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Code Name Verity Mwr

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Relationship to meaning: Having both girls’ point of view allows the reader to better understand their thoughts and fears, and their mutually intense relationship and connection to one another on a deeper level.

Plot Structure

Exposition: Verity is introduced as a young prisoner of war in Nazi-occupied Oramie, France. She exchanges sets of code for her clothing, then begins to give information about the Allies and their plans.Verity speaks of Maddie Brodatt, her best friend, as she writes about plane types and her life before he was captured. She explains the only reason she was discovered in the first place was she looked the wrong way when crossing the road, indicating to nearby officers that she was British, not French or German. As she tells the tales of her previous life, she informs the Gestapo of her and Maddie’s working in the WAAF(women’s auxiliary air force) as radio operators for the men flying the planes.

Inciting Incident: Whilst on the job, Maddie gets a transmission from a pilot speaking in German. Because Maddie doesn’t speak German, they have to find someone that does, and she goes by Queenie. This sparks the beginning of their strong friendship.

Events contributing to rising action: The same day of the German radio transmission, the air raid siren goes off suddenly and everyone races to the shelters. Maddie brings with her an umbrella which, although may seem trivial, provides her comfort, and Queenie asks to share it with her because she thinks it’s a great idea. The morning after the raid, Maddie and Queenie sit together at breakfast and spark their bond by exchanging a list of their top ten fears. As the story progresses, switching from present to past tense constantly, the air raid siren goes off again while the girls are together. As they try to get to a shelter, they are called over by an anti aircraft gunner that was shot, and they shoot at the surrounding enemy planes together. After the air raid is over, Maddie invites Queenie to go with her to a pub so they hop on their bikes and begin the journey. Maddie suggests Queenie pretends to be a foreign spy that has to find the pub as her mission, and Maddie shares her fears. When Maddie secretly pops Queenie’s tire, Queenie has to find a way to fix it, and she does so by going to an old farmhouse where the farmer’s kind wife offers them something to eat and gets her farmhands to fix the tire. When they finally arrive at the pub, they spot some of their superior officers and have a drink with them before heading back to the base for their shift. As the girls continue their journey as friends, Maddie is invited to join the Air Transport Auxiliary(ATA) and Queenie joins the Special Operations Executive(SOE). Maddie’s promotion allows her to finally fly planes again, even if she is only taxiing broken planes. In one of her next entries, she decided to change her list of fears to be more relevant in her current situation, displaying her growing maturity. In the transition back to a flashback, Verity tells of a time when, while on a mission, Maddie went to Queenie’s home and met Jamie, Queenie’s brother, and the young children staying as orphans in their home. After she reveals this story, a radio announcer arrives to the prison to interview Verity about life as a prisoner and how the Gestapo are treating the prisoners, but in reality she must lie and say she is not being tortured and beaten because her guards were in the room. In yet another story about Maddie, Maddie gets promoted to the RAF Special Duties base aka the Moon Squadron Base to work as an air taxi pilot. When Maddie picks a mystery person up, she doesn’t ask questions, but one fateful day, the passenger reveals herself to be Queenie, on her way to the Special Duties base.

A few weeks and many flights later, Queenie is back at the Special Duties base. She and Maddie are sharing a room, but when Maddie gets back from a flight and into their room, Queenie isn’t there. She arrives late in the night, covered in bruises and scratches. As she spoke to Maddie, she began to cry, so Maddie wrapped her arms around her until she fell asleep, and they stayed like that until morning. Soon, Queenie got an assignment to work undercover in France. When the day finally came for her to leave, her pilot was in a terrible car crash in which he broke many of his ribs. Desperate to find a pilot, Queenie asks Maddie to fly her there, and Maddie agrees. During their flight, they are fired upon and must change course, as the plane begins to malfunction, Maddie tells Queenie to parachute out. Before leaving she yells “Kiss me Hardy” and jumps. At the end of her narrative, Verity reveals herself to be Queenie, but her real name is Julie. Maddie’s narrative begins with her realization that she has Verity’s identity papers instead of her own. This leads to her panicking and beginning to write in her pilots notebook. When she finally, but not gracefully, lands the aircraft, the people on the base inform her that they will have to destroy the plane and stage a crash. To do so, they had to remove the supplies they needed and refill the plane with fake cargo and a pilot. They used eleven wireless radio sets, and a dead German pilot to stage the scene. When they came to take pictures to survey the damage, Maddie discovers they will be taken to the Ormaie Gestapo, where she believes Verity to be. She says if Verity gets to see them, it will be a gift to her, allowing her to make up lies about the whole scene and giving her something to write about. The family Maddie is assigned to stay with is a farm family named the Thibauts, who coincidentally have a son that is one of Verity’s guards, but they are part of the resistance. As Maddie adapts to her life living in a barn loft, she too amends her list of fears to be more relevant and mature. Soon, the family informs Maddie of their asking a news reporter to go take a tour of the Ormaie Gestapo prison and try to find Verity. As Maddie gets more and more anxious to get out of France, she begins to go undercover as Katharina Habicht, a distant cousin of Mrs. Thibaut’s staying with them as refuge. Soon after, they get news that Verity is alive. One day at dinner some of guard Thibaut’s fellow Nazis came to the house for dinner, and Maddie found that Anna Engel, one of the attendees was one of Verity’s guards, and she transported a note to Verity through her in a lipstick tube. Later, she discovers Verity’s scarf, left by Anna Engel in the dining room. It had a message. It told Maddie about Verity being transported to a work camp and the route they would take, so she could save her. When the night came to save Verity, everything seemed a success, until the guards began shooting the prisoners to a slow, painful death.

