The Rhythm Section
Mark Burnell
Contributed by Elene Blackwelder
Symbols are objects or figures that artists use to represent an idea.

Sex is used as a symbol of vulnerability and submission throughout the novel. Although West attempts to break Stephanie by raping her, she mentions that the more he raped her, the more he unmanned himself to represent his failure. Furthermore, Stephanie allows Serra or her previous clients (while she was still a prostitute) to have sex with her because she sees the acts as purely transactional — whether it is for intelligence, in Serra’s case, or for money, with her former clients.

The Magenta House

The covert intelligence organization symbolizes the world’s unified front against terrorism (“STEPHANIE PATRICK THRILLERS”, n.d.). Led by Alexander, the organization has an extensive global reach that proves vital in gathering intelligence on terrorists before they orchestrate any violent acts. For instance, Stephanie uncovers Serra’s plan to hijack a plane and bomb a further twelve flights. Additionally, Magenta House is responsible for Stephanie’s transformation, from a naïve and vulnerable character, to Petra Reuter, the cold-hearted assassin (“His hard-core woman”, 2005).

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