Tom Clancy: Believable Plots


There are many fictional books written to be enjoyed for their
contents. However, the interest of the reader in the contents of a book is
sometimes affected by the realism with which the plot is introduced. Tom
Clancy is an author of many books concerning the military. He is one of
the most outstanding authors for writing fictional novels to do with
military. His novels The Hunt for Red October and The Cardinal of The
Kremlin provide insights which will capture the imagination of many
readers. Using historical facts, references to real military hardware and
believable characters, Tom Clancy is able to develop believable plots.

Tom Clancy\'s insight into history allowed him to write a very
realistic and therefore believable plot. His use of historical events
which actually took place and were incorporated into his stories allowed
him to enhance motives for the fictional conflict. Many people who lost
trust and belief in the Communist system defected to the United States and
other countries. Through use of historical facts such as defection in The
Hunt for Red October (THRO), Clancy is able to advance his plot.
Defections for political reasons happened quite often during the Cold War.
There were many defections in history starting back in World War II when
famous people like Albert Einstein defected to the use because the Germans
discriminated again him being Jewish (pg. 124-5, Vol. 9 Funk & Wagnalls
Encyclopedia). The more recent occurance of defection to the US of a high
ranking deputy chief of staff del Pi¤o DĦaz happened in 1987 (pg. 24, "A
flight to freedom"). Ramius was the main character in the novel who
decided to defect. The character helps Clancy to develop reasons for which
such a high ranking commander would defect and later cause conflict to
occur between the U.S. and Soviet Union. The use of historical facts
common during the Cold War was defection which made Communism infamous and
Tom Clancy famous for the believable plot developed.

Similarly in TCTK Clancy also uses historical facts to enhance his
plot making it believable. Using a historical fact, Clancy shows how cruel
the Communist system is with no respect for the humans but only for
political power. The landing of a German teenager, Mathias Rust, inside
the Red Square and his prosecution is brilliantly used to illustrate the
KGB\'s way of thinking (pp. 226-7, TCTK). In June 1987 a German teenager
landed in the Red Square in Soviet Union. He somehow managed to bypass
sophisticated air defence systems and causing several bureaucrats to be
fired by the Soviet Politburo (p. 24, "Destination Red Square"). The
historical fact gave Tom Clancy the ground to make the Communist
bureaucrats\' characters more sensitive to treason for the fear of losing
their position and therefore their power. Tom Clancy exploits the fear of
the Communists to make them harder to infiltrate. The difficulty
infiltrating the Soviet government is precisely what the author wanted and
makes his plot more interesting by making it more complex.

The historical facts are not the only way in which believable plot is
introduced. The use of realistic characters allows the reader to believe
in whatever outcome realism will cause. In THRO the astonishment which
Ramius feels through his thoughts being revealed by the author are all
realistic. They sound like an average person\'s reactions to a situation.

"They know our name, Ramius was thinking, they know our name! How can
this be? They knew where to find us--exactly! How? What can the
Americans have? How long has the Los Angeles been trailing us?
Decide--you must decide!" (pg. 248, THRO)

Ramius wants to defect from Soviet Union and on one of his missions he
disobeys orders. Nobody knew about his decision, not even the Americans to
whom he wanted to defect. When Ramius received a message from one of the
American submarines and mentions his submarine\'s name, Red October, he was
astonished because Americans were not supposed to know about his wish to
defect. It is only believable that a person who would not be suspected to
know something would be surprised the way Ramius was. The circumstance
that makes the entire event more believable is that Ramius also questions
American intentions. He does not just decide right away that he will
follow their suggestions. It is only after a long consideration that
Ramius decided to follow American instructions. Ramius\' character is
developed in a way that through his conscious decisions Clancy is able to
show that Ramius is like a real person. Through the believable character
Clancy is also able to