The Spy Who Came in from the Cold Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 37 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.
This section contains 886 words
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Appearance versus Reality

One of the defining themes of the novel is the difference between appearance and reality and the inability for anyone, no matter how trained and experienced, to separate the two. Alec Leamas is a British intelligence agent. His whole life revolves around presenting one reality while living another. Leamas presents himself as a man who is above all deceptions; a man who easily sees through the deceptions of others. His own experience, however, shows that even the master spy is able to be deceived when something appears to be what he wants it to be.

Shortly after returning to Britain, Leamas goes on a secret mission that involves destroying his personal life. He works to deceive all of those he knows and works with so that they think he has lost his ability to work as an international spy. After first deceiving those people, he goes...

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This section contains 886 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Spy Who Came in from the Cold Study Guide
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