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  1. Newbie
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    How can I improve my essay?

    For my essay, I was asked to write 1500 words about themes of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. I have managed to do just over 1500, but my essay looks very poor in quality. Is there any way I can improve?


    For this essay I was asked to write about themes for the movie of my choice. I chose Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy for many reasons. The main reason was that this movie was quite different from most of them out there. It was a quiet spy movie without spectacular car crashes or exotic places. I could almost imagine the movie in black and white instead of colour, and the pace was much slower, more methodical. I never seen these type of espionage movie before. The main themes of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is suspense, suspicion and bitterness . The way characters are develop and interact with one another reflect these themes.

    One of the themes running through the film is suspense. The audience is prepared for suspense right from the beginning just knowing they are watching a espionage film. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy begins with Jim Prideaux going to Budapest, Hungary to meet Hungarian General to obtain information to Control. Jim sits outside the coffee shop having a conversation with the Hungarian General. Suddenly when the waiter walks in to hand over the coffee, Jim gets a bit concerned because of how nervous the waiter is. The whole atmosphere goes quiet in suspense. Jim gets very nervous and looks at the Hungarian General than at the waiter than at the old lady who opened the window. By this time, Jim's mind is clouded in fear and he walks out knocking the chair to the ground. This part of the movies represents being, uncertain, or doubtful

    When Tarr was in Turkey, suspense creeps inside her. Tarr needs to warn Irina that the Russians are coming to get her. Tarr runs all over the place to find Irina. He looks for her everywhere. He even checked the flight list. He was out of luck. With little hope left, he picks up the phone and calls Irina. Sadly, it was too late. Irina, on her way to the airport, finds a dead body in the bath tub at her hotel. She looks to the left and see two Soviet Russian agents coming to get her. It was too late for Irina. They got her and sent her on the ship to Odessa, where she will be interrogated and later shot in front of Jim Prideaux.

    Suspicion is another underlying theme of the film. It is also a part of the profession of most of the characters and often their lives depend on their being suspicions. They are always aware and alert as to what is going on around them and whether or not they are being watched or followed. In some cases this would be called paranoia, but it is a normal part of the spy profession.
    Many times throughout the film Smiley gives the viewers that he is paranoid. When smiley walks to his house, he stops looks left and right to see if he is being followed. He also places a piece of wood near-bottom of the door, so he know if someone had entered into his house without him knowing about it.
    one of the most important part is when Control is given the news that Jim Prideaux has been shot in Hungary. He sits in his chair smoking cigarette with phones ringing in the background. He is paralyzed with shock. He wonders in his head and asks the question " How did this happen?".

    When Oliver Lacon tells Smiley that there is a traitor in the British Intelligence and this was directly related to the shooting of Jim Prideaux, Smiley looks down at the floor and thinks who might be the traitor. Was it Roy Bland " Solider"? Was it Toby Esterhase? Was it Percy Alleline, "Tinker"? Or was it Bill Haydon, "Tailor"?
    When Coonie asks smiley about Polyakov, Suspicion starts to appear about who he is and what is his real motive for staying in London . She tells smiley she has concern about who Polyakov is and asked British Intelligence for him to be checked out. She watched a short clip of Polyakov receiving a salute to from a general. Smiley asks 'why would you salute a cultural attaché?' Both Coonie and Smiley became suspicious why Polyakov was hiding the fact he was a war veteran. Questions starts to appear whether or not he sent by soviet union to spy on the British intelligence and may have been responsible for Jim Prideaux shooting.

    At the fast food restaurant, Guilliam and Smiley were talking about the assassination of Jim Prideaux. Guilliam becomes suspicions about Hayden. He repeatedly asks Smiley, "Jesus Christ, Hayden, How did he know? How did he know?".
    Many, if not all, characters in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy are very suspicious. They usually are watching to see if there is a tail on him. Smiley has Mendel or Guilliam follow him to watch for any surveillance. Many of the characters such as Smiley and Guilliam feel they are being watched or followed but can't find the tail. At the safe house with Esterhase, Smiley kept looking out the window and asking Esterhase if any of his lamplighters were out there. When they leave the house, Guilliam, who is following Smiley, senses the presence of someone
    In many cases, staying alive is the result of being suspicious for many of the characters in this profession. They can't be trusting of strangers and still survive.

    Bitterness is another theme that recurs throughout the film.. Connie Sachs feels a lot of bitterness for her dismissal and she tells Smiley that. Smiley himself was dismissed during the reorganization and he also is somewhat bitter. But Smiley knew of the power struggle that was taking place between Control and Percy Alleline. He also knows of the existence of the mole and that that was a reason for his dismissal..
    Much of Smiley's bitterness stems from his relationship with his wife Ann, even though the film doesn't give that much of information, but careful examination can tell what is going between them. He know his wife is cheating on him and he is very bitter about that. Ann had been having an affair with Bill Haydon. Smiley goes home to find Haydon sitting there drinking tea, with his shoes off; looks like he just got dressed and Smiley's wife is upstairs putting on her clothes. Smiley finds out later that Haydon was having an affair with his wife. He catches Haydon and Ann kissing outside, near the bushes, at a party. This made a tense relationship between Bill Haydon and Smiley. Smiley thinks of his wife on and off throughout the film. Sometimes he wants her back; sometimes he doesn't. That's why Connie Sachs tells Smiley "She doesn't disserve you George. Not one hair your head"
    When Tarr explains to smiley what happened to Irina. He tells smiley " I've done a lot of things in my life, My Smiley, but....I just can't stop thinking about her". Tarr is full of bitterness and angry that he couldn't save Irina life.
    One of the biggest sign of bitterness is between Jim Prideaux and Bill Haydon. Bill Haydon was the traitor who ratted out Jim Prideaux as a British spy to the Russians and the Hungarians, which led him to be shot. It is very clear Jim Prideaux and Bill Haydon were good friends. When Bill Haydon is in the closet, he looks at a photo of both of them together. Both of them have their hand on their shoulder, smiling. It is pretty clear they are close friends and knew each other for a long time. This, of course, brakes Jim Prideaux heart. He is angry and bitter at Haydon for ratting him out. He trusted Hayden and he was betrayed by him. This will lead Prideaux to kill Hayden at the end of the film.

    After close analysis, I feel all of the themes Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy has the theme of suspense, suspicion bitterness . Since the film is only 120min long, it did not give too much information about the characters with their personal life, so I have to watch the film again and again just in case I didn't miss any important information out . There is very limited information about Thinker, Tailor, Solder, Spy, themes. This has hindered me from my research. I have to watch interviews and commentary by the film maker to get the overall pictures of what the themes of the movies are. Nevertheless, I have managed to find my way around and finish the essay without that much of a turbulence.

    Last edited by din01; 12-Mar-2012 at 22:25.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: How can I improve my essay?

    We can't do homework here, sorry.
    I can give you one tip though. If you run it through a spell checker, that will pick up errors like "
    Check the spacing of your punctuation. We don't put a space before a period. We also don't end a sentence with two periods or no periods.

    PS: My orthography errors are due to this current editor.

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