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For Your Eyes Only Comparison
|Main | Other Bond Films | Fast Facts | Novel | Pics & Clips|
- For Your Eyes Only is a short story compilation first published in 1960. Many of the scenes from the short stories have been captured in the films, but many don't occur in the namesake films. For instance, the story and characters of the film Licence to Kill are based on the The Hildebrand Rarity. Bond's ally in For Your Eyes Only, Milos Columbo is modeled after a character with the same name in Risico. The short story collection is a departure for Ian Fleming who, up to this point, had only written full length works.
- A View to a Kill
- For Your Eyes Only
- Quantum of Solace
- The Hildebrand Rarity
|Quantum of Solace Synopsis:|
We meet Bond at dinner party in Nassau, Bahamas. He's joined by a Canadian millionaire couple, the Millers, and the governor of Nassau. Bond is quite bored of the talk at the table. He feels like the millionaire couple are about the most boring people he's ever met, but he indulges Mrs. Miller's incessant talking if for no other reason but to keep his mind occupied. Eventually, the Millers leave and Bond is left with the governor. During the ensuing conversation with the governor, Bond admits that he's not really the marrying type... that in fact he doesn't ever want to get married... but that if he did, Bond jokes that he'd have to marry an airline stewardess. This joke triggers the governor to tell the following story.
The governor tells of how he met a man named Masters a long time ago when he first started working for the civil service. Masters was on leave and, while flying back to England from Africa, met an airline stewardess who he quickly fell in love with. Masters had never been in love before. He was in his early thirties, but was naive to the ways of women, and of life. Six months later, Phillip Masters married Rhoda, the airline stewardess. After the marriage, Masters was sent to a post in Jamaica, and Rhoda accompanied him. She really loved the high-class society of the Jamaican elites. For while, the Masters' lives were perfect. Rhoda had everything she wanted in life and Masters was in love.
Over time, Rhoda became discontent. She wanted more than what Masters could give her. In an effort to help her, Masters thought it would be a good idea for her to start playing golf. He bought her some lessons and she excelled, however when Masters wasn't present, she began to have an affair with one of the men that frequented the golf club. The affair was completely open, and the closed elite society of Jamaica looked down upon it. Certainly Masters knew about the affair, but what was he to do. Rhoda began to frequently spend nights out with other men. She rarely paid any attention to Masters. And most of the time, they slept in different rooms, on those rare night when she slept at home.
At this point, the governor steps out of his narrative and describes how relationships can only be salvaged if each person has a quantum of solace - an amount of comfort - for the other. When the quantum of solace stands at zero, relationships turn out disastrously. According to the governor, the relationship between Phillip and Rhoda Masters stood at zero. Phillip was humiliated and cockholded, and he began to change. His work became poor and his friends started to worry about his psychological state. Rhoda was eventually discarded by the golfer, so she decided to try to make up with Masters. The same day, Masters decided on what he needed to do. As Rhoda sat crying, Masters told her that he would give her an monetary allowance each week to cook and clean the house. She was only permitted in three rooms, her bedroom, the kitchen, and the bathroom, when he wasn't there. They were to communicate through notes... never delivered in person. When they went out, Masters expected her to act like his wife, but they would hardly be recognized as strangers when they were in the house. Rhoda agreed, because she had no other options. She thought about going back to the airline, but she left unexpectedly and they wouldn't take her back. She had no friends and she had no future without Masters. She tried to find other men, but her repuataions was one of a "used woman", so even the money she could collect from them dried up quickly.
Masters had changed from a kind, naive, sensitive man into a disempassioned monster. When Masters post was finally up in Jamaica, he told Rhoda that they were getting divorced, and that she was free to do whatever she wanted. Rhoda begged for money, saying that she didn't have enough money to survive. Masters gave her some clothes and jewlrey and told her to pawn them until she could get on her feet with her own job. She said it wasn't enough and begged to have the car and the radio. Reluctantly, Masters agreed and then left Rhoda forever. Rhoda took the car to a dealer and found out that Masters was delinquent on his payments, and that because Rhoda was the new owner, that she had to take over the payments. The same was true for the radio.
Rhoda scrapped together what she could, and with the help of some old friends she got a job working at the front desk of a fancy hotel. One day, a canadian millionaire came into the hotel, fell in love with Rhoda, and they eventually ended up getting married. Finally, the governor reveals that the Canadian millionairess from the dinner party at the beginning of the short story was actually Rhoda Masters. He concludes his tale by relating that Masters went back to where he first felt loved, back to his first post in Africa. As the governor and Bond part ways, Bond reflects on how insignificant his own job seems compared to the challenges, struggles, and evil that normal people face in their own lives, every day.
|Quantum of Solace - Key Passages:|
Introduction to Quantum of Solace:
"James Bond said : "I've always thought that if I ever married I'd marry an air hostess." The party had been sticky, and now that two guests had left accompanied by the ADC to catch their plane, the governor and Bond were together on s chintzy sofa in the large Office of Works furnished drawing-room, trying to make conversation. Bond had a sharp sense of the ridiculous. He preferred to sit up in a solidly upholstered armed chair with his feet firmly on the ground. And he felt foolish sitting with an elderly bachelor on his bed of rose chintz gazing at the coffee and liqueurs on the low table between their outstretched feet. There was something clueable, intimate, even rather feminine, about the scene and none of these atmospheres was appropriate."
"Bond didn't like Nassau. Everyone was too rich. The winter visitors and residents who had houses on the island talked of nothing but their money, their diseases and their servant problems. they didn't even gossip well. There was nothing to gossip about. The winter crowd were all too old to have love affairs and, like most rich people, too cautious to say anything malicious about their neighbors. The Harvey Millers, the couple who had just left, were typical-a pleasant rather dull Canadian millionaire who had got into Natural Gas early on and stayed with it, and his pretty chatterbox of a wife. It seemed that she was English. She had sat next to Bond and chatted vivaciously about "what shows he had recently seen in town" and "didn't he think the Savory Grill was the nicest place for supper. One saw so many interesting people-actresses and people like that". Bond had done his best, but since he had not seen a play for two years, and then only because the man he was following in Vienna had gone to it, he had had to rely on rather dusty memories of London night life which somehow failed to marry up with the experiences of Mrs Harvey Miller. Bond knew that the governor had asked him to dinner only as a duty and perhaps to help out with the Harvey Millers."
Defining a Quantum of Solace:
"The governor paused and looked reflectively over at Bond. He said: 'You're not married, but I think it's the same with all relationships between a man and a woman. They can survive anything so long as some kind of basic humanity exists between two people. When all kindness has gone, when one person obviously and sincerely doesn't care if the other is alive or dead, then it's just no good. That particular insult to the ego - worse, to the instinct of self-preservation - can never be forgiven. I've noticed this in hundreds of marriages. I've seen flagrant infidelities patched up, I've seen crimes and even murder forgiven bythe other party, let alone bankruptcy and every other form of social crime. Incurable disease, blindness, disaster - all these can be overcome. But never the death of common humanity in one of the partners. I've thought about this and I've invented a rather high-sounding title for this basic factor in human relations. I have called it the Law of the Quantum of Solace."
"Bond saidL 'That's a splendid name for it. It's certainly impressive enough. And of course I see what you mean. I should say you're absolutely right. Quantum of Solace - the amount of comfort. Yes, I suppose you could say that all love and every friendship is based in the end on that. Human beings are very insecure. When the other person not only makes you feel insecure but actually seems to want to destroy you, it's obviously the end. The Quantum of Solace stands at zero. You've got to get away to save yourself."
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