Climax (Crisis/turning point): Maddie shoots Verity to make her death much quicker than it would have been at the hands of her enemy.

Events contributing to falling action: After Maddie’s life-changing decision, the team continues to finish their mission to save the rest of the prisoners. WHen one of them insulted Verity, Maddie got into a fight with him, and she had to be knocked out to get her to calm down. After they return, Maddie has lots of mail addressed to Katharina Habicht, supposedly from Engel, but this time it is in Julie’s handwriting not Engel’s. It is the notes she wrote while imprisoned. While reading them over, Maddie realized there were some underlined and bolded words. It was a code to help them complete Verity’s original mission of blowing up the Ormaie Gestapo Prison. When Maddie went to city hall to get the blueprints of the building, she saw Anna Engel. Engel told Maddie of Verity’s time in prison, and what her life was like. As they walk down the street, they run into Von Liden, and Maddie states that he is her mortal enemy, and with that Engel is swept away, never to be seen again. A few days later, the mission commenced to sabotage and blow up Ormaie Gestapo Prison. The team successfully smuggled out the prisoners then blew up the prison with all the guards and Gestapo inside. Soon after, Maddie flew home to England. She decided Julie’s letters rightfully belonged to Julie’s mother, so she sent them to her. Immediately upon her return, she was taken in for questioning, and she admitted to killing Julie, but she did not get in trouble, and Julie was determined to be killed in action.

Resolution: Esmé Beaufort-Stuart, Verity’s Mother, sends Maddie a letter telling her that she did the right thing and asking her to come live with them and accepting Maddie’s gift of the Eterpen.

Other Significant Structural Elements: Throughout the novel, the author utilizes repetition to foreshadow events and signify connection, such as, “Kiss me Hardy”, “careless talk costs lives”, and the use of allusions to Peter Pan.



Name and significance: Verity aka Julia Lindsay MacKenzie Wallace Beaufort-Stuart is a young woman that was captured by the Gestapo in Nazi-occupied France. She seemingly complies with them and gives them information about the Allies, but in reality she just gives them stories and things they already knew.

Characteristics and thematic significance: Verity is extremely rebellious, but she can also be quite caring. Her rebellion is what helps her stay alive while in prison, but it also gets her in enough trouble to be tortured, and it ends up getting her killed. While she is away from Maddie while in prison, she constantly talks and worries about Maddie. She continually thinks about her and she hopes she is alive and okay. She brings her to life through her writing to overshadow her fear of Maddie being dead.

Change or epiphany and thematic significance: Verity’s major display of change is when she decides to edit her list of fears that she originally told Maddie. Her fears become much more real, and relevant for her situation in the prison as opposed to her more juvenile fears from her time as a wireless operator . This shows her growing in maturity and realism as she fears for her life and the life of her best friend. When she was a wireless operator, even though she was endangered by the air raids, she was never constantly in as much direct contact with the enemy as she was as a prisoner of war.


Name and significance: The Gestapo are notorious in Ormaie for controlling the town and its citizens in everything they say and do.

Characteristics and significance: They hold many prejudices and they persecute anybody that disagrees with their efforts, or is not their ideal standard. Verity, by looking the wrong way, simply hinted that she may not be a native, and based solely on that, they assume she is part of the rebellion and arrest her.

