Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Bruce Harvey

First Advisor's Committee Title

Major Professor

Second Advisor's Name

Nathaniel Cadle

Third Advisor's Name

Richard Sugg


Le Carre, Spy, Cold, Wall, Circus, Post-Structuralist, Panama

Date of Defense



John le Carré’s novels “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold” (1963), “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” (1974), and “The Tailor of Panama” (1997), focus on how the main characters reflect the somber reality of working in the British intelligence service. Through a broad post-structuralist analysis, I will identify the dichotomies - good/evil in “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold,” past/future in “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” and institution/individual in “The Tailor of Panama” - that frame the role of the protagonists. Each character is defined by his ambiguity and swinging moral compass, transforming him into a hybrid creation of morality and adaptability during transitional time periods in history, mainly during the Cold War. Le Carré’s novels reject the notion of spies standing above a group being celebrated. Instead, he portrays spies as characters who trade off individualism and social belonging for a false sense of heroism, loneliness, and even death.





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