Spy Who Came in From the Cold: Katie Rietmann (Characters (Control (Head…
Spy Who Came in From the Cold: Katie Rietmann
Alec Leamas waits for Karl Riemeck at the Berlin Wall. Riemeck's lover Elvira comes to Leamas telling him Riemeck is on his way, but Leamas sees Riemeck get shot by East Germans. Leamas is directed back to Control or "the Circus" telling him to kill Mundt. Leamas meets with Peter and Smiley to devise a plan. Leamas takes on two identities and makes himself seem like a drunken wreck who cannot get a job in his community. Mr. Pitt is sent to give Leamas a job at the library where he meets a Communist named Liz. She falls in love with him but after she realizes he needs to leave her soon he punches a man named Ford who refused to give him credit. Because of this, he goes to jail for three months.
Once Leamas is out of prison, East German spies Ashe and Kiever offer to pay Leamas thousands of dollars in exchange for information about his services. He then travels to the Hague and meets with Peters. Leamas tells Peter how he met Riemeck and what he knew from his job. Peters doesn't understand how Riemeck would have access to so much information. Leamas then learns that Elvira was killed in West Germany which confuses him. Leamas tells Peters of the special banking system he learned from his job. It's called Rolling Stone so Leamas open two joint accounts in Copenhagen and Helsinki. In each of these cities, he deposited money into the joint accounts under a false name and an agent to collect the money under that name.
After Leamas third day in Holland, Peters comes late so Leamas takes a walk on the beach. He thinks about Liz and how happy she made him. He hopes to see her again someday. When Peters comes to see Leamas he tells him there is an ad in the London paper wanting his arrest. Leamas thought Peters was the one who revealed his disloyalty to London making him stay but then he believes the Control is behind this. Peters tells him he should go East in order to be safe and be asked any further questions and fly to Berlin. In London, Smiley and another agent come to see Liz. They ask her how she was involved with Leamas and she tells him quite a bit about their relationship. At the end of their talk, Smiley leaves his card with her and says to keep in touch if she needs anything.
Leamas meets Fiedler with Leamas not knowing that Control is counting on Fiedler to gain the evidence about Mundt after Leamas frames him. They spend days together and Fiedler asks him about his service but Leamas claims he doesn't believe in anything. Fiedler claims that Rolling Stone was to pay a spy to work for the British in East Germany but Leamas doesn't think that would be impossible without him knowing. They needed to find out which agent was getting paid through Rolling Stone so Leamas writes to the two banks asking about the accounts but finds out the money was withdrawn when Mundt came to Copenhagen. Meanwhile, in England, Liz gets an invitation to come to Leipzig for a cultural exchange with another Communist branch and agrees to go hoping to forget about Leamas.
Fiedler tells Leamas he thinks Mundt is a British agent, but when they get back to the lodge they are arrested. They soon enough end up back in prison and Mundt asks about the British plot to frame him. Leamas does not answer Mundt's questions even when he asks about Smiley, then Mudnt is arrested and Leamas is sent to the hospital because of his previous beating. When Leamas wakes up in the hospital Fiedler is there and tells him Mundt is going to be questioned in trial to determine if he is the British agent and Leamas will have to testify. Liz comes to Leipzig and notices how no one really attended the meeting so a man named Holten escorts her to a secret meeting on the Polish border where Liz follows him. In the trial, Fiedler claims that Mundt was caught by British in London and became a British spy and sentences him to death. Karden, Mundt's defender, interrogates Leamas and asks if Smiley was involved. They call in Liz as a witness. Liz didn't know what was going on and says what she knew making it seem that Leamas was framed by London.
Leamas is upset that London is using Liz and wanting to save Fiedler and Liz he says that everything was a setup but then realized that Mundt is from London who sent him to kill Fielder who suspected and wanted to protect Mundt. Later Liz and Leamas are sent to Berlin in a car and they establish they were used by London, Liz doesn't understand why she is let go. At the Berlin Wall, they try to climb over without getting shot but Liz ends up getting shot and dies and Smiley calls Leamas to come but ends up dying by Liz's side.
