Identity of the spy

When we think of a spy, we are made to envision a cold figure who lives a life stranded in between two worlds, often devoid of emotion, robotic almost. It is the type of thing we have come to expect via a James Bond movie. However, when the spy is seized by guards, we clearly able to gauge senses of panic, nostalgia, and uncertainty. “At least an hour must have elapsed since I was blindfolded, hadn’t it? I longed to luck my lips, but with the gag in my mouth I almost vomited. That would have been the death of me. When was he coming for me? How long would he leave me here? What had happened to his face?” (325). It is interesting to note that the formulating of this fictional character is somewhat at odd what the traditional spy. If the ideal spy is mysterious with little known about him, is it to say that his character is underdeveloped, or simply that a character that has intentionally underdeveloped to fit that role is sufficiently developed? Either way, this spy deviates from the traditional, and in that way is able to challenge the norm of how a fictional character like him is developed, and yet can still fill the role of a spy.

1 Comment

  1. Part of this question of development of fictional spies I think rests in what role they serve within a work, and what type of work is being looked at. For me, James Bond’s existence in an action movie limits him to his ability to perform suspenseful action. Honestly, his infamy alone (everyone in these movies knows who 007 is) has always told me that he made a poor spy, but an excellent, or at least successful, action character. But the Sympathizer seems to be placed in a storm of social concerns, and is used as commentary on those concerns. While there are certainly plenty of moments that scream “spy”, I agree that this spy deviates from the traditionally conceived notion of a spy, but only because the camera angle has changed.

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