The Quiet American

  • Study Guide
Characters

Vigot

Characters Vigot

Vigot is an aging French inspector in the colonial Sûreté, which is the detective branch of the civil police force. His investigation of Pyle’s death brings him into relationship with Fowler, who becomes his primary suspect. Like Fowler, Vigot is a contemplative yet cynical man. Unlike Fowler, he is a practicing Roman Catholic. Vigot finds his work wearying, partly because it seems irrelevant in the context of war, where many die. Without Fowler’s confession, his investigation dead-ends and he is forced to file an unclosed case report. The lack of resolution for Vigot mirrors the lack of resolution for Fowler, who remains isolated, alone with his guilt. Vigot also has a literary sensibility. He reads the French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal. He also became a police officer in part because of fictional French detectives such as Monsieur Lecoq and Jules Maigret from stories by Émile Gaboriau and Georges Simenon, respectively.