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Espionage and thrillers is a novel genre that contains unlimited amount of action. Espionage and thrillers emerged after WW2 and during the cold war is primarily in response to the climate of fear and suspicion that the war, and the threat of a potential nuclear holocaust, created. Furthermore, writing thrillers and espionage novels allowed them to criticize or project their views about the wars. In these novels, the modern world is portrayed as being a destructive place, as reflects the corrupt, violent and self-serving nature of human beings. One of the most prolific writers in this genre is Tom Clancy, an author who specializes in exploring the political systems and intrigues, which shape the individual. In The Hunt for Red October, Clancy makes use of the anger of his main character Ramius in order to illustrate the obsessive, destructive nature of revenge, and to transmit his message of government conspiracy through the theme of revenge.
Tom Clancy s novel is very credible because the characters of The Hunt for Red October often to some extent reflect Cold War stereotypes . (Alexandre Lucas) For example, when Jack Ryan attempts to convince the American Generals that Ramius intends to defect, they reject that assumption because the Generals have a violent attitude towards the Russians and want to sink the Red October. The generals have a seek and destroy mentality. On the Russian side, when the Russians were taken off the ship due to a fake nuclear explosion, they cheered as they thought that the Red October was fighting the Americans. When looking at these characters, we must put into consideration that Clancy is sending his views about human nature during the post cold war.
Tom Clancy portrays his view on human nature though the character of Ramius. Ramius is one of the most respectful Russian captain. He has given the honor to sail all the latest top of the line subs and examine them. His quest for revenge began when his wife died due to the Russian systems. She was being hospitalized when she was injected with the wrong remedy. He wanted justice to take care of his wife s unfortunate death but he lost the lawsuit. Therefore he took justice into his own hands. As revenge, he chose to defect to America along with other political officers.
Through Ramius , Clancy shows to the readers that revenge leads to self-serving, obsessive acts of the avenger. We learn their passion to defect America when Ramius and Commander Borodin were conversing about life in America. He is determined to defect, to be free, whatever the price. His quest for revenge takes over all priorities and becomes almost an obsession. Ramius self-serving acts began when he sent a letter to the Russian Embassy informing them that he intends to defect. Ramius knows that the Embassy will retaliate and destroy the Red October at any cost. This put his life along with his political officers and sailors in danger. Although he put the lives of many in danger, he had to warn his intention to defect. In addition, he put more lives in danger when he faked a nuclear explosion in the sub. When all the sailors aborted, the Americans, who weren t aware of the situation at that time, were firing at the sailors. Ramius had to come up with a plan in order to get those whose didn t want to defect out of the sub. Ramius self-serving acts result in violent, yet brutal deaths.
As mentioned before, Ramius quest to defect has taken over him. Furthermore, there is nothing holding him back. He is determined to do whatever it takes to succeed. His act lead to violence and murder. One example is when Ramius is discussing the mission with a Russian Commander, who is not aware of Ramius plans. Obviously, he doesn t intend to follow the mission orders but he must find a way to change the mission. The results end with Ramius snapping the Commanders neck, who dies instantly. If he didn t kill the Commander, his chances of defecting are as slim to none. Another situation that ends in death is when one of his officers, who remained in the sub when all the sailors were evacuated, is shot to death. This time it wasn t Ramius who killed but the result is the same. A death that could ve been prevented had Ramius not seek revenge. Clancy is showing us that revenge has a negative impact on human nature. The innocents are killed to forfill a man s desire. The destruction of human nature leads to the corruption of human existence.
Ramius revenge on Russia created a counter revenge upon him. Clancy shows how revenge corrupts society through Russia actions and decisions. The cold war was a very tense period. America-Russia relations were at its all time low. During this period, both sides aimed to possess a high technology. In the hunt for red October, Clancy projected this image when Jack Ryan was speaking to a sub expert and realized that the Russians created an evolutionary sub that the Americans couldn t produce themselves. Clancy sets the tone and mood between the two nations. Keeping this information in consideration, the Russian Embassy actions to kill Ramius corrupted society.
The corruption begins when the Russian Embassy sends his whole fleet to find Ramius. They are searching for Ramius for unknown reasons and are willing to sink the ship knowing that there are innocent people aboard. Furthermore, the two conversations between NSA representatives and Russian Ambassador allow us to see at what level society is corrupted. These two nations simply lie to each other in order to get what they want. In addition, the Russian Embassy lied to the Ambassador, which made him look ridiculous. The Russian Embassy is desperate in capturing Ramius and preventing the Americans of gaining possession of the Red October. The consequence of the Russian s actions is an Alfa-class Soviet sub sunk. In addition, the Americans also pulled some stunts to help Ramius defect. When the American fired on the Red October, the missile exploded before hitting the sub but they pretended that there was impact and the ship sunk. In addition, in the movie adaptation by John McTiernan, the opening scene mentions that: according to investigators, what you will see never really happened . (McTiernan) As a result to Russia s quest to sink the red October, both the NSA and the Russian Embassy lied to one another and innocent victims are killed in the process.
Thrillers and espionage novels present the viewers with endless amount of actions. Most of these writers wrote their thrillers with the setting of the Cold war. It allowed them to project their views on this war. One of the most respected writers of thrillers and espionage is Tom Clancy. Through the main character, Ramius, Clancy illustrated the destructive and obsessive natures of revenge. Moreover, he illustrated the negative result it has on society. It funny that readers always see how revenge is wrong but yet, we still choose to seek revenge.
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