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‘It is impossible to not take sides during conflict’ Essay

‘It is possible to avoid taking sides during a conflict’- Persuasive The statement stating that is possible to avoid taking sides during conflict, is wrong. It is nearly impossible to take sides during conflict. Even if the conflict does not involve you directly, it can impact your life sooner or later. Things such as love and family can affect the ability to be able to take sides during conflict. In the novel the Quiet American, the difficulty of taking sides during war is displayed and is evident in Fowler’s and Pyle’s strange friendship. Additionally, in the novel Fowler and Pyle share a strange friendship. At the commencement of their friendship, Pyle falls in love with Phuong and eventually Phuong chooses to be with Pyle. This leaves Fowler with resentment because he is left with nothing. However when Fowler discovers that Pyle is partly responsible for the bomb that goes off at the café he researches the plastic and once he is sure that he is definitely involved and responsible.

Fowler does not hesitate to work with the three men and agrees that Pyle should be assassinated and he takes part. Fowler is left with no choice but to take a side and do something so that Pyle cannot hurt people again. He also considers Phuong and her well-being. Fowler’s decision is influenced by his previous friendship with Pyle and his involvement with Phuong, so therefore it is impossible to not be involved. When innocent civilians are left to suffer due to a person’s ignorance and their impulsive need to make a scene so that a higher up government recognises them, it is hard not to have an opinion or want to be involved. In contrast, when Fowler witnesses the dead and the chronically injured civilians after the bomb has gone off, it is surreal to him.

It brings him anger and sickness to know that these innocent people were hurt because of Pyle. ‘It’s not a matter of justice. We all get involved in a moment of emotion and then we cannot get out’. Fowler could have exposed Pyle and told the Vietnam police or someone with high authority but he chooses to take matters into his own hands. There is an exception of those who are ignorant and don’t understand the full extent of the conflict, for example, those of which are children or do not have any input of the mishap. Additionally, people that are scared to have opinions or are naïve to the conflict, do not have strong opinions and find it difficult to take a side in conflict.


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