The Bourne Identity | Study Guide

Robert Ludlum

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The Bourne Identity | Book 3, Chapter 30 | Summary

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Summary

Jason Bourne knows Philippe d'Anjou (previously the gray-haired switchboard operator) and he share a past. Bourne calls him, and d'Anjou responds to his voice by asking, simply, "Delta?" Yes, they were in Project Medusa together. Philippe D'Anjou chose to work for a killer. Jason Bourne struggles to work through his shock that d'Anjou recognizes his voice so easily since Bourne still does not know himself. D'Anjou tells Bourne to leave Paris, adding, "We work for different employers now."

Bourne plays his last card, asking d'Anjou who he will call now that "Parc Monceau is out" and if d'Anjou really expects Carlos to let him live after this. They make an appointment to meet outside the Louvre to discuss, as d'Anjou says, Jason's employer, Treadstone Seventy-One. D'Anjou has information that may be used in exchange for keeping his life, and Jason asks him to bring it to their meeting: the name of his employer and identifying details, sealed in an envelope.

Jason Bourne spies on Philippe d'Anjou as he leaves Les Classiques for their meet up, noticing the other man has four surveillance men tailing him. When Bourne reaches the museum, he sees the gray Citroën from the church. Bribing his taxi driver, Jason pulls up next to the car and shoots his gun out of the back window. Bourne sneaks out of the car and tells the taxi driver to drive away if he wants to live. The men in the gray automobile go after the taxi driver, leaving Bourne to deal with the two remaining men. Jason Bourne runs. The other two men, who were in a black sedan, have jumped out of the car and are going after Philippe d'Anjou, having deduced that d'Anjou is about to reveal their information about their boss's identity.

There is a shootout, but Jason saves d'Anjou and then hides under a car parked nearby. His head is exploding with flashbacks and random messages, and he feels as if he is losing his mind. At first he can't find d'Anjou, but then they see each other. D'Anjou and Bourne have both survived the melee. They head to a small cafe. It is time for the truth.

However, it seems Philippe d'Anjou does not know for certain who Carlos really is either. He suggests what Bourne also suspects: René Bergeron is Carlos. However, they both agree it is impossible. D'Anjou explains how Madame Angélique Villiers fits into the story. She is Carlos's cousin and his lover of many years. Her loyalty is absolute—and mutual. If Carlos cares about anything, it is she.

Bourne asks him about Treadstone Seventy-One. What does he know? Delta, the fiercest Medusan of them all, agreed to work for the American government and to change his identity completely to Cain. The idea was to set himself up as Carlos's greatest competition and nemesis. It worked.

Treadstone Seventy-One was "the most controlled unit of American intelligence." David Abbott—a.k.a. the Silent Monk—founder of Medusa, was its leader. D'Anjou does not think Bourne, who he knew as Delta, went undercover as Cain because of loyalty to the American cause. No, he thinks all of this was to "clean a slate." Meanwhile, d'Anjou also believes the Americans want Carlos to think Cain betrayed his own employers and then "turned." This is where Jason knows d'Anjou is wrong. Cain never turned. He disappeared, even to himself. Jason's amnesia set off a chain of deadly events.

Analysis

The idea that Jason Bourne "turned" is the greatest red herring in the novel. If someone had figured out that their top agent was loose in Europe and no longer knew his name or mission, all of the problems of the story would have barely begun. However, this confusion fuels The Bourne Identity. What happens to a man who does not even know if he is good or evil? Are human instincts innate? Can someone who has been through so much violence and pain ever shake off that legacy? Ludlum does not ask these questions outright, but this question of inherent goodness is one of the thematic threads driving the novel.

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