History Literature / TheQuestForKarla

22nd Apr '16 7:39:23 PM blerg223
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* GenericDoomsdayVillain: Karla.
6th Apr '16 5:44:31 PM TheMightyHeptagon
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* TwentyMinutesIntoThePast: ''The Honourable Schoolboy'' was published in 1977, but takes place in 1974. Among other things, the Cambodian Civil War is a major plot point, Lon Nol (who was overthrown in 1975) is said to still be in power, and Gerald Ford is name-dropped as the President of the United States.

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* TwentyMinutesIntoThePast: ''The Honourable Schoolboy'' was published in 1977, two years after the Khmer Rouge seized power in Camdodia, but it takes place in 1974. Among other things, 1974 at the height of the Cambodian Civil War is a major plot point, Lon Nol (who War. ''Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'' technically counts as well (it was overthrown published in 1975) is said to still be 1974, but takes place in power, and Gerald Ford is name-dropped as 1973), but recent historical events have little bearing on the President of the United States.plot.
6th Apr '16 4:40:15 PM TheMightyHeptagon
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* TwentyMinutesIntoThePast: ''The Honourable Schoolboy'' was published in 1977, but takes place in 1974. Among other things, the Cambodian Civil War is a major plot point, Lon Nol (who was overthrown in 1975) is said to still be in power, and Gerald Ford is name-dropped as the President of the United States.
6th Apr '16 3:38:44 PM TheMightyHeptagon
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* AccidentalPun: In ''The Honourable Schoolboy'', Jerry Westerby first meets Drake Ko's bodyguard Tiu while posing as a journalist at a racetrack where one of Ko's horses is competing. In every subsequent encounter, he calls him "horse-writer". As he only speaks broken English, he doesn't realize that it sounds like a pun on "horse rider".
16th Feb '16 2:43:34 PM TheMightyHeptagon
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* AscendedExtra: Jerry Westerby in ''The Honourable Schoolboy''. He has a brief role in ''Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'' as one of the old Circus operatives who Smiley interviews for clues about the Mole's identity, but he reappears as the central protagonist of ''The Honourable Schoolboy'' when Smiley assigns him to investigate Karla's funds in Hong Kong. It turns out that the Mole overlooked him because he was only an occasional Circus agent, making him one of the few field agents whose identity wasn't leaked to the Soviets.
16th Feb '16 10:39:11 AM TheMightyHeptagon
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* TheDilbertPrinciple: Exploited by the Mole in ''Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy''. [[spoiler: Bill Haydon arranges for Percy Alleline to get appointed Chief of the Circus by providing him with seemingly useful Soviet intelligence, knowing that he's one of the most incompetent spies in the agency--and thus, the one least likely to finger him as a Soviet agent]].



* TheMole: the main plot of ''Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'' is finding the mole. The novel is also the TropeCodifier; it popularised a term that has been around since at least the 17th century, though it was a very obscure one. Le Carré though claimed it was a [=KGB=] term.

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* TheMole: the The main plot of ''Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'' is finding the mole. The novel is also the TropeCodifier; it popularised a term that has been around since at least the 17th century, though it was a very obscure one. Le Carré though claimed it was a [=KGB=] term.



* NotSoDifferent: by the end, Smiley and Karla. [[spoiler:Karla has shown himself to have Smiley's compassion, and Smiley has to use Karla's ruthlessness to exploit it.]] The realization forms the emotional climax of the trilogy.

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* NotSoDifferent: by By the end, Smiley and Karla. [[spoiler:Karla has shown himself to have Smiley's compassion, and Smiley has to use Karla's ruthlessness to exploit it.]] The realization forms the emotional climax of the trilogy.trilogy.
* NumberTwo: The Circus goes through a succession of them (known as "Cupbearers" in Circus parlance). Smiley starts out as Control's second-in-command; Bill Haydon becomes Percy Alleline's second after the fallout from Operation Testify forces Smiley and Control to resign; Peter Guillam ultimately becomes Smiley's second after [[spoiler: Haydon is outed as a Soviet mole]].
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.
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