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Joseph Conrad. (–). THE SECRET AGENT. When we think of the leading novelists of. Edwardian England – Henry James, H.G.. Wells, John. Cambridge Core - English Literature - The Secret Agent - by Joseph Conrad. Joseph Conrad. Publisher: Cambridge Access. PDF; Export citation. The Secret Agent. Joseph Conrad. First published in This web edition published by [email protected] Last updated Wednesday, December 17, at.
The Secret Agent
WIN the ultimate Audiobook experience! Enter here no download necessary. Join Now Login. Click to Preview. Joseph Conrad Downloads: Book Description HTML This is a full and up-to-date bibliography, a comprehensive chronology and a critical introduction which describes Conrad's great London novel as the realization of a "monstrous town," a place of idiocy, madness, criminality, and butchery.
Other books by author Aug Heart of Darkness Reads: Ossipon assists her while confessing romantic feelings but secretly with a view to possess Mr Verloc's bank account savings. They plan to run away and he aids her in taking a boat to the continent.
However, her instability and the revelation of Verloc's murder increasingly worry him, and he abandons her, taking Mr Verloc's savings with him.
He later discovers in a newspaper that a woman matching Mrs Verloc's description disappeared from the ferry, leaving behind her wedding ring before drowning herself in the English Channel.
Characters[ edit ] Adolf Verloc: a secret agent who owns a shop in Soho in London. His primary characteristic, as described by Conrad, is indolence. He has been employed by an unnamed embassy to spy on revolutionary groups, which then orders him to instigate a terrorist act against the Greenwich Observatory. He is part of an anarchist organisation that creates pamphlets under the heading The Future of the Proletariat.
He is married to Winnie, and lives with his wife, his mother-in-law, and his brother-in-law, Stevie. Winnie Verloc: Verloc's wife. She cares deeply for her brother Stevie, who has the mental age of a young child. Of working class origins, her father was the owner of a pub. She is younger than her husband and married him not for love but to provide a home for her mother and brother.
A loyal wife, she is disturbed upon learning of the death of her brother due to her husband's plotting, and kills him with a knife in the heart.
She dies, presumably by drowning herself to avoid the gallows. Stevie: Winnie's brother has the mental age of a young child. He is sensitive and is disturbed by notions of violence or hardship. His sister cares for him, and Stevie passes most of his time drawing numerous circles on pieces of paper. Verloc, exploiting both Stevie's childlike simplicity and his outrage at suffering, employs him to carry out the bombing of Greenwich Observatory.
Stevie stumbles and the bomb explodes prematurely.
Mrs Verloc's mother: Old and infirm, Mrs Verloc's mother leaves the household to live in an almshouse , believing that two disabled people herself and Stevie are too much for Mr Verloc's generosity. The widow of a publican, she spent most of her life working hard in her husband's pub and believes Mr Verloc to be a gentleman because she thinks he resembles patrons of business houses pubs with higher prices, consequently frequented by the upper classes.
Chief Inspector Heat: a policeman who is dealing with the explosion at Greenwich. An astute, practical man who uses a clue found at the scene of the crime to trace events back to Verloc's home.
Although he informs his superior what he is planning to do with regards to the case, he is initially not aware that the Assistant Commissioner is acting without his knowledge. Heat knew Verloc before the bombing as Verloc had supplied information to Heat through the Embassy. Heat despises anarchists, whom he regards as amateurs, as opposed to burglars, whom he regards as professionals.
The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale
The Assistant Commissioner: of a higher rank than the Chief Inspector, he uses the knowledge gained from Heat to pursue matters personally, for reasons of his own. The Assistant Commissioner is married to a lady with influential connections. He informs his superior, Sir Ethelred, of his intentions, and tracks down Verloc before Heat can.
At the time of the bombing he is busy trying to pass a bill regarding the nationalisation of fisheries through the House of Commons against strong opposition. He is briefed by the Assistant Commissioner throughout the novel and often admonishes him not to go into detail.
Mr Vladimir: First Secretary of the embassy of an unnamed country. Though his name might suggest that this is the Russian embassy, the name of the previous first secretary, Baron Stott-Wartenheim, is Germanic, as is that of Privy Councillor Wurmt, another official of this embassy. There is also the suggestion that Vladimir is not from Europe but Central Asia. He orders Verloc to instigate a terrorist act, hoping that the resulting public outrage will force the British government to adopt repressive measures.
Michaelis: a member of Verloc's group, and another anarchist. The most philosophical member of the group, his theories resemble those of Peter Kropotkin while some of his other attributes resemble Mikhail Bakunin.
Comrade Alexander Ossipon: an ex-medical student, anarchist and member of Verloc's group. He survives on the savings of women he seduces, mostly working-class women. The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad Learn more at Login to Fave. Description Comments Ungluers 3 More Set in early twentieth-century London and inspired by an actual attempt to blow up the Greenwich Observatory, The Secret Agent is a complex exploration of motivation and morality. The title character, Adolf Verloc, is obviously no James Bond.
In fact, he and his circle of misfit saboteurs are not spies but terrorists, driven less by political ideals than by their unruly emotions and irrational hatreds.
Verloc has settled into an apparent marriage of convenience. Family life gives him a respectable cover, while his wife hopes to get help in handling her halfwit brother, Stevie.
Instead Verloc involves Stevie in one of his explosive schemes, an act that leads to violence, murder, and revenge. Darkly comic, the novel is also obliquely autobiographical: He is the author of more than publications.
Why read this book? Have your say. Rights Information Are you the author or publisher of this work?The plot to destroy Greenwich is in itself anarchistic.
Journal of Modern Literature
Shortly thereafter, Chief Inspector Heat arrives to speak with Verloc, without knowing that the Assistant Commissioner had left with Verloc earlier that evening. Conrad's sound imagery also fulfills his desire to make readers "hear" through the written word and to evoke the suggestive power of music.
Ossipon assists her while confessing romantic feelings but secretly with a view to possess Mr Verloc's bank account savings. The widow of a publican, she spent most of her life working hard in her husband's pub and believes Mr Verloc to be a gentleman because she thinks he resembles patrons of business houses pubs with higher prices, consequently frequented by the upper classes.
Join Now Login. Rights Information Are you the author or publisher of this work? He orders Verloc to instigate a terrorist act, hoping that the resulting public outrage will force the British government to adopt repressive measures.
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