Joseph Conrad The Secret Agent revision

Includes critic's quotes, quotes from the books and context for various themes

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  • Created by: Alice
  • Created on: 15-05-12 15:11


"Conrad seeks to challenge ... not so much anarchism as the shallow or unimaginative response to anarchism" Jacques Berthoud

A story of "life without meaning and life's emptiness" Walter Wright

The revolutionists "lack all energy and power of initiative" Jacques Berthoud

"London's drab streets reveal the futility of life" Walter Wright

The masses "keep their individual lives anonymous, isolated and impersonal" Gene Moore

"I had no idea to consider anarchism politically" Conrad

An author will produce a work "determined by social and ideological conditions" Terry Eagleton

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Politics (Quotes from book)

"the useless fussing of that tiny, energetic organism" Chapter 3

"[the Professor] passed on unsuspected and deadly, like a pest in a street full of men" Chapter 13

"Bad world for poor people" Stevie Chapter 8

The purpose of the police is to ensure "them as have nothing shouldn't take anything away from them who have" Winnie Verloc Chapter 8

When Winnie is about to kill Verloc "Released from all earthly ties" (true anarchist) Chapter 11

"The everlasting plaint of the poor, pathetically mendacious" Chapter 9

"The peace of soothed vanity" Chapter 4

"Couples ... loitering groups ... solitary" Chapter 2

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The Void

A story of "life without meaning and life's emptiness" Walter Wright

"London's drab streets reveal the futility of life" Walter Wright

The masses "keep their individual lives anonymous, isolated and impersonal" Gene Moore

Hard work is a "defence" against a "chaotic universe" Andrew Mayne

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The Void (quotes from book)

"They depend on life ... whereas I depend on death" The Professor Chapter 4

"From the light into the obscurity of the open space" Chapter 8

the clock counted off "fifteen ticks into the abyss of eternity" Chapter 8

"her black gaze where the light of the room was absorbed" Chapter 11

(of London) "rested at the bottom of a black abyss" Chapter 12

"Death ... cannot be argued away by sophisticated reasoning" Chapter 

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Winnie commits suicide because she lacks "the internal stregnth to resist isolation" Ian Watt

On Winnie and Verloc: "two minds separated by a no-man's-land of total misunderstanding" Andrew Mayne

Winnie and Verloc's marriage has a "congenital absence of communication" Andrew Mayne

The books shows "sympathetic portraits of female frustrations and domestic entrapment in their marriage" Susan Jones

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Relationships (Quotes from book)

"He would want to keep her for nothing" Chapter 11

"[Stevies'] sister, guardian and protector" Chapter 11

"Fasten yourself upon the woman for all she's worth" Chapter 4

(Stevie for Verloc) "He would walk through fire for you" Winnie Chapter

Mr Verloc "appreciated this woman" Chapter 3

"It was as if her voice was talking on the other side of a very thick wall" Chapter 3

(When she kills Verloc) "She had her freedom" 11

"Into that plunging blow ... Mrs Verloc had put ... the simple verocity of the age of caverns" Chapter 11

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The Establishment

Hard work is a "defence" against a "chaotic universe" Andrew Mayne

Conrad's father had "a victim of Muscovite tyranny" on his gravestone

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The Establishment (quotes)

Vladimir's "mission" was the "protection of the social mechanism" Chapter Two

"This country is absurd with its sentimental regard for individual liberty" Vladimir

"[The Assistant Commissioner] felt  himself dependant on too many suboordinates" Chapter Five

"Public opinion weighed upon his spirits" Chapter Five

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