Study Guide

The Quiet American Part 4, Chapter 2: Section 2

By Graham Greene

Part 4, Chapter 2: Section 2

  • After inviting Pyle to dinner, Fowler goes out for a drink and wonders whether or not he should warn Pyle of the danger. Maybe that alone would make him think twice about his activities.
  • Dominguez knocks. It's the normal time for him to arrive to discuss cables, but Fowler is still surprised to see him. Got a lot on his mind, this one.
  • Pyle shows up next, telling Fowler that he met with General ThĂ© and was very cross with him.
  • Apparently Pyle has given the general a warning. Fowler is astonished that Pyle still intends to work with him.
  • Pyle figures the general will be grateful to him if he comes to power.
  • Fowler tries to tell him that there's no gratitude in politics.
  • Impervious to his reasons, Pyle just continues on about how America will be helping the relatives of those killed, as if that gesture rights the wrong instead of just making the US look good.
  • Fowler names the time and place of their dinner.
  • Pyle stays a while, drinking and chatting. Fowler's mind is elsewhere. He knows he's condemning Pyle to death.
  • He has a moment of reconsideration and asks Pyle about cancelling the dinner. No, Pyle responds.
  • Pyle jokes that he'll never change, except with death.
  • Not even after the bombing of civilians, Fowler asks.
  • Those were casualties of war, Pyle answers, who died in the right cause, for democracy.
  • At this point, Fowler just wants Pyle to go away and die.
  • Before Pyle leaves, Fowler decides to give Pyle one last chance by turning the matter over to God: he tells Pyle if he's running late, not to worry about dinner but meet him back here.