In The Secret Agent, the marriage of Winnie to Verloc involves a shift in location. What implication can this shift have?

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The marriage of Winnie to Verloc is described in the first chapter of this novel. Although Winnie, her mother and brother lived in a perfectly pleasant lodging house, it is insisted upon that they move into Verloc's shop when he and Winnie marry. The shop is one that does not strike Winnie's mother as being particularly salubrious, as it is grimy and dirty and not at all how she managed it. The move for her results in physical discomfort, as her legs swell up. However, on the other hand, the move also is beneficial in a number of ways:

On the other hand, she experienced a complete relief from material cares. Her son-in-law's heavy good nature inspired her with a sense of absolute safety. Her daughter's future was obviously assured, and even as to her son Stevie she need have no anxiety.

The move thus can be said to represent the way that Winnie and her family come under the power and protection of Verloc. Verloc's shop is where he does his mysterious "business," or his job which is of a "political nature." The way that Winnie's family has to enter that shop shows they are entering his shady and mysterious world, and also indicates that they are entering his domain of whispers, intrigue and secrets.

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The Secret Agent

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