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Casino Royale | Symbols


Author Ian Fleming uses material goods, including beverages, automobiles, and clothing, to emphasize various aspects of James Bond's personality.


James Bond is very particular when it comes to food and drink. His signature, a now nameless martini that will later be named after Vesper Lynd, is a good example. What begins as an order for "a dry martini ... in a deep champagne goblet," turns into a lesson in mixology for Felix Leiter and the casino's bartender. Bond specifies not only the glass in which the drink should be served, but the type and amount of each alcohol, the way the bartender should mix the drink (shaken until "it's ice-cold"), and how it should be garnished. "You certainly think things out," Leiter notices. He's right. Bond is exacting in everything he does, which helps him maintain control in every aspect of his life. His martini represents not only his appreciation for the finer things in life, but also the precision with which he manages his existence.


James Bond drives a 1931 4.5-liter Blower Bentley with an Amherst Villiers supercharger. Much like Bond, it's a rare machine—only 55 were made between 1929 and 1931. Bond loves this car with a passion, and the narrator notes it's the closest thing he has to a personal hobby. He drives "it hard and well with an almost sensual pleasure." He also drives fast. The car can sustain a 90-miles-per-hour pace with short bursts up to 120 miles per hour. The car itself has an almost military look with large wheels and a long body, but it's also a convertible, which makes it a little more luxurious and sporty. The Bentley is James Bond in automobile form: fast, tough, and in a class all its own.

Swim Trunks

James Bond goes for a swim immediately following his and Vesper's arrival at the seaside inn. Still suffering from the emotional and mental torture inflicted by Le Chiffre, he's concerned the brutal beating may have rendered him impotent. On the walk to the beach he wears a knee-length robe over his swim trunks to cover his physical scars. After his arduous, yet refreshing and reassuring, swim, he removes his swim trunks and lies down on the beach to dry. As he walks back to the place he left his robe, he's lost in thought and it doesn't register he's walked nearly a mile completely naked. He then puts on the robe and carries the swimming trunks home. This episode symbolizes the return of his confidence in his masculinity. He is still covering the scars left by Le Chiffre, but he is no longer self-conscious about the state of his manhood in both the literal and figurative senses.

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