Niebuhr and Quite American

Free essays 0 Comments

Niebuhrand Quite American

Niebuhrand Quite American

Niebuhris an important individual because he warned against the popularAmerican tendency. The irony of American history illuminates the lefttendency of engaging in bad or destructive activities all in the nameof idealism (Niebuhr 2010). This has been observed in Americanpolitics specifically during Bush’s tenure when he engaged Iraq inwar against America. Without a doubt these are some of the ironicidealism beliefs that Niebuhr illuminates. The American society isfaced with such tragic dilemma that is most evident in thecontemporary situations (Niebuhr 2010).

However,just as Niebuhr demonstrates, the historical tragic elements are notas noteworthy as the ironic ones. It is important to understand thatpure tragedy invites pity or admiration for anyone that is willing tooffer his life for the sake of his country or for the sake of generalgood. On the other hand, just as Niebuhr puts it, irony promptslaughter, comic absurdities or comprehensions beyond laughter(Niebuhr 2010). Niebuhr thus, critiques the contemporary Americansociety whose dreams for the American nation have been cruellycontested by American history.

In“The Quiet American”, Fowler met the American Economic individualwho was an attachment outside Pyle’s old flat (Greene 2010). Theexplanation that followed was on Pyle’s death, which the reader hadno idea of, however at the end of the novel the reader gets to gaininsight on Pyle’s death. It is clear that Pyle was engrossed in allnegative activities that he was so willing to kill innocent people inorder to gain a Third Force in Vietnam (Greene 2010). The novelcritiques the American historical decision of invading Vietnam wherethere were thousands of innocent people who lost their lives. It alsoilluminates the unpreparedness of the American forces during theinvasion in mid 20thcentury.


Greene,Graham.(2010). QuietAmerican.Chicago. University of Chicago Press.

Niebuhr,Reinhold. (2010) Ironyof American People.London. Randon House.