Ignorance In The Quiet American

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Innocence and Ignorance The attributes of a fictional character(s)¬¬ are often viewed by readers through a single scope, usually dictating the reader’s perception of the character(s) throughout the book. However, good literature imitates reality and human attributes are more complicated than strict boundaries. This complexity of characteristics is what make humans human, and without it ideas like culture cease to exist. In “The Quiet American” Greene distinguishes the thin line between ignorance and innocence, but also highlights this line by showing how similar they can seem. As Greene skillfully develops the plot, the worlds’ of Fowler and Pyle are consumed by this battle between ignorance and innocence and it is this battle that demands the characters to evolve. Greene also makes it clear that characters can share the qualities of innocence and ignorance, but there is a distinction between the two. “A man becomes trustworthy when you trust him” (Fowler, p.78) is the basis for innocence in the…show more content…
It is this revelation that creates the distinction between ignorance and innocence in the novel. While having a conversation with Phuong, Fowler makes a point that “innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm” (Fowler, p.29). Innocence being the lack of intent to harm others, and ignorance being the unawareness of how one’s actions affect others. Later on in the text, Fowler makes another statement about Pyle, “he was as incapable of imagining pain or danger to himself as he was incapable of conceiving the pain he might cause others” (Fowler, p.53). This statement solidifies the distinction between innocence and ignorance, while showing that Pyle is both innocent and ignorant. As a result, readers understand that characters can share both qualities just as humans do in

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