Study Guide

The Quiet American Part 3, Chapter 2: Section 2

By Graham Greene

Part 3, Chapter 2: Section 2

  • In the market for a new place to live, Fowler drags himself to an apartment for rent. It's decorated with a lot of art featuring naked women and girls. The owner doesn't want to separate the two.
  • Fowler declines.
  • He goes to a pavilion near a coffee shop for American and European women. Two American women sit eating ice-cream. He wonders if they're Pyle's colleagues.
  • He overhears them talking of demonstrations and then the need to leave. He watches them go.
  • The room explodes.
  • Unhurt, but unable to hear well, Fowler makes his way outside. A policeman stops him as stretches carry the wounded and deceased. He tries to get passed, terrified that Phuong is where she often is this time of day.
  • Pyle is suddenly there. He tells Fowler that Phuong is not in the wreckage because he warned her not to come.
  • Well, that's clear as daylight. Pyle knew this would happen. Fowler asks if the American women he saw also knew, but Pyle doesn't seem to know anything about them.
  • Looking around, Fowler sees a mother holding the remains of her baby.
  • Pyle himself seems stunned. He asks what the red on his shoe is.
  • Fowler demands to know why the shopping hour, when the place was full of women and children, was chosen.
  • Pyle admits there was to be a parade.
  • Fowler knows the parade was cancelled. Pyle didn't. Fowler tells him he should have been better informed.
  • Pyle can only say that General Thé should have called off the terrorist attack.
  • Fowler mocks this, knowing that this devastation serves his interests just as well.
  • Through with Pyle, Fowler takes a motor-trishaw to the Quai Mytho.