Quiet American

Conflict is an unavoidable part of being human

Good afternoon parents, teachers, friends, family and last but not least fellow year 12 students. Welcome to the graduation dinner for the graduating class of 2013. Fortunately I have been given the honour by Peter Morgan to address everyone on behalf of the year 12 students. He, along with a few other teachers have given me a topic to talk about, conflict. Conflict is a big thing in everybody’s lives, could you agree? It is simply an unavoidable part of being human. We face conflict everyday in many shapes and forms, and can have either a positive or negative effect on our lives and that’s just it, it affects our lives. Not just for an hour, or a day or two days but forever!

                  At the beginning of early start last year we were asked to read the quiet American by Graham Greene over the summer holidays, well wasn’t that a struggle. It was a shocker, but as we studied the book and built up our knowledge of it we all understood what it was telling us. It was a story that was set out in Vietnam during the time of the war of the Vietminh and the French. The protagonist went by the name of Fowler who was a person who didn’t like to get involved in the conflict that was going on around him, he was trying to avoid it as much as possible. Then he met a young intelligent man by the name of Pyle who eventually fell in love with Fowlers lover, Phuong, well that didn’t turn out well. Pyle was an American, who believed in being involved, but not just an American, a quiet American. As the novel read on fowler began to understand more and more of Pyle and understood what he was really like. When a bomb goes off in the centre of the town they are in Fowler realises how hard it is to stay neutral and realises that Pyle has no feelings for the innocent people whose lives have been greatly affected by the bomb. This is where we start to see a change in Fowler which shows us that avoiding conflict really is very hard...