Study Guide

Code Name Verity Truth

By Elizabeth Wein


It's impossible to title a novel Code Name Verity and not deal with the concept of truth. Okay, we guess it's possible, but it's not very likely since verity, or la vérité in French, means truth. This novel asks us to think about the nature of truth. What's the difference between truth and lies? Is it possible to tell the truth while lying? Is truth an absolute, or are there gray areas and shades of meaning? Can what is true for one person be false for another? No matter how you answer these questions, though, this much is certain: truth is a very odd code name for a spy.

Questions About Truth

  1. By definition, code names are lies about a person's true identity. What does it mean that Julie's code name means truth?
  2. By the end of the novel, do readers have a clear understanding of which parts of the novel were true and which parts were lies? Does anything remain ambiguous?
  3. Julie's code name is in a separate category from others involved in Operation Dogstar. Why might this be, both in the historical context and as a literary device?
  4. Can the reader trust either narrator to tell the truth? Does one seem more or less truthful than the other?

Chew on This

Julie's code name does not make sense in the context of the novel, and is just an opportunity for the author to emphasize a specific theme.

Julie's code name was chosen to conceal the fact that she is an excellent liar.

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