Fifty years old and an alcoholic; worked for British secret service "the Circus" since WWII; During that war, he saw many people die which stills scars him in his everyday life. He had a wife and two teenage kids, but he left them long ago. He lived in the Netherlands but can speak Dutch and German and also comes from a working class. He hates the impoliteness of the British upper class. At the beginning of the novel, he is described as the head of the Berlin station for 10 years who was in charge of spies like Karl Riemeck, who told him information about East Germany and their secret services.
A former member of the Nazis, and a current member of the secret services in East Germany. A total killer; In the beginning was an East German spy in London and tried to kill George Smiley. Once he came back to Berlin, he became in charge of the secret service of East Germany, Abteilung. This was after he avoided being captured by the British and became a British double agent. He gives great information to the British and has Karl Riemeck send the information from one place to another. He kills other East German agents who are a threat to him. He wants to avoid conflict with Control so he discredits Leamas in East Germany and tries to show how Leamas is framing him. The main antagonist in this novel.
A pure, young, and innocent Jewish woman who is also Communist. She falls in love with Leamas after she meets him in the library where they end up working together. Later on, George Smiley comes to visit and asks her questions about her relationship with Leamas. She is later invited to a Communist Party which ends up being a set-up so that she can go to trial to testify and show that Mundt was framed by the British.
Another commander of the Abteilung, Jewish, and believer in Communism. When he was young he left the Nazi party with his family, but eventually returned to join Communist party in East Germany after WWII. He is dedicated to Stalin and thinks that people may need to be killed in order to progress this idea of Communism. He thinks Mundt is a British agent, which can explain why Control sends Leamas. Leamas should discredit Fiedler instead of Mundt. Fiedler likes and trusts Leamas who is as good what he does.
Part of the East German government and a spy for the British. He has access to pictures and other documents to give to the British. He tells his lover Elvira much of what he does and knows, which is why Leamas thinks he is murdered. He is killed my Mundt once he is accused of spying on the British.
Head of British, "Circus", service; part of the upper class. His acts don't present how manipulative and negative he really is. He makes Leamas go on a mission to frame Mundt. He wants Leamas to go to court and get discredited in East Germany in order for Mundt to be protected and Fiedler discredited.
A former agent of Control and starts the novel as retired. Before, he was involved in a case with Mundt, who was a spy in London and wanted to kill Smiley. He plays a faint role in order to save Mundt, but it is hard to tell whether he wants Mundt killed or saved. A very important character.
Part of the Control and worked on the Mundt case that happened earlier with George Smiley. Before he worked on a committee named Satellite Four. Leamas thought that the group observed the economic issues that occurred in East Germany. However, Fiedler thought the group actually was responsible for setting up Mundt's plans for spying on the British.
In the lower class Communist agent who works in London. He meets up with Leamas after he is released from jail. He introduces Leamas to Kiever who leads Leamas to Holland to meet with Peters.
Riemeck's lover and thought to have told everyone that he was spying for the British to East Germans, which results in the death of Mundt. She is later killed in West Berlin. Leamas thought Mundt killed her, but since she was killed in West Berlin then the British may have been involved in her death.
Part of the Labor Exchange and sets Leamas up with many jobs so that he doesn't stand out. Eventually, he sends Leamas to work at the library in Bayswater so that he can meet Liz Gold. He also works for Control, which is why Leamas recognizes him. However, when Leamas asks the Control about Mr. Pitt, Control acts like they don't know who he is.
Themes and Locations/Style
Ideology and Morality
Most spies in the story are on one side (Communist Soviet Union) or the other (Capitalist West). The main ideology question throughout this novel is how the characters react to the deaths of innocent lives so that they can gain all the superiority and power. Western spies like Leamas and Control want to defend the democracy by protecting the freedoms and rights that are granted to the equal people. East German spies like Fiedler and Mundt want to spread Communism that promises to bring peace by redistributing the wealth at the risk of people dying. Even though each side has different principles whether they are good or bad, they both go to the extreme of ignoring the fact that many innocent people are dying. The Communists think their deaths are necessary where the other group doesn't have an excuse for the murders. Both operate the same in which the spies are responsible for defending their principles but more often breaking them. Unfortunately, both show how they are selfish in their ways to protect their side which only prevents social progress.
