Study Guide

From Russia With Love Lingerie

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Bond's Angel

Modern day sensibilities (i.e., the Victoria's Secret marketing team) would have us believe that skimpy lingerie is a symbol of feminine empowerment. A teensy jewel encrusted bra and panties is the new Valkyrie armor, fierce and strong. Angel wings optional.

In the 1960s, women were more likely to receive lingerie as a gift from men than to buy it for themselves. Even top secret Russian coding expert Tania Romanova is no exception. While pretending to be Bond's British wife, Tania's the recipient of some seriously skimpy lingerie from 007.

It's difficult to parse the meaning of this gift. By giving Tania lingerie, is Bond attempting to strip her—quite literally—of what little power she has left as a Russian agent? Transforming her into a British housewife who parades around the house (or in this case, train cabin) in a negligee, answering the door for him, renders her completely subordinate.

Or is Bond giving her this gift because he actually does view her as a wife-like figure? Maybe he does care for her, and this is his way of showing it?

Whatever you think, the biggest question is this one: In between blowing up the Russians, shooting Bulgarians, and running from a literal tidal wave of rats, when did he have time to shop?

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