Study Guide

Dr. No Quarrel (John Kitzmiller)

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Quarrel (John Kitzmiller)

Quarrel's Conundrum

Jamaica, where Dr. No is set, had gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1962—a year before the film's release. But Bond still orders its native people around. Quarrel appears to exist only to have a good-natured native for Bond to play boss. He practically treats Quarrel like a dog at one point.

BOND: Fetch my shoes.

And off Quarrel goes to get them. What, no newspaper and pipe too?

Problematic racial depictions aside, Quarrel is loyal, brave, funny, and smart, even if he is gullible enough to believe there's a dragon on Crab Key. To be fair, Honey believes it too. But Bond shakes his head and rolls his eyes as if he's thinking foolish native.

Quarrel shows a lot of courage to go to Crab Key and accompany Bond even though he doesn't really have to. And what does his courage get him?

It gets him killed.

Quarrel is torched by the so-called dragon in a brutal death scene, making him seem totally expendable. But Bond does have affection for his companion. He tells Dr. No he would like to take revenge on him for the death of his friend.

BOND: My first job would be finding the man who killed Strangways and Quarrel.

Quarrel is a complicated character. He is written as a mix of how he was in the book—a heartfelt friend—and a token character common in cinema. Quarrel's biggest conflict isn't with a tank designed to look like a dragon—it's with the cultural norms of the time.

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