The phrase “under four eyes” appears twice in the text of Ford Madox Ford’s most influential novel, The Good Soldier, and although it may seem generic enough to be overlooked, this article argues that it is not only integral to the novel’s themes of sight, impression, and privacy, but also, in its translation from the German idiom unter vier Augen, indicative of Ford’s ambivalent, shifting performance of national identity during World War I. This article explores the connections between The Good Soldier and Ford’s engagement with anti-German propaganda and translation, as well as his later amendment of these views in his postwar work, Parade’s End.


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