Other Significant Characters

Name and significance: Maddie Brodatt is Verity’s best friend, and most loyal companion. Her intention is always for the best, and wants to protect Verity at all costs.

Characteristics: Maddie is bold and independent in everything she does. She constantly goes against societal expectations whether it be as a pilot or as a friend, to do what is best.

Thematic or plot-oriented purpose: Maddie stands as a secondary protagonist, and drives the plot forward by motivating Verity to keep going, and by continuing Verity’s mission after she is gone.

Other Significant Characters

Name and significance: Anna Engel is one of Verity’s guards while she is in the prison. She is the person that spends the most time with her while she is locked up, and she eventually helps Maddie try to save her, and complete her goal.

Characteristics: Engel is compassionate and kind, even though she seems to be cold-hearted and cruel at the beginning of the novel.

Thematic or plot-oriented purpose: Engel serves the purpose of a messenger between Maddie and Verity, and she helps drive Maddie to keep working to save Verity and to do the right thing.


Place and symbolic significance: Nazi occupied Ormaie, France represents the fear and danger of living in Europe during World War II.

Time period and contextual significance: The World War II Era was a time with lots of persecution and prejudice, and many women were not considered equipped or skilled enough to fight, exemplifying Maddie and Verity’s heroism and bravery.

Time span: roughly three months (not including flashbacks)


Main conflict

type of conflict: man v. society

values embodied in conflict (expressed as opposition—something vs. something): Verity v. the Ormaie Gestapo

thematic significance of conflict: Verity’s constant fight for her life and for her country embodies the theme of sacrifice . If she hadn’t continued to fight back in her own way, her mission to blow up the prison would have never been accomplished, and Maddie would never have known what happened to her.

Minor conflicts and thematic significance

Maddie v. Societal Expectation: Maddie, being female, was often faced with prejudice in the workplace. Even though she was probably one of the most qualified civil pilots, it took her quite a while to be allowed to fly for the ATA, and even then, she could only transport aircraft, not fly anything to fight.

Maddie v. Self: Maddie had to make the decision few people could ever make. She had to make the decision to kill her own best friend. After doing so, she struggled with the thought of Julie being dead, and felt loads of guilt for taking Verity’s life.

Symbols and Motifs (3-5)

Literal Symbol

Figurative Meaning

Relationship to Theme

Wireless Sets

The seemingly simplest of objects can be part of a much grander plan.

The eleven wireless sets, while seemingly simple and useless, sent a greater message to Verity that Maddie was safe, and it successfully fooled the Germans. Later, Verity compares herself to a wireless set, in that she may seem simple and one sided, but she is really fooling the Gestapo and accomplishing a greater task of helping destroy the prison.


Even the smallest actions can comfort those in need.

Maddie and Verity’s sacrifices led to a stronger friendship between them. From sharing the umbrella toVerity dying for the rebellion, they were always thinking about each other and they were there for one another.


Great things can be accomplished when prejudices and societal expectations are ignored.

Maddie is not supposed to be allowed or capable of flying a plane because she is female, but she overcomes the stereotypes set on her because of gender and eventually flies planes as as an air taxi pilot in the war. Her sacrificing her respect, and being forced to regain it within the community ultimately led to her success.

Significance of Title

Code Name Verity most obviously, portrays Julie’s code name, but it also brings to light Julie’s story to the Gestapo. Verity, meaning truth, is important to Julie. While in prison, she lied quite a bit to the Gestapo, but her story was overall the truth. It was just up to the Gestapo to “decode” the truth.

Thematic statements (2-3)

Friendship can often put those involved at risk.

Sacrifices must be made to accomplish one’s goals.


Historical: World War II was a time of fear and persecution among many people in the world, especially in Europe where the majority of the fighting was.

Biographical: Elizabeth Wein, having gotten a pilots license loves aircraft, and her first flying lesson was at the former ATA headquarters. Writing about the war was also not too difficult due to living in a place that was greatly affected by the war, and some surrounding areas still are.

Personal Impact (how it relates to you): I too have dealt with the struggle of being female in a primarily male activity. I am one of four female trumpet players at Tompkins, and I used to play flag football where I was the only girl in the league, but I excelled at both activities, and I never let it get in my way, just like Maddie.

5 Key Quotes

“Kiss me Hardy”(Wein 197)

“Careless talk costs lives”(Wein 80)

“Second to the right, and then straight on till morning”(Wein 91)


“It’s like being in love, discovering your best friend”(Wein 68)

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