The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

by

John Le Carré

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Liz’s Hair Symbol Icon

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

The The Spy Who Came in From the Cold quotes below all refer to the symbol of Liz’s Hair. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Ideology and Morality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold published in 2013.
Chapter 26 Quotes

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.

Related Characters: Alec Leamas, Liz Gold
Related Symbols: Lorries, Liz’s Hair, The Berlin Wall
Page Number: 225
Explanation and Analysis:
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Liz’s Hair Symbol Timeline in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

The timeline below shows where the symbol Liz’s Hair appears in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5: Credit
Alienation and Connection  Theme Icon
...been so happy in her life. As they lie in bed together, Leamas grabs Liz’s hair, and she laughs. She asks him if he loves her. He says he does not... (full context)
Chapter 10: The Third Day
Alienation and Connection  Theme Icon
...impatient and goes for A walk on the beach. He sees a girl with black hair standing on the beach and thinks about Liz. He realizes that she gave him back... (full context)
Chapter 26: In from the Cold
Ideology and Morality Theme Icon
Alienation and Connection  Theme Icon
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon
...side of the wall. He sees that Liz is dead, and looks at how her hair lies across her face. The guards seem to hesitate, but then they shoot him. The... (full context)