Phuong, in representing Indochina, has power over both the British and American characters. Discuss.

o more then 600 words
On the movie ‘ the quiet American’
Also need to use orientalism by Edward said as a key source as well as these:

Blum-Reid, Sylvie. 2003. East-West Encounters: Franco-Asian Cinema and Literature. London and New York: Wallflower Press. (Chapter One, pp.10-38)

Blum-Reid, Sylvie. 2003. East-West Encounters: Franco-Asian Cinema and Literature. London and New York: Wallflower Press. (Chapter One, pp.10-38)

http://ble.soas.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/71241/mod_resource/content/1/The%20Quiet%20American%20-%20BA.pptx

Have a look at the PowerPoint you will find it helpful
I will also put a link to an example essay my tutor wrote so you have a clear idea of how to answer the question but please DO NOT PLAGURISE!

Here is the example paper
Mimicry in The Quiet American
Art Mitchells-Urwin

For this reaction paper, I want to turn the theoretical gaze away from the Asian characters presented in Phillip Noyce’s The Quiet American (2002), and instead focus on the Caucasian characters of Thomas Fowler and Alden Pyle, and their interactions with Homi Bhabha’s discussions of mimicry. For the following arguments, I intend to read against the grain of Bhabha’s colonial mimicry, specifically it necessarily being a tool of the colonised. It is my reading of the film that Pyle – an American, is practicing a subversive form of mimicry, mimicking the colonial practices of the British.  As a result, the film can be read as Pyle operating through the mimicry of European colonial power structures.
​Adam Piette’s historical contextualising of Greene’s 1955 novel is of great relevance to my reading of the 2002 film adaptation. Piette’s analysis predominantly focuses on the novel’s “British view of the American superpower in imperial mode” (Piette; 2009, 152). Piette’s primary assertion regarding the historical context of the novel is that “American counter insurgency and propaganda in Vietnam were in many ways fashioned according to the successful formulae developed by the British in Malaya (Piette; 2009, 152). Piette details how the British Information Research Department (IRD) had, until 1949, lobbied for a “Third Force”, “an alliance between India, Britain and the Commonwealth as a new power base in Asia”, particularly in relation to securing Malaya (Piette, 2009, 155). Using this information, Piette draws links between the historical context surrounding the production of the novel, and the characterisations of the Caucasian characters, ultimately concluding that, “Pyle in fact sounds like an American conjured up, or at least politically informed by the IRD” exalting theories written by a “suspiciously British sounding York Harding” (Piette; 2009, 162).
​Pyle’s motivations of introducing a Third Force to govern Vietnam sees the character taking colonial discourse as it exists, and interrupting its narrative by reconstituting colonial ideology. Bhabha’s words can be invoked here to understand its effects:
“Colonial mimicry is the desire for a reformed, recognisable Other, as subject of difference that is almost the same, but not quite. Which is to say, that the discourse of mimicry is constructed around ambivalence; in order to be effective, mimicry must continually produce its slippage, its excess, its difference” (Bhabha; 1994, 86).
​In this instance, for Pyle, the “Other” is the European colonialism. Pyle’s existence within the colonial narrative, ostensibly being in Vietnam on a civilising and missionary role, soon begins to instigate the slippage from orthodox colonial ideology to the neo-colonial ideas of York Harding. Pyle’s actions further produce slippage in the tactics of the colonised’s resistance, demonstrated in the assistance given to General Thé.
​Like mimicry, this is done from within the colonial spatiality. In colonial mimicry, instigators are “unable to control the consequences brought about by this difference – particularly the colonised’s agency that is implied by the slippage of meaning” (Huddart; 2006, 59). This is evidently clear when it is seen that things start to spiral out of control with Pyle. It is up to Fowler (the symbol of orthodox colonial ideology) to bring the situation back into colonialism’s normative framework. Similarly, as with David Huddart’s conclusions of Bhabha’s theories, Pyle’s belief in the Third Force “undermines colonialism’s grand discourse of humanism [and] enlightenment” (Huddart; 2006, 60). Pyle’s subversion of mimicry occurs in his conscious meditation on the rights and wrongs of previous orthodox colonial rule of Vietnam, something that, under Bhabha’s readings of the colonised’s practicing of mimicry, does not happen.
