Code Name Verity Themes

Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity

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Code Name Verity Themes


Friendship, particularly the friendship between Maddie and Julie, forms a significant theme of this novel. Their friendship and the positive effects it has on both women’s lives, rather than the grim reality of the war,comprises the heart of this novel.

Without the war, both women realize that they probably would not have met. Without the war, Maddie would never have had the opportunities to fly and challenge herself andJulie would have led a more conventional lifethan her life as a spy and interrogator. Despite the terrors and hardship of war, then, both women appreciate the gift of friendship that it has brought them.

A specific gift of their friendship derives from their ability to work well together. As Maddie and Julie both say at different points, “e make a sensational team” (68). Both women are able to do more when they are together or work together, than they can accomplish as individuals. As their friendship progresses, they give each other the confidence to do more than they thought they were able to do.The power of their friendship and accomplishments begin when they safely talk down a German pilot,and continues when they shoot down a German fighter plane.

From these dramatic and sensational beginnings, their friendship blossoms and grows. Both women admire qualities and abilities in the other that they themselves lack. Maddie admires Julie’s acting ability and her ability to remain calm under pressure. Julie teaches Maddie to be able to function through her fear. Maddie teaches Julie to appreciate just how good of an actress she is, planting the idea that Julie would be a great spy. Through their trust and love for one another, Julie ends up trusting Maddie to help her when she needs her most. Maddie, through her love for Julie, ends up being able to do what her friend asks her to—end her life—even though it breaks her heart.

Through the depiction of Julie and Maddie’s relationship, Wein indicates that friendship helps each of us transcend the limitations of who we thought we were, making us all into better and stronger people.


One of the primary lessons of this…

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