James Bond Vs. Matt Helm: a study

We found an academic paper online that compares the literary James Bond and the literary Matt Helm (each with significant differences than their movie counterparts).

Among the comparisons made by the author, Joseph Allegretti of Siena College, about the novels Casino Royale and Death Of a Citizen:

Both Bond and Helm are professionals who find their deepest meaning in their work.

After quoting a passage from the Casino Royale novel, the author observes:

Bond seems reluctant, almost embarrassed to talk about his Double O status. (Note how quickly he shifts the conversation to food.) He expresses no pride or sense of accomplishment in his killings.

In a revealing flashback, Helm thinks about his wartime service and wonders how Mac had been able to persuade his superiors to set up an assassination bureau. He muses, “It must have taken some doing, since America is a fairly sentimental and moral nation, even in wartime, and since all armies, including ours, have their books of rules – and this was certainly not in the books.’….Helm’s role in today’s war is the same as it was in World War II – to be a skilled assassin.

In Casino Royale, unlike most of the other (007) novels, Bond undergoes a true moral crisis….Helm cannot undergo a crisis of conscience, as does Bond, because his conscience had been ripped out years ago.

Despite these differences, the similarities between the two characters are equally impressive. Professionalism is the hallmark of each. Bond and Helm are good at what they do and derive intense satisfaction from doing a job well.

By the end of the books, the two heroes have arrived at almost the same place. Bond had decided to quit his job as a spy, only to recommit himself after the death of Vesper. Helm had already quit the job of spying, but now he has rejoined the dark world of espionage.

To read the entire article, just CLICK RIGHT HERE. The paper is in the PDF format.

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2 Responses

  1. [...] Universe of Literature’s Most Famous Spy and His Chief American Rival (PDF academic paper via HMSS Weblog). Filed Under : Donald Hamilton, Matt [...]

  2. [...] literary Helm and his creator, Donald Hamilton. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)James Bond Vs. Matt Helm: a studySpielberg interested in Matt Helm; is a faithful adaptation possible?Matt Helm movie [...]

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