​Within the boundaries of the fictional presentation in the novel, the screen, and also to an extent a reading of historical Vietnam, both the mimicry in Bhabha’s discussions, and the mimicry of my reading does not merely “rupture the discourse, but becomes transformed into an uncertainty which fixes the colonial subject as a “partial” presence” (Bhabha; 2004, 86).  This is certainly evident with Pyle’s belief in the Third Force, which is, by its very nature, fragmented. The colonial experience as advocated by the British becomes “partial” under the Third Force due to the split in proposed governance. As such, Pyle’s argument’s for the Third Force requires an unfixing of previously orthodox colonialism, as new forms of control are sought. This is done through the mimicry of previous colonial ideology. Bhabha’s discussions further demonstrate how the coloniser is subsequently “haunted by his discourse” (Bhabha, 2004, 86), seen in The Quiet American through Fowler clearly being disturbed at Pyle’s devotion to York Harding.
​Whilst Fowler is constructed as the stereotypical colonial Englishman, he nevertheless takes a paternalistic view of Vietnam, whilst ostensibly remaining neutral. This (half-hidden) paternalism is evidently threatened by Pyle’s mimicry and subversion, with Fowler’s reaction being the assistance in the assassination of Pyle. Perhaps it is Pyle’s effect on Fowler that produces, in Huddart’s summation of Bhabha’s mimicry, the “colonial discourse’s ambivalence [having] the strange effect of making the British feel not quite British. Alienated from what they must believe is their true identity” (Huddart; 2006, 65). As Piette argues, in relation to the novel, the relationship between Pyle and Fowler provides the “breaking point for the ideal of liberal objective reporting: Fowler is forced to take sides, abandoning even the radical neutrality of Christian sufferance” (Piette; 2009, 198). If reading Phuong as being metaphysically and metaphorically Vietnam, Pyle’s wooing and eventual seduction of Phuong/Vietnam alongside Fowler’s realisation of Pyle’s neo-colonial, or at least interventionist ideas are being put into practice, is the defining moment of loss. This loss is of colonial control, Phuong and of his own identity, ultimately leads to Fowler breaking down in the toilet cubicle.
​In this reading of the text, both film and novel, the mimicry is not so much contained in the colonised returning the coloniser’s gaze (Bhabha; 2004, 88), but rather, the new coloniser’s meeting the old coloniser’s gaze, and the gaze of the old coloniser being returned. For Bhabha, this scopic nature is important, indeed “the look of surveillance returns as the displacing gaze of the disciplined, where the observer becomes the observed and “partial” representation rearticulates the whole notion of identity and alienates it from essence” (Bhabha; 2004, 89). As argued above, this can be seen with Fowler’s breakdown alongside my discussions of the fragmented nature of the Third Force.
​For Bhabha, such “resemblance/menace is turned on the colonised: now you are like ‘us’, now you are so other we must enact violence on you” (Huddart; 2006, 69). Pyle’s becoming of almost a European coloniser results in violence being instigated on him by the coloniser, or at least in Fowler’s case, the symbol of European colonial ideology.
Bibliography
• Bhabha, Homi. K (2004) ‘The Location of Culture’ London: Routledge
• Greene, Graham. (1955) ‘The Quiet American’ [2002 Reprint] New York: Penguin Books.
• Huddart, David. (2006) ‘Homi K. Bhabha’ London: Routledge
• Piette, Adam. (2009) ‘The Literary Cold War, 1945 to Vietnam’ Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
Filmography:

• The Quiet American (2002) Dir. Phillip Noyce. USA: Miramax Home Entertainment

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