Leamas is in many ways too traumatized by a life filled with death and cynicism to fully fall in love with Liz, but their relationship reminds him of the possibilities of human tenderness and appreciating life’s small pleasures. This tenderness makes him protective of her. In intimate moments, Leamas pulls on Liz’s hair. When he sees a girl with similar hair on the beach, he thinks of Liz. And when he looks at Liz’s corpse, he sees her hair covering her face as if to protect her in a way he could not. Liz’s hair, then, symbolizes the desire to feel connected to someone and to protect that person from danger.
Liz’s Hair Quotes in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
Shielding his eyes he looked down at the foot of the wall and at last he managed to see her, lying still. For a moment he hesitated, then quite slowly he climbed back down the same rungs, until he was standing beside her. She was dead; her face was turned away, her black hair drawn across her cheek as if to protect her from the rain.
They seemed to hesitate before firing again; someone shouted an order, and still no one fired. Finally they shot him, two or three shots. He stood glaring round him like a blinded bull in the arena. As he fell, Leamas saw a small car smashed between great lorries, and the children waving cheerfully through the window.