Code Name Verity Part 1: Verity Ormaie 8.XI.43 JB-S – Ormaie 11.XI.43 JB-S Summary & Analysis

Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity

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Code Name Verity Part 1: Verity Ormaie 8.XI.43 JB-S – Ormaie 11.XI.43 JB-S Summary & Analysis

Part 1: Verity

This novel is divided into two parts: the first part is narrated by Verity, as she writes her so-called “confession” to the German SS officer who is holding her prisoner as a spy; the second part is narrated by Kittyhawk, the pilot who dropped Verity into enemy territory. Each chapter heading in this section begins with the place, Ormaie—a fictional city in Nazi-occupied France; followed by the date, with XI standing for November; and ends with Verity’s real initials “J B-S.”The reader eventually learns that Verity’s real name is Julie Beaufort-Stuart.

Ormaie 8.XI.43 JB-S Summary

This chapter is written on November 8, 1943 in Ormaie, France. Verity—a British spy—announces that she is a coward, and that she has made a deal with the SS officer who is holding her prisoner: she will tell him all she knows about the British war effort in exchange for better treatment and an additional two weeks of life in which to write her confession, before she is executed. Better treatment includes being able to wear her own clothes, being given some food to eat and water to drink, and not having to enduretorture, such as being burnt with a cigarette, being tied to a chair with an iron bar up her back for three days, starvation, or going without sleep for days. She has endured all of these torments before she begins writing her story.

She must still endure one particular torture: since she is imprisoned in a room next to the interrogation room, she hears the persecution meted out to the other prisoners, which goes on day and night. The time she spends out of her cell, writing, equals time that she escapes the constant screams of others.

Verity describes her prison, which used to be a hotel, and several of her Nazi jailors, including SS officer von Linden, Anna Engel—a civilian German translator working for the SS, and Etienne Thibaut—a French collaborator.

Verity is hated by the other prisoners because she agrees to collaborate with the Nazis. When they see her, they spit on her and call her names. Verity hates herself for her “weakness”…

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