The Secret Agent

The Secret Agent is a novel by Joseph Conrad, first published in 1907. It tells the story of Verloc, a secret agent working for an unnamed foreign government in London. Verloc is tasked with infiltrating a group of anarchists and gathering information about their activities. He is also instructed to stir up trouble in order to discredit the group.

Verloc is married to Winnie, a woman who is unaware of his true profession. He also has a young brother-in-law, Stevie, who is mentally disabled. Verloc is a kind and caring husband and brother-in-law, but he is also a ruthless and calculating agent.

Verloc's mission leads him to a group of anarchists led by Professor Michaelis. The group is planning to blow up the Greenwich Observatory in order to make a statement against the government. Verloc is instructed to help the group with their plan, but he is also instructed to make sure that the plan fails.

Verloc's plan goes awry when Stevie, who has been helping the anarchists, is killed in the explosion. Verloc is devastated by the death of his brother-in-law and decides to take revenge on the government. He sets off a bomb in the home of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, killing himself in the process.

The novel is a powerful exploration of the human capacity for violence and the consequences of political extremism. It is also a commentary on the power of the state and its ability to manipulate and control its citizens. The Secret Agent is a classic of modern literature and a timeless exploration of the human condition.