Red October Essay, Research Paper
Marko Ramius is the captain of the Russian super-submarine ‘Red October’. The Red October is a modified submarine of the
Typhoon-class and is nuclear powered. The ‘October’ can carry twenty-six nuclear missiles, enough firepower to blow up the city of Washington for about twenty times.
To test this very expensive submarine (billions of dollars!), the Russian navy has to find the ‘Red October’ in the Atlantic Ocean. Because the ‘Red October’ has a new propulsion-system that is very silent, it will be (almost) impossible to find the October by using sonar.
Marko Ramius is one of the best captains of Russia, but what the Russian government doesn’t know is that Ramius wants to take revenge on Russia, because his parents were killed by Russians. Ramius wants to desert to America.
The ‘Red October’ leaves the dock and is heading to the Atlantic Ocean. When the ‘October’ is on the sea, Ramius ordered to go on using the soundless propulsion.
The Russian government recieves a letter from Ramius, who wrote earlier that he is going to America. The KGB and the government order all Russian submarines to find the ‘Red October’ and destroy it.
Jack Ryan is a young, talented member of the CIA. He goes to James Greer, one of the staff chiefs, to show him photographs of the ‘Red October’. He got these pictures from America’s spy in Russia, called ‘the Cardinal’. On the pictures, which are made in a secret dock in the northern Russia, Jack can see four strange ‘doors’, two on the fore-part, two on the stern. Jack thinks that that is some strange propulsion-system.
On the sea, the American submarine ‘Dallas’ can hear a strange noise very weakly. After a few minutes of communication, the ‘Dallas’ has permission for following the strange sound.
Jack Ryan tells the president about the situation: the whole Russian navy is coming to the coast of America, maybe an attack. The president sends Ryan to the (plane)carrier ‘Kennedy’ to see the situation from ‘behind the scenes’. From that ship, a pilot brings Ryan to the English carrier ‘Invincible’.
On the ‘Red October’, the ship’s doctor studies the radiation-films of the crew and notices that the radiation in the ship is for too high. There must be a leak in the nuclear reactor. After a long search with different devices, nothing is found. After a second search in the nuclear chamber, a leak is found. A mechanic fixes the leak, but it’s clear that somebody sabotaged the engine.
In the White House, the president tells the Russian ambassador that America will help Russia to find the lost submarine. (Russia declared that the whole mission is based on a lost submarine they want to find). America is only helping to have an excuse for defending it’s coastline.
In the meantime, on the Atlantic Ocean, a Russian submarine called ‘Politovski’, has an accident with the nuclear reactor and sinks.
Above the ocean, American jetplanes (F-15 ‘Eagle’ and F-14 ‘Tomcat’) are patrolling the air. They meet two JAK’s (Russian jets) and one of the JAK’s shoots one of the Tomcats.
An old American submarine called ‘USS Ethan Allen’ is going to the Atlantic Ocean, her last trip.
On the ‘Dallas’, they hear that strange sound again, it’s the ‘Red October’. Then suddenly the ‘Red October’ turns a whole circle, a so called ‘crazy Iwan’. They do that to see (on the sonar) if somebody is following them. After the second ‘crazy Iwan’, the ‘October’ discovers the ‘Dallas’. The captain got orders from Washington to get into contact with the ‘October’. The captain sends a message to the ‘October’. The ‘October’ has to come with them to a location, 33N 75W.
On the trip to that location, the nuclear powersource of the ‘Red October’ fails, they go on with the diesel-engine. Ramius notices that they got away from the Americans.
Ryan goes with a volunteer to an American submarine ‘Pigeon’. The ‘Pigeon’ is only a few miles from the ