The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

by

John Le Carré

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The Berlin Wall Symbol Analysis

The Berlin Wall Symbol Icon

The Berlin Wall has only recently been built and is still being fortified during the period when the novel’s action takes place. For many living through this period of history, the Wall was the symbol of Cold War divisions and tensions. In the novel, the Wall symbolizes not only a world divided in two, however. It is also a symbol of the violence that threatens anyone who tries to go between these two sides, as well as the threat of another outbreak of massive war between countries.

The Berlin Wall 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 The Berlin Wall. 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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The Berlin Wall Symbol Timeline in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Berlin Wall appears in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Checkpoint
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon
The novel begins at an American checkpoint on the Berlin Wall , soon after the barrier’s construction in 1961. British secret service agent Alec Leamas has... (full context)
Alienation and Connection  Theme Icon
...Leamas that Riemeck escaped arrest in East Berlin and will try to cross through the Berlin Wall tonight at this checkpoint. Leamas is angry that Riemeck has told Elvira so much; she... (full context)
Alienation and Connection  Theme Icon
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon
...pursuing. They tell him there are still places where a person can climb over the Berlin Wall , but Leamas says that his man will talk his way out and ride over... (full context)
Alienation and Connection  Theme Icon
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon
Elites and Others Theme Icon
As Leamas waits, he looks out at the Berlin Wall , whose ugly design reminds him of a concentration camp seen during World War II.... (full context)
Ideology and Morality Theme Icon
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon
...Riemeck makes it through these checks, then begins to bike towards the line between the Berlin Wall between East and West. At that moment, the searchlights go on and a siren begins... (full context)
Chapter 12: East
Ideology and Morality Theme Icon
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
...then both cars are let through together. Leamas notices that the Eastern side of the Berlin Wall has been more elaborately fortified since he saw it last. (full context)
Chapter 25: The Wall
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
...them as they drive. He says he will show them where to climb over the Berlin Wall . Leamas, he says, should go first, then pull Liz up after him. They will... (full context)
Chapter 26: In from the Cold
Alienation and Connection  Theme Icon
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon
Standing thirty yards from the Berlin Wall , Liz and Leamas wait until the beam of a searchlight stops in front of... (full context)
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon
As Liz begins to climb the Berlin Wall , searchlights come on all around them and Liz’s body starts to swing wildly in... (full context)