Essay about Enigma: Enigma and British Code Breakers

Submitted By ogamigo
Words: 554
Pages: 3

In 2001, none other than Sir Mick Jagger bought the rights to a novel by Robert Harris called Enigma. The novel, a fictionalized account of WWII British code breakers, then became a feature film, written by Tom Stoppard. In this film the story set in England's Bletchley Park at the altitude of the Second World War, Tom Jericho is a bright mathematician for the famous code breaking facility. Tom has also taken on the self imposed task of solving a mystery and finding a secret agent. Although the math is not terribly important to the story, it is mentioned more than a few times. As is so common in mathematical fiction, the mathematician Jericho is known as a genius and is also certifiably insane. In this case, he has apparently had a nervous breakdown due to the ending of a brief affair with the beautiful and fun Claire. When he returns to help his colleagues break the new "Shark" code, Jericho finds that Claire has gone missing. His attempts to find her lead him to unexpected romance and intrigue. In order for the Enigma code to work for the Germans, each operator, sender and receiver, had to have exactly the same settings on their rotors and plug boards. The messages were transmitted over radio via Morse code. Each month had its own settings, printed on code sheets in soluble ink that easily dissolved in water. If the Allied code breakers deciphered the settings, their decryption would be useless weeks later. On some level, Enigma, is less about the war then it is about the tensions and suspicions that war breeds at home. This is where Northam comes in, as he plays an intruder to the Bletchley Park community, a secret service agent named Wigram, looking into the recent disappearance of a lovely young code recorder, Claire. His questions make people nervous, though they all rather suspect that Claire ran off with a lover as suggested in flashbacks, in which she dances in her slip, smokes cigarettes, and wears seamed stockings. Wigram’s investigation appears to be focused on the most gifted decoder guy, a…