There's an amusing trait, and I wonder what others think about it: I have been noticing that our man Bond, in Fleming's entries, really has a child-like indifference to money.
I just finished reading OHMSS, and he outright (and drunkenly, yet sincerely), turns down his soon-to-be father-in-law's gracious offer of a dowry. Bond tells Draco that he would be afraid of what he would become if he was financially secure. I felt that this was a fascinating insight into the character, and was quite moved by Bond's absolute refusal to be taken care of.
And then I randomly decided to re-read Goldfinger. At the beginning of the story, Bond is musing about the soft life, so, when Mr. Du Pont coincidentally strolls back into his life (he was one of the gamblers in Casino Royale), and drops an assignment into Bond's lap, Bond (again, rather drunkenly-- fancy that!), takes him up on the offer. This, of course, leads to his first showdown with Goldfinger, and, after defeating him, Bond is paid ten thousand dollars.
This money he promptly gives to Jill Masterson (after using her as a "hostage"), since he "wouldn't know what to do with it"...
I remember there are other moments in the books where Bond is sincerely gracious with his money (doesn't he promise himself that once the job with Dr. No was done, he would financially assist Honeychille with getting to Miami to have plastic surgery on her broken nose?). This quality has started to really stand out and I'm finding this an endearing trait to a man best described as ruthless and a blunt instrument. It's like the circuitry we have, to one degree, or another, in placing value in money, is lost for this character. It really has no place in his life, like a child that has no idea how he is clothed or fed, he doesn't give it any serious thought.
I found this was nicely brought to the fore in the film CR, when Bond tells Vesper she's the one who will have to get an honest job since he has no idea what an honest job is.
Have any of you noticed this indifference to money in Mr. Fleming's novels? Any thoughts on why you think Fleming made this a trait? And since this seemed to occur several times in the books, it obviously meant something to Fleming...?
I look forward to hearing some of your thoughts on this.