Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Themes & Social Concerns

This Study Guide consists of approximately 53 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
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As in all of John le Carre's novels, the setting of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was a subject of political and social concern when it was written. Here le Carre treats East-West relations, particularly with Russia. Although the setting is the familiar world of the "Circus" (British Intelligence Headquarters in London), there are perceptive rambles into a Czech prison, Moscow Centre on Dzerzhinsky Square, and a Hong Kong hotel, with references to the Soviet presence in Czechoslovakia, and to the general atmosphere of devious dealings and double agents, called "moles." It is espionage at its crudest; a story of traitors that mirrors the whole of human relations. The novel was suggested by the real story of the double agent Kim Philby who was unmasked in the early 1960s.

As in his previous works, le Carre treats the question of ambiguous loyalties, of dubious...

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This section contains 224 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Study Guide
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