Women were not expected to have major roles in the family, and the narrator shows how Winnie is truly a secret agent this from the first paragraph. He says, “Mr. Verloc…left his shop nominally in charge of his brother-in-law…And, moreover, his wife was in charge of his brother-in-law” (17). Winnie is already placed in a dual role, she is not the one placed in charge but she is the one who is in charge because her brother is mentally disabled. She claims the role of a double agent from the start. Winnie knows that she has to play different roles to gain the life she wants for her mother and more importantly, Stevie. The narrator explains how Mr. Verloc told Winnie that his work was of the political nature, and that she would have to be polite to his political friend...
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...the end when she seeks vengeance on his behalf. Winnie played the roles of wife, shopkeeper, sister, and daughter but was really only being a sister. By the end of the novel, Winnie is more of a secret agent that her husband, because she is the one with secrets that are not uncovered until the end. She enters a loveless marriage for the sake of her family, assuming the role of “wife” so that she can provide food and shelter for her brother and mother. Despite her not being able to successfully complete her mission, she still eliminates her target after his interference—which is the actions of a true secret agent.
Lawall, Sarah N. “The Oresteia.” The Norton Anthology of Western Literature. 8th ed. Vol. 1. New York: W.W. Norton, 2006. 107-205. Print.
Conrad, Joseph. The Secret Agent. New York: Modern Library, 1998. Project Gutenberg. Web.
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