Alienation and Connection
This theme is mainly towards Leamas where it shows he feels out of place after going through WWII and witnessing the many deaths. He also left his wife and children. Despite these characteristics of him pushing people away and being antisocial results in him being a top spy. He is good at being someone he is not which is one of the main points of being a spy. Leamas establishes that he is risking his life so that he can protect his principles and community that he doesn't truly feel a part of. He has to be alienated in order to be a spy, he can't trust anyone. Unfortunately, he can't help but open up to Liz, which is one of the worst things he can do for his job. This connection with Liz takes over his feeling of needing to avoid everything. Leamas has to decide in the end what really matters, his spy career alienating himself, or his deep connection with someone who makes him happy.
Identity and Autonomy
All of the spies take advantage of the fact that they can be someone else they are not to save themselves. Leamas is required to act like a drunk freak who can't even get a real job, which isn't far off from who he really is. Control makes Leamas believe that his new identity will help them show everyone that Mundt is a traitor. However, Leamas is more in control of his identity than he thinks, which kills Liz because she is one of the few people who discovers who he truly is. In the end, it is seen that self-government is impossible when someone's identity is being toyed with by a larger power like the Control or Abteilung.
Loyalty and Betrayal
Each character in the novel is loyal to someone or something. Some characters are loyal enough to themselves that they will do anything to gain power. Loyalty to an organization is one of the most important aspects of being a spy. Leamas is loyal to the Circus and will do anything to maintain that job and protect his society. Since he is so loyal to the Circus, it prevents him from doing anything else with his life. When he comes across Liz, that is one of the hardest goodbyes he has to face because he does fall for her and does feel loyal to her to an extent. Mundt is only loyal to himself and will do anything to spread the Communism ideologies. He will manipulate and kill anyone who is in his way. However, all of this ultimately shows is that if the character or organization does anything different and not doing their job to be loyal to what they are supposed to be loyal to, then that is considered betrayal.
Elites and Others
Throughout the book, there is this constant tension between the Communist and Capitalist systems, which of course goes back for many years. It is also obvious that social class and religion give a label to a person causing them to be misjudged for who they really are. The Circus is run by upper-class Christians who tend to have different opinions than Leamas who comes from a class where he actually had to work. He doesn't like how the upper-class tend to be snooty in their ways. Control even sends him on a dangerous task to kill Mundt not taking into considering Leamas's life. He actually struggles a bit on this journey when he gets some flashbacks from WWII. Liz is even used as part of the plot, which may be because she is a communist Jew. There is some survival of the fittest in a way that the Control can treat their agents any way they want and tell them what to do and not to do and if they die so be it but if they succeed than that's just a bonus.
Symbols and Contrasts/Commonalities
Being a spy in this novel means that a person is in "the cold." The cold is dangerous and isolating when it comes to the spy's life. It is emotionally draining and a struggle for the spies to do what they have to do to keep their status and not betray whoever they are loyal to. To "come in from the cold" means the spy is retired but also symbolizes how relieving it is to get out of that stressful life where they are alienated from everyone and everything.
World War II
Although this is a time during the Cold War, the conflict and tension that is still going on are because of this world war. Even though it was two decades ago, it still left a big impact on people's lives, especially Leamas's life. The violence and deaths he witnessed effects him tremndously where he can't even think straight. He likes how he can talk to Liz about it since they both can relate on this deep topic. They sometimes have to question when they will ever be able to move on from this dreadful time.
When Leamas first meets Liz, he doesn't think of her as someone that could be a part of his life, for he had other duties and can't open up who he really is to anyone for the sake of his job. However, the way he feels with Liz reminds him of how happy he can be and how much she cares for him when he may not deserve it. He becomes protective of her and when he was with her he would tug on her hair. Even when he sees a girl at the beach with similar hair he thinks of Liz. Her hair symbolizes the connection and willingness he has to protect her from anything.
Recently built wall which for many people symbolized the tension and separation that has occurred from WWII and the Cold War. Not only does it represent the division between the Communists like Mundt and Capitalists like Control, but also the violence that will occur if either of the enemies tries to go over. Major threats of world war would happen as well if anyone even attempted to go over the wall. For many people who were a part of both of these wars thought the Berlin Wall was something of great importance in order to keep the little peace they had until war were to break out again.