The Significance of Communication in The Secret Agent Communication is a crucial point when explaining the downfall of the characters in Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent. Between Winnie, Stevie, and Verloc there exists little direct communication, which is instrumental to the demise of each of them. This is evident when examining how each of them regards each other, how each of them thinks of each other, and even how each of them addresses each other. All of this is reflective of how the Winnie, Stevie, and Verloc accelerate their ends. Verloc is perhaps the easiest to examine, for he is rather blunt in his statements.
When he calls for Stevie, he did so. ".. in the spirit, no doubt, in which a man invites the attendance of a household dog" (pg. 150). The significance of this is simple. Verloc does not regard Stevie as his brother-in-law, or even his son. He holds such disdain for Stevie that he does not even address him as a human.
His attitude toward Winnie is not nearly as inhumane, yet it is still far from decent. "Mr. Verloc loved his wife as a wife should be loved - that is maritally, with the regard one has for one's chief possession" (pg. 145). This sort of treatment by Verloc to Winnie and Stevie does not go unchecked, and eventually Winnie avenges Stevie's death and the lost years of Winnie's life. Stevie has virtually nothing in terms of standard conversation, yet Winnie seems to know him just as well as if he could speak properly. Verloc, unfortunately, does nothing for Stevie except shorten his life. Verloc should have done much more, for he. ".. was as much of a father figure as poor Stevie ever had in his life" (pg. 150).
Stevie speaks very simply, for that is all he can really do. Yet, without him realizing it, he says some things that carry a much more profound meaning than he can even comprehend. Winnie is a very soft-spoken person in the novel She almost always speaks to Verloc very timidly, yet when the author reveals her thoughts, they virtually never correlate with what she says. Only towards the end, does Verloc recognize Winnie as being an independent woman.
However, unfortunately, by that time it is too late for Verloc or Winnie to do anything. It is almost scary to see that Winnie has almost no control over her own actions. The importance of how communication is vital in keeping healthy relationships between people is strongly supported. When scrutinizing the details between Verloc and Winnie's marriage, it is apparent that there was no love in the marriage, yet it could have been successful if they had communicated with each other. All evidence points to the fact that people simply do not talk enough with each other, and if that were encouraged more it would create a much less hostile world. by.