History Literature / TheQuestForKarla

11th Feb '16 6:10:33 PM TheMightyHeptagon
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* EndOfAnAge: A recurring theme. As is repeatedly mentioned in the narration, many of the old secrets of the espionage trade begin to quietly die out as the Cold War drags on, and the {{Old Master}}s like Smiley and Control are replaced by impulsive youngsters who never had to prove themselves in the high-stakes chaos of World War II. Control is said to have been the last English intelligence operative who successfully kept his name secret for his entire career, and Smiley's colleagues remember him as "surely the last of the ''true'' greats" after his retirement.
11th Feb '16 5:53:29 PM TheMightyHeptagon
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* AnimalMotifs: Horses come up quite frequently in ''The Honourable Schoolboy''. One of Jerry Westerby's neighbors in Italy is a horse-breeder, Jerry is said to be skilled at handling horses, Drake Ko owns a racehorse [[spoiler: named after his younger brother]], Tiu repeatedly calls Jerry "horse-writer" after he gets into a racetrack by pretending to write an article about the race, Smiley's management of the Circus is compared to "carrying [a] horse up the hill", and at least one crumbling Circus building is figuratively called "an old horse put out to grass". Two of the chapters are also titled "Mr. George Smiley's Horse" and "More About Horses". Possibly coincidentally, the opium trade figures heavily into the plot; "horse" is a common slang term for "heroin".
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* AnimalMotifs: Horses come up quite frequently in ''The Honourable Schoolboy''. One of Jerry Westerby's neighbors in Italy is a horse-breeder, Jerry is said to be skilled at handling horses, Drake Ko owns a racehorse [[spoiler: named after his younger brother]], Tiu repeatedly calls Jerry "horse-writer" after he gets into a racetrack by pretending to write an article about the race, Smiley's management of the Circus is compared to "carrying [a] horse up the hill", and at least one crumbling Circus building is figuratively called "an old horse put out to grass".grass", and the Dwarf jokingly guesses that "Big Moo's wife's horse has the hiccups" when Luke announces that he has news in the opening scene. Two of the chapters are also titled "Mr. George Smiley's Horse" and "More About Horses". Possibly coincidentally, the opium trade figures heavily into the plot; "horse" is a common slang term for "heroin".
30th Jan '16 11:28:23 AM TheMightyHeptagon
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* AnimalMotifs: Horses come up quite frequently in ''The Honourable Schoolboy''. One of Jerry Westerby's neighbors in Italy is a horse-breeder, Jerry is said to be skilled at handling horses, Drake Ko owns a racehorse [[spoiler: named after his younger brother]], Tiu repeatedly calls Jerry "horse-writer" after he gets into a racetrack by pretending to write an article about the race, Smiley's management of the Circus is compared to "carrying [a] horse up the hill", and at least one crumbling Circus building is figuratively called "an old horse put out to grass". Two of the chapters are also titled "Mr. George Smiley's Horse" and "More About Horses". Possibly coincidentally, the opium trade figures heavily into the plot; "horse" is a common slang term for "heroin".

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* DoubleMeaningTitle: ''The Honourable Schoolboy''. Most obviously, the title refers to Jerry "The Schoolboy" Westerby and his stringent sense of duty in a time of great cynicism. Jerry is also the son of a minor English nobleman, and can justifiably call himself "The Honourable Gerald Westerby".
25th Jan '16 11:47:31 PM darthbutters
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* YouHaveFailedMe: This seems to be Karla's M.O. whenever an operation of his gets compromised.
8th Jan '16 9:51:57 PM darthbutters
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* DisproportionateRetribution: Fawn drags a would-be wristwatch thief from his car, then climbs out to break both of the boy's arms in ''The Honorable Schoolboy'', to Guillam's horror.
13th Nov '15 5:31:58 AM lipranzer
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* HilariousInHindsight: General Vladimir and his group of Estonian nationalists being portrayed as no-hopers.
13th Nov '15 5:28:58 AM lipranzer
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* CreatorBacklash: In the prefaces to the republished novels, le Carré argues that Smiley had outlived his potential as a character by the end of ''Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,'' in large part because of real-life changes in the political climate.
13th Oct '15 2:50:17 PM TheMightyHeptagon
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* FakeOutOpening: No, ''Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'' is not a British {{boarding school}} novel, but the opening chapter is written to give the impression that it is.

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* {{Foreshadowing}}: Jim Prideaux's bonding with the young schoolboy Bill Roach in ''Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'' hints at TheMole being [[spoiler: Prideaux's old schoolmate Bill Haydon]]. Late in the novel, Prideaux spurns Roach because [[spoiler: he reminds him of his duty to kill Haydon]]. Played up in the movie adaptation, where [[spoiler: Roach is played by a rotund, dark-haired child actor who could easily be a young Colin Firth]]. -->'''Prideaux:''' [[spoiler: [[{{Irony}} Known a lot of Bills. They've all been good'uns]].]]
17th Jun '15 2:04:53 PM SilentHunterUK
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* HilariousInHindsight: General Vladimir and his group of Estonian nationalists being portrayed as no-hopers.
25th Apr '15 2:07:03 PM LentilSandEater
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* SupervillainLair: Pointedly inverted and {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''Smiley's People.'' When [[spoiler: Grigoriev]] meets Karla, he is astonished to find him in a virtually bare room, instead of the luxury he was expecting.
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* SupervillainLair: Pointedly inverted and {{lampshade|Hanging}}d Defied in ''Smiley's People.'' When [[spoiler: Grigoriev]] meets Karla, he is astonished to find him in a virtually bare room, instead of the luxury he was expecting.
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