‘When You Escape to a Desert’ The Quiet American

  • Daphna Erdinast-Vulcan
Part of the Macmillan Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature book series


The first and most obvious question that should be answered in this chapter concerns the inclusion of The Quiet American in a study which deals with the theme of fatherhood in Greene’s novels. None of the major characters in the novel has fathered a child, and yet I would suggest that the theme of fatherhood functions here by its very absence. The discussion of the novel in this study revolves around the theme of non-fatherhood, of sterility. Before venturing into a thematic analysis of the novel, I would like to review the major categories of critical views regarding the theme of the novel, and explain why I have found most of them unsatisfactory.


Fair Play Dead Child Divine Intervention Opium Pipe Religious Sense 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    John Atkins, Graham Greene (London: Calder and Boyars, 1957; revised edn 1966) p.232.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Miriam Allott, ‘The Moral Situation in The Quiet American’, in Robert O. Evans (ed.), Graham Greene: Some Critical Considerations ( Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1963 ) p. 190.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Miriam Allott, ‘The Moral Situation in The Quiet American’, p. 169.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    Robert O. Evans, ‘Existentialism in Greene’s The Quiet American’, Modern Fiction Studies, Graham Greene Special Number, 3 (Autumn 1957 ), pp. 244–5.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    Kunkel, The Labyrinthine Ways of Graham Greene, p. 148.Google Scholar
  6. 13.
    Graham Greene, The End of the Affair (1951; reprinted London: Heinemann, 1959) p. 1.Google Scholar
  7. 15.
    R. E. Hughes, ‘The Quiet American: The Case Reopened’, Renascence, 12 (1959) p. 42.Google Scholar

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© Daphna Erdinast-Vulcan 1988

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  • Daphna Erdinast-Vulcan

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