Study Guide

Eye of the Needle

by Ken Follett

Eye of the Needle Themes

Themes

Through the complex interaction of three dynamic characters, Follett focuses in Eye of the Needle upon the hazards of social isolation. David and Lucy Rose along with Henry Faber are all portrayed by Follett as victims of their own isolation.

By quickly withdrawing to Storm Island at the beginning of World War II, David Rose misses the deterioration in human values brought about by the worldwide conflict. David seems to envision an enemy who is honorable, much like himself, a British gentleman. He is mistaken, however, and his dying words shed light on his confused state of mind: "It's not fair," he shouts to Faber as he falls to his death. But as Faber shouts after him: "Not fair? Don't you know there's a war going on?" As his last words indicate, David is inadequately aware of the moral toll of the distant war due to his secluded life on Storm Island. Thus, David has forgotten how to hate his enemy and has committed the fatal mistake of trusting him.

Lucy Rose also mistakenly trusts the enemy in the form of the courteous and handsome Faber. She, like her husband, has led a secluded life on Storm Island, far away from the treachery of war. During their first conversation, she is rendered defenseless by Faber's cunning perception. He remarks, "You've lost the art of dissembling in four years on this island," thereby summarizing her diminished character. This vulnerability might have been fatal, but fortunately for Lucy Rose, Faber's own...

(The entire section is 394 words.)