Study Guide

Code Name Verity Betrayal

By Elizabeth Wein


What's a war without a few traitors in the mix? Julie calls herself a traitor on every other page of her "confession," mostly to convince the Ormaie Gestapo that she's actually giving them valuable information—but she's lying about that, so technically she's betraying them even as she's pretending to betray her own country. Maddie feels like she betrays Julie by killing her, but everyone who finds out about it says Maddie did the right thing. Betrayal, in other words, is tricky in Code Name Verity. In occupied France, in a situation where nothing is as it seems and everyone has secrets, trust is valuable, but betrayal runs rampant.

Questions About Betrayal

  1. Are there any real traitors in the novel? Does anyone actually commit treason?
  2. Beyond her frequent admissions that she is, are there any indications that Julie actually believes she is a traitor?
  3. Julie states that the Geneva Convention does not protect her. Is spying itself regarded as an act of betrayal?
  4. What is the relationship between the actual act of treason and the concept of betrayal? Are the two always linked in the novel?

Chew on This

Julie's performance of treason in her confession is utterly convincing until her last diary entry.

Julie's interrogators, von Linden, Engel, and Thibaut, are the ones who actually commit treason.

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