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How is the irony in the title of the novel, "The Ugly American", ...

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bbmchambers | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 7, 2007 at 1:53 AM via web

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How is the irony in the title of the novel, "The Ugly American",  illustrated through characters/events in the novel? 

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sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted October 7, 2007 at 10:07 AM (Answer #1)

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Part of the irony is that the Americans best remembered are the ineffectual Ambassadors and other men of power who cause trouble and are disdainful of the people of Southeast Asia, while the work of the "good Americans" goes largely unrecognized and is finally rendered ineffective because of the harm done by others.  Those who work for the benefit of these countries include the Jesuit priest Father Finian, who enables the anticommunist groups of Burma to understand and to counter the tactics of those communists who are threatening to take control of their land, and John Cowlin, the American dairy farmer who sees how the introduction of milk into the economy of Sarkhan can turn its failures around.  The URLs below offer a useful study guide to the novel as well as some of its history

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