Study Guide

Code Name Verity What's Up With the Epigraph?

By Elizabeth Wein

What's Up With the Epigraph?

"Passive resisters must understand that they are as important as saboteurs."—SOE Secret Operations Manual, "Methods of Passive Resistance"

SOE stands for Secret Operations Executive, a British intelligence organization that existed from 1940-1946. The SOE's job was sabotage and subversion of the German war effort, which made both passive resisters and saboteurs necessary.

Initially, Julie's mission is to be a saboteur: she's supposed to help blow up the Ormaie Gestapo headquarters. When she's captured, though, her goal changes. No longer able to actively fight the Germans from the outside, she resists interrogation from the inside by lying to them while letting them think she's giving up key information. And in the end, Maddie switches from passive resistance to sabotage when she completes Julie's mission.

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