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Ian Fleming and John le Carre’ were successful writers who lived during a period when the world was going through unrest and politically motivated wars. They both worked in the intelligence services in the United Kingdom and had great knowledge pertaining to intelligence services and methods. The experience, in addition to political unrest, inspired them to base their novels and short stories on real-time events. These were the events that were happening mostly during World War II and the Cold War, where several countries had invested in spies and secret agents. The themes of their novels portray how different countries were struggling to outdo others in terms of knowledge and political power and superiority.
Ian Fleming’s Novels
Ian Fleming worked within the forces, a fact that made him aware of the undertakings of the government and how he would later implement them in his works. Most of the works of Ian Fleming are based on political unrest and how various governments (more so the United Kingdom government) spied on others so as to obtain information on how to defeat them. In Casino Royale, for example, he wrote 2,000 words about his direct experiences as a startup for the novel. Fleming expressed his interest to write Casino Royale during the Second World War. He had plans to base it on a spy character. The spy characters create the plot for the novels in that it helps in relating the political aspect of reality with that of the play, which leads to the development of the next course of action after every discovery.
The inspiration that bore Casino Royale arises from several incidences that occurred to Fleming during his career in Admiralty within the Naval Intelligence Wing. Several spies from different regimes were evident as a result of Portugal’s neutral status in Estoril Casino. He also talks about political assassinations that were apparent during the period and mostly about the failed assassination of the German Vice-Chancellor, Franz von Papen, during the Hitler regime. Le Cheffre acts as a traitor-within from the political angle where he acts as an agent for both governments. The attempt creates more tension and accelerates the possibility of war eruption between support parties of each. He relates the real-event episode in Casino Royale by portraying a failed attempt to murder Bond while he is at Royale-Les-Eaux. The assassinations show how politics had taken toll in the era and the level of betrayal by other agents that led to the actions.
Fleming reveals the tension that existed between different nations, with the climax being the American-Russian tension that led to the Cold War. There was also little tension between the USA and UK, in which Fleming speaks little about in most of his works. The British power was slowly declining, and an insecure self-image was taking its course. The British had suffered a blow by the defection of MI5 special agents to the USSR forces and had disclosed the secrets of the Western allies to the Communists followed by defection of four MI6 agents. The betrayal and buy-out of the agents led to the increased tension and insecurity between the UK and US and intensified the political rivalry that existed between the two sides. Fleming portrays the union between the UK and US against the communists in his novel by revealing the relationship that existed between Bond and Leiter.
Fleming creates his characters from real-life events and people that he formerly interacted with while serving in the intelligence department. James Bond, for example, was a representative of all compound secret agents that he met during the world war. Bond’s superior in Casino Royale, M, derives from Fleming’s superior officer in the Naval Intelligence. Le Chiffre also derives the characteristics from an English magician, Crowley. Other characters in other books inherit characters, names, or both from people that Fleming knew. It implies that political characters inherit characteristics and names from people within the government or fellow workmates in the secret service.
John le Carre’
Novelist John le Carre’ is a renowned British author of espionage fiction. He worked for the secret and intelligence service before resigning to be an author. He has written more than 50 novels. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold was the third to become the best-seller novel internationally. The novel is one of his best known arts. The fiction novel deeply explored the rift in post-war Britain. He introduced a unique style of writing in the British history that was full of wisdom and insight. The style touched on the current events and his opinion in trying to question the government actions.
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The political background of John le Carre’ made his novels rich in true ideologies. He observed the happenings during the Second World War, seeing how nations were fighting for political power. He played an important role during and after the Cold War while he was in the intelligence service. The environment around the intelligence service made him learn a lot about politics. He worked as a political consul when he was transferred to Hamburg. In Hamburg, he made up his mind to write a detective story A Murder of Quality and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. He gained knowledge and experiences about politics that he clearly brings out using the characters in his novels. He was against some of the political powers being used by the governments to implement its duties. His political views and opinion are clearly brought out in the development of plots and characters in his novels. John le Carre’s spy novel tries to compare and contrast the moral certainty and physical action of the James Bond thriller directed and established by Fleming. He advocates for moral ambiguity rather than bad features of political functions during the Cold War. In his fiction novel, he emphasizes on the weakness of western democracy and the presence of the secret service. It has influenced people thinking about the role of politics being played by the secret service.
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