Alienated Selfhood and Heroism: A Poststructuralist Reading of John le Carré’s Spy Fiction Novels
Master of Arts (MA)
First Advisor's Name
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Third Advisor's Name
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.
Zuniga, Milton, "Alienated Selfhood and Heroism: A Poststructuralist Reading of John le Carré’s Spy Fiction Novels" (2014). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1541.
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