Desolation Island Themes

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Covert Operations

Much of the novel's plot is given over to a simple but subtle series of maneuvers designed to extract valuable intelligence from Wogan—an American spy—while simultaneously filling her with false information to carry back home. Indeed, the very reason Aubrey and Maturin are together on the voyage is to accompany Wogan through her transportation to Botany Bay. Aubrey's rather commonplace assignment is to transport Wogan to her prison destination. Maturin's subtle assignment is to compromise Wogan and extract any intelligence. In the end, the bluff Aubrey fails in his rather simple mission while Maturin succeeds beyond any reasonable expectation.

Much of the plot concerns Maturin's subtle manipulation of Michael Herapath in order to befriend the simple youth and then use him as a tool to access Wogan. Maturin simultaneously develops a banal but credible relationship with Wogan and, once she is compromised without...

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This section contains 854 words
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Buy the Desolation Island Study Guide
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