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Sooner or later, One has to take sides if one is to remain human." If 'taking sides' means becoming emotionally involved in human conflicts and being prepared to suffer, then The Quiet American can be read as an argument for the necessity of becoming involved. Fowler, the character who suffers from the dilemma of whether or not to take sides, manages to remain detached for a long period, yet he is forced out of his inertia when events become too important for him to ignore and he realizes that inaction also has consequences. Both Mr Heng and Captain Trouin tell Fowler that he cannot avoid becoming involved, in two short but key scenes near the end of the text. When Fowler travels north to report on the war and recover from his loss of Phuong, the captain responds to Fowler's usual statement of non-engagement with, 'One day something will happen. ...read more.

Middle

In the opening chapter when we learn of Pyle's death, Fowler appears to be struggling with feelings of guilt, pain and anger - 'Am I the only one who really cared for Pyle?' Despite Fowler's stated desire to have things back to the way they were, at his last meeting with Pyle, 'I wanted him to go away quickly and die. Then I could start life again - at the point before he came in'. In fact it does not work out this way, and Fowler learns that his decision to get involved has caused a change in him. His final reaction is ambiguous - How I wished there existed someone to who I could say that I was sorry' - and could be read referring to his recognition of the sacrifices made in the name of remaining human almost a form of regret at having acted at all. ...read more.

Conclusion

He starts to realize this when he reads Helen's letter and sees the pain he has caused her by opening up old wounds: 'I thought, what a mess you make behind the scenes' On the evening of Pyle's death, Fowler tries to show Pyle that he has become involved: 'There's always a point of change...some moment of emotion...' Although Pyle cannot recognize it, we know that Fowler has committed himself to action in the name of what he feels is morally right. Fowler eventually recognizes that he must act in order to stay human because he is at risk of causing trouble even while he maintains a neutral stance. It therefore appears preferable to act in a positive manner, trying to achieve good through what one is doing, than by unintentionally causing suffering, as he has done to his wife in the past. His ambiguous feelings about his actions show that he finally accepts becoming human again through suffering. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Fyodor Dostoevsky section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Fyodor Dostoevsky essays

  1. scarlet Letter.

    Fear was the motivation that drove the Puritans to exclude Hester Prynne from society. This new society was afraid that their core would fall apart "in a land where iniquity is searched out and punished" if they did not seek out those individuals that were immoral in their eyes.

  2. It is extremely important when mountain walking to have the correct equipment especially when ...

    * Grid north- this is the direction that lines on the map are drawn (north is at the top of the map) * Magnetic north- this is the direction that the compass needle points to. Taking a bearing To take a bearing the first thing to do is to mark

  1. The Indestructibility of Human NatureA Comparative Analysis of the Novels We by E. Zamyatin ...

    In We on the other hand the number names are the only form of address, with the exception of the Benefactor. Although in both novels the number names are assigned in the same random automatic process, in We they 'work' differently.

  2. Fydor Dostoyevsky's representation of suffering

    She always would give them an unreasonable price and they needed the money so they had no other alternative but to take it. In the beginning, Raskolnikov was just thinking about killing her and needed some signs to justify his actions.

  1. As the number zero was the start of mathematics and the vacuum the foundation ...

    In the opening scene he flings dirt on to her coffin, using an implement which 'resembled the toy shovel a child plays with at the shore, its half cubic foot of flung dirt no more than the light gout of sand the child's shovel would have flung' (131).

  2. How does the writer of the play 'A Kind of Alaska' show the struggle ...

    This will make the struggle harder for her when she realises that she has been asleep for twenty-nine years. Instead she looks at Hornby and notices this is not the case, and get confused and anxious. Deborah asks the natural questions a person would ask if the woke up in a place unfamiliar to them.

  1. How can an audience identify with Charlie Gordon's desire to be 'smart'?

    We should be treated alike.' He feels like a lab-test subject because no one else can relate to him. Charlie seems more isolated and emotionally starved at the end of the play than he was at the beginning. Before the operation, at least people talked to Charlie at the factory and he felt quite happy.

  2. Consider the way the characters of The Bottle imp and the Rocking-horse Winner end ...

    in search of luck after his mother states there is no luck in the family, he wants to prove to his mother he is lucky so he can win her love and stop the whispering in the house. In search of this luck Paul is lead to a rocking horse

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work