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Gender Inequality in The Quiet American

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Introduction

Gender Inequality in The Quiet American The book The Quiet American focuses on a poor, war-struck, and undeveloped country - Vietnam. In this type of environment, many social problems are accepted, particularly gender inequality. Throughout The Quiet American gender inequality is mostly practiced by men, however it carried out by women as well. Proving that women are unequal to men and woman. Phuong, Fowler's lover is a specific example of gender inequality. Firstly, Fowler treats her as if she is the stereotypical housewife and servant. Phuong acts as the stereotypical housewife in three ways. She stays home most of the time, waiting for Fowler to return. When she is out of the house then she is out "haggling for he price of fish over in third street" (pg. 26) because she's obliged to cook for Fowler. Whenever Fowler comes home every night he has Phuong "Make me another pipe" (pg. 73) or "make me a brandy-and-soda" (pg. 117). He treats her as his servant and she accepts the inequality "she did at once what I asked...just so she would have made love if I asked her too, straight away, peeling off her trousers without question" (pg. ...read more.

Middle

Throughout the book women continue to suffer from gender inequality. Firstly, there is this motif of men referring women to different objects. In the beginning of the story Granger seems to refer to women as if they are animals. When he saw Phuong for the first time he asked, "Where did you find her? Didn't know you had a whistle in you" (pg. 34) as if she was found off the street like stray dog. He continues to refer to women's animal characteristics "let's go find a girl. You've got a piece of tail. I want a piece of tail too"(pg. 35). By objectifying women as animals he is saying that they possess the same low standards and competency as a stray animal. Towards the end of the story, Fowler went dive-bombing with a French pilot name Tourin. Tourin's squadron fly B.26 bombers. They refer to them as "French Prostitutes" because they have a "short wing-span" and "no visible means of support" (pg. 148). This is another example of how men objectify women using different things. Secondly, women are targeted for certain stereotypical gender roles. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even though it is now a women in the position of the mans job she is still enforcing gender inequality. It isn't gender inequality from Miss Hei's position, but from Phuong's. She is selling Phuong off to forced marriage like a product. Phuong is not given the right to choose for herself she "must do the right thing" (pg. 156). In the beginning, She was asking a lot of questions about his wealth "he looks like a reliable man", "What does he do?", "Is your father a business man?". After she finished she started to boast about her sister "She is the most beautiful girl in Saigon". Not only men can practice inequality but women can too. The Quiet American is a concise example of how men practice gender inequality. By using the male characters such as Granger and Fowler from the story, Graham Greene shows how they practice inequality towards Phuong and the Vietnamese women. However, The Quiet American is also a rare example of how gender inequality is practiced by women. Miss Hei enforces gender inequality on Phuong by trying to sell her off to marriage, proving that The Quiet American gender inequality is mostly practiced by men, however it is carried out by women as well. ...read more.

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