The Bourne Identity | Study Guide

Robert Ludlum

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The Bourne Identity | Book 2, Chapter 21 | Summary

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Summary

Jason Bourne and Marie St. Jacques pack up in their small hotel room in Paris. While Marie is still distraught because Jason was planning to leave her, he is focused on practical matters. They have to leave—and leave fast. The concierge recognizes St. Jacques as they are leaving. Newspapers with her face on the cover lie on his desk. They grab a cab and head out of the city, Marie darkening her eyebrows and hiding her distinctive red hair. Settled in a hotel outside of the city, they try to discover who leaked Marie's photo to the newspapers. They agree Carlos planted the article about Marie.

Now they need to bring their pursuers into the light. Marie St. Jacques calls Dennis Corbelier at the Canadian embassy and explains that she needs protection and will bring Jason with her. Don't come until the morning, she stresses. She and Jason rent a second hotel room under Jason's "Briggs" alias and set it up with dummies of themselves visible under lamplight. Then they wait.

It doesn't take long. Soon enough, they sight two men creeping down the hotel corridor. Jason recognizes at least one from Zurich, the blond man. The men break into the "Briggs" room and proceed to attack the dummies. The speed and brutality of this ambush show Marie that whomever she tells she is with Jason, she marks them for death. Once again, she calls the Canadian embassy. Dennis is dead, shot through the neck with Carlos's signature kill.

Analysis

The most important piece of this chapter is that it confirms Jason Bourne's own assessment of himself as Cain: "I am death." Carlos and his gang target anyone who helps Bourne/Cain. The circle around Bourne is tightening, if only because there are no longer many other people to kill. Thematically, this is the moment when Jason's paranoia is fully justified.

Sadly, Marie St. Jacques is now implicated in Jason's crimes. It doesn't seem fair. Mere weeks earlier she was attending a conference, at the top of her professional game. Now she is responsible for the deaths of two men—Peter and Dennis Corbelier. Ludlum doesn't linger on Marie's emotions, but it would be fair to assume that she, like Jason, is now operating on a trauma-based autopilot.

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