Study Guide

Code Name Verity Manipulation

By Elizabeth Wein


Really, was there a chance manipulation wouldn't be one of the themes in a spy novel? Espionage and interrogation are all about manipulating people, about carefully lying and carefully telling the truth to get what you want out of your enemies. Or so we've been told. We don't actually know this from personal experience.

In Code Name Verity, Julie learns to manipulate those she interrogates, then her captors manipulate her even as she's manipulating them with the careful interplay of lies and truth in her story. Meanwhile, the Bloody Machiavellian English Intelligence Officer playing God manipulates everyone he can get his hands on. We should mention, too, that the reader isn't immune: Julie is an unreliable narrator from the start, but it's only after her story ends that we realize how cleverly she's played us.

Questions About Manipulation

  1. What role does the Bloody Machiavellian English Intelligence Officer playing God play in the novel? Is he deserving of sympathy or not?Ā 
  2. Julie tells von Linden they do the same job. Who do you think is better at it?
  3. What qualities make Julie good at manipulating people? How does she manipulate people in civilian life? Are these qualities admirable or not?
  4. Does Maddie ever manipulate any other characters? If not, would she even be capable of doing so?

Chew on This

Manipulation is a skill possessed by all the major characters in Code Name Verity.

Julie actually manipulates her captors more than they manipulate her.

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