I Spy Literary Analysis

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Prehal Patel
ENG 1302
Ms. Mach
February 20, 2013
Literary Analysis
“I Spy” by Graham Greene is a short story published in 1930 that takes place within a tobacco shop in England during World War 1.  The story is regarding a young boy, Charlie Stowe, who has never before smoked a cigarette and therefore he decides to sneak into his father’s tobacco shop to steal a pack of cigarettes. Charlie hides in the shop when he sees his father comes back along with two men. He watches his father and the two men as they converse about confidential work. Charlie goes back to bed when his father and the two men leave the house. In the story, Greene uses various literary devices such as character, imagery, and setting to represent many ideas. There are two main characters in the short story. The first main character is Charlie Stowe, a twelve year old boy who is teased by his classmates at school because he has never smoked a cigarette. That is why one night he sneaks downstairs to his father's tobacco shop to get hold of a cigarette. He knows it is not the right thing to do, but he decides to do it anyways to try to lessen his schoolmates' ridicule though all through the story he has an imperious fear of being caught. However, the consequences of being caught trying to steal cigarettes are less than the consequences of not smoking at all for Charlie. The second main character of the story is Charlie's father; he is described to be an 'unreal wraith,' not liked by his son. As the story continues, it becomes obvious that Mr. Stowe has been taken into custody for being a spy, and is being brought to the shop to grab his coat before he is led, seemingly, to trial and execution. It is apparent, however, from Charlie's recollections of his father revitalizing himself with proverbs and muttering to himself, that he actually may not have wanted to have the treacherous occupation that he did. Both of their society’s morals have been detached, Charlie's by his schoolmates and Mr....
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