Course Hero. "Casino Royale Study Guide." Course Hero. 14 July 2017. Web. 24 Sep. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Casino-Royale/>.
Course Hero. (2017, July 14). Casino Royale Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 24, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Casino-Royale/
(Course Hero, 2017)
Course Hero. "Casino Royale Study Guide." July 14, 2017. Accessed September 24, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Casino-Royale/.
Course Hero, "Casino Royale Study Guide," July 14, 2017, accessed September 24, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Casino-Royale/.
Vesper Lynd tells James Bond the third man involved with that afternoon's bombing was caught heading toward Paris. He confessed everything. The men were promised two million francs (approximately $52,720 in today's USD) and armed with everything needed to get the job done. They were told the red camera case was an explosive while the blue camera case was a smoke bomb to provide cover for their getaway. However, both camera cases held explosives. The agent who hired them lied to make the men think they'd get out alive. The only reason Bond survived was because they decided to set off the "smoke" bomb so no one would see them throw the "real" bomb. The third man—who was hiding nearby—saw the explosion and ran. Later, at the police station, he realized they were set up. Unfortunately, the authorities can't find evidence connecting the bombing to Le Chiffre.
Bond asks Vesper how she came to be involved in the operation. She explains she is the personal assistant to the Head of S., who came up with the plan and wanted his department to play a role in its execution. She says everyone in her office was jealous she got to work with a Double O agent. Bond says "it's not difficult to get a Double O number if you're prepared to kill people." He tells her about the two men he killed to earn his designation.
Vesper begins to comment on how lovely the meal would be if only they weren't working, and Bond, fearing he has blurred the lines of their professional relationship, changes the subject to the plan for the evening. Vesper is "thoroughly deflated by his harshness" and mentally chastises herself for not paying more attention to the Head of S., who told her Bond is without "much heart" and is "absolute hell to work for." She vows not to let herself get drawn in by him again as he explains the finer points of baccarat and his strategy for beating Le Chiffre.
Baccarat is not a complicated game, but it does take a little explanation to understand. This is how it's played:
Bond plans to "attack" Le Chiffre's bank as much as possible, which means he will accept every bet no matter how high it is. He hopes his aggression will unnerve his opponent and provoke him into making bad decisions.
Bond's aggression has already unnerved one person this evening—Vesper. Her reaction to Bond's sudden change of mood is unusual not because her feelings are hurt, but because readers are aware of her feelings at all. Up to this point Fleming has used a third-person narrator with a limited point of view. The narrator has had access only to Bond's thoughts and feelings. Yet as Vesper and Bond dine, the narrator adopts an omniscient point of view, which means he knows what all the characters are thinking.
This narrative omniscience recurs randomly throughout the rest of the book. From a literary perspective, this inconsistency in voice could be considered sloppy writing, which may be why some critics consider Casino Royale and the rest of the James Bond series to be pulpy entertainment instead of thoughtful literature, written with a certain art, but not art per se. It also brings up questions about the way Fleming presents Vesper. She is shown as being romantically interested in Bond during their dinner, yet her thoughts never touch upon her role as double agent. Determined to do a good job for SIS, she apparently and unrealistically has no concerns about the pressure exerted on her by the Soviet Secret Service. Yet Fleming portrays her as innocent until the very end when all of a sudden she's revealed to be working for the other side. His one-dimensional treatment of Vesper's character may be seen to do a disservice to the story as a whole, though it is consistent with the misogyny throughout the book.