Casino Royale | Study Guide

Ian Fleming

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Casino Royale | Chapter 5 : The Girl from Headquarters | Summary

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Summary

James Bond drives his Bentley—"his only personal hobby"—to Le Chiffre's villa before stopping at the Hermitage to have a drink with Mathis and Miss Lynd, his new partner. The woman is silent throughout most of the meeting, and though Bond chats amicably with Mathis, his attention is entirely on her. He takes in her appearance and attitude of "ironical disinterest which, to his annoyance, he found he would like to shatter, roughly." Mathis excuses himself to make a phone call, and Bond invites Miss Lynd to dinner as previously planned. She is suddenly kind and warm, and any reservations Bond had about her disappear.

Bond leaves upon Mathis's return. When he is out of earshot, Mathis whispers Bond has never "been melted" and it will be a new experience both for him and Miss Lynd. Miss Lynd replies Bond is attractive, but "there is something cold and ruthless in his." She is interrupted when the window near them shatters. A bomb's blast rocks them back in their chairs before Mathis jumps through the opening onto the sidewalk.

Analysis

Bond's attitude about his partner shifts dramatically during their brief meeting. Finding her cold and aloof, his initial interest in her is sexual in nature. "[E]xcited by her beauty and intrigued by her composure," Bond has no intent of just "making love" to Miss Lynd. Sex with her would instead be a show of his dominance and her submission. Her lack of outward interest in him makes Bond feel vulnerable, and breaking through her "ironical disinterest" to expose her vulnerabilities would return him to a position of power.

Bond's aggressively sexual thoughts become more muted once Miss Lynd smiles at him. Basking in her approval and warmth, he decides they will work well together. Deciding to like her because she suddenly appears to like him is hypocritical, something of which Bond is all too aware. This abrupt change in his attitude also indicates one of Bond's major weaknesses: beautiful women who appear to admire him. This is an Achilles heel his enemies frequently make use of. For all of Bond's protestations against women and romance, he is easily suckered by a pair of pretty eyes.

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