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I Spy Analysis

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Analysis and interpretation of I spy
-by Graham Green
The main character in the text is Charlie Stowe, who is twelve year old and from England. My guess is the Eastern shore by Norwich, because Charlie Stowe says, that he can hear the waves (page 38 line 9) and he tells us, that his father should be in Norwich these days (page 39 line 4). The other boys in school are bullying Charlie because he has never smoked a cigarette before (page 38 line 13). In 1930 smoking cigarettes was a standard practice to do. Therefore, he take the matter into his own hands and steal a cigarette from his father’s Tobacco shop, even though he knows it is wrong and illegal (page 40 line 3-5). Charlie knows it is illegal, but he think it is more important to get the cigarette than the consequences of being caught with his hands in the cookie jar (page 40 line 3-5). The other protagonist in the story is Charlie’s father, Mr. Stowe. Charlie does not really like his dad, he describes him as an “unreal wraith” (page 38 line 18).
As the story continues, we find out that Mr. Stowe has been taking to charge for being a German spy. The two men who escorts Mr. Stowe have identical suits, bowlers, mackintoshes that were how the Bobbies were dressed. The Bobbies probably come from the British MI-5. Mr. Stowe has just come to his house to get his jacket before he probably will go to trial and in worst-case execution. We get a little clue about Mr. Stowe being a German spy, because he is a tobacconist and tobacco comes from Turkey, which were a German Ally through the First World War. He probably became spy because he could have connections with Turkey through the tobacco shop. Otherwise, he started a tobacco shop, because he was a spy, and a shop is a great gathering place where you can easily pass information back and forth.
About where the novel was reading (1930), Great Britain had lost many of their colonies and their influence on the global world had been reduced significantly. The British Empire was afraid of a global war, and especially in a fear of a takeover by the Germans. Due to the success of the Great Britain Empire, before the twentieth century, many people had a swollen head about the greatness of their country and they lived all around London. Charlie’s mother is one of these. She has only good things to say about the “dear queen” (page 30 line 1) She hates the “huns” (the Germans) describes them as monsters who lurks in the zeppelins in the clouds.(page 39 line 2). Mr. Stowe says to the two Bobbies that that his wife will have to sell the tobacco shop, else the neighbors will be wrecking the shop. By that he says that he confirms the patriotism, and he knows that once the neighbors finds out that he is a spy, they will burn down the shop.(page 41 line 21) Those people would probably not normally do such cruel things. However, through their entire life they used to hear that everything about the Great British Empire is perfect and all things who related to Germany had to be destroyed. Searchlights are sweeping across the town all the time, looking for German boats and zeppelins. These searchlights also reminds the population about that they are constantly being watched and so the state make sure the population do not do anything, which is not good for the state.
War often makes you in doubt of what is right and wrong. Charlie Stowe steels cigarettes from his father even though he knows it is illegal and wrong, and he would rather take the consequences of being caught than not show the other boys in school that he can not smoke a cigarette.
In war you are ordered to kill people. You kill people even though you know it is completely wrong, and that is another great example of people lose their meaning about what is right and wrong. Charlie’s father becomes a spy, most likely because of pressure by German officers. He loves his country and his family, but he still become a German spy, even though he knows the consequences, just as if Charlie knows the consequences by stealing the cigarettes. Mr. Stowe know it is completely wrong, becoming as spy for the enemy, but the war is blinding him, and he does not know what a right thing to do is. Charlie could as well just pull himself together and tell the boys at school to screw him, but he felt forced to do it.

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