Study Guide

The Quiet American Part 1, Chapter 3: Section 2

By Graham Greene

Part 1, Chapter 3: Section 2

  • Phuong has kept a table for them near the dance floor.
  • Pyle apologizes for keeping her waiting.
  • Fowler has a moment of seeing himself as Pyle probably sees him: middle age, gaining weight, and cynical.
  • We learn that Phuong's sister has been trying to arrange a good European marriage for her.
  • Phuong and Pyle dance, she quite well, he not so graceful.
  • Her sister is here to. She signals to Fowler and begins questioning him about Pyle, trying to assess is eligibility and suitability for marriage to Phuong.
  • Miss Hei, Phuong's sister, next grills Pyle himself when the two return from their dance. She's disappointed that his father is a professor.
  • Fowler doesn't hide his notice that Miss Hei is examining Pyle's marriagability to Phuong.
  • They order dinner, and Miss Hei returns to her friends after asking Fowler to arrange a meeting for her with Pyle. She's not hiding her designs at all.
  • Fowler says he will after he returns from up north.
  • He seems to have just decided he'd like a look at the war.
  • Wasting no time, Phuong's sister invites Pyle to dinner with Phuong—to cheer her up while Fowler is away.
  • Pyle dances with Phuong some more, but silently, unlike Fowler, who used to dance with her regularly at the Grand Monde just for the chance to talk to her.
  • When a troupe of female impersonators arrives, Pyle wants to leave, feeling the display isn't suitable for Phuong.