Study Guide

Code Name Verity Perseverance

By Elizabeth Wein

Perseverance

And of course—I am willing to play. How did he know? How did he know from the start, even before I told him? That I am always willing to play, addicted to the Great Game? (1.17.XI.43.15)

And just like that, perseverance gets Julie into trouble. She just doesn't know when to quit. However, it helps her out, too, enabling her to keep fighting when she's down.

9) Not being able to finish my story.

10) Also of finishing it. (1.18.XI.43.15-16)

Julie needs to finish that story because she knows, though the reader doesn't yet, that Anna Engel needs the whole thing to deliver to the Resistance in order to give them the information they need. Julie also knows, though, that when the story ends—when she has nothing more to give her captors—she'll be shipped off to a concentration camp.

It is six weeks today since I landed here. I suppose that's quite a good innings for a wireless operator, though my success at staying alive for so long would carry more weight if I'd actually managed to set up a radio before I was caught. Now I really am living on borrowed time. Not much more to tell. (1.23.XI.43.16)

Julie is still pretending to the Gestapo that she's in France as a wireless operator, but the key thing to note about this passage is the way the pacing picks up. We get the sense that everything really is coming to an end… and fast.

I stood up. It is pointless backing against the wall, and I have stopped bothering about my hair. But the Wallace in me still makes me want to face the enemy on my feet. (1.24.XI.43.4)

Julie keeps getting up, even when it's not smart, just like she keeps playing the game. We suppose stubbornness is also an element of perseverance.

"Eva Seiler," he breathed. "You might have spared yourself a great deal of suffering if you had confessed this sooner."

"But I wouldn't have been able to write it all down if I'd done that," I wept. "So it was worth it."
(1.24.XI.43.37-38)

This happens after Julie reveals she is Eva Seiler, false government liaison to Berlin. Again, it's essential to Julie that she write down her "confession," because the confession is how she's going to communicate information about the Ormaie Gestapo to Damask circuit.

Please God. Oh why am I so coarse and thoughtless? Whatever it is now, I dread not being able to finish almost more than I dre (1.25.XI.43.47)

Shudder. Double shudder. Unfinished sentences give us the creeps because we wonder what interrupts them. Julie's really determined to finish this confession, so determined that she wants to finish it more than she wants to avoid something that is no doubt pretty awful.

I am finished now, so I will just sit here writing it again and again until I can no longer stay awake or someone discovers what I am doing and takes the pen away. I have told the truth. (1.28. XI.43.24)

Julie finally finishes her narrative, and now her insane endurance kicks in. As soon as her captors know she's finished, she's, uh, literally finished, so we don't blame her for buying more time.

"She was—she was focused. She didn't expect to hear her own code name come up in the conversation and it shook her, but she didn't—you know, she didn't hint at rescue—I think she's still dead set on completing her assignment, and has reason to believe she can do it from inside." (2.11.20)

This is Georgia Penn, reporting back from her interview with Julie. Julie hasn't quit or turned informer at all; in fact, she's figuring out how to complete her mission while a prisoner. Respect.

Julie put in the great-aunt story because she thought we might have to blow the place up with her inside. That there might be no other way. And she wanted us to do it anyway. (2.21.22)

Whew, Julie really wants that mission completed, which we guess is a good quality in an SOE agent.

It is coming down. We are still a sensational team. (2.21.24)

Maddie's figured out how to blow the Ormaie Gestapo sky high. She's determined to complete Julie's mission and, in doing so, somewhat avenge Julie's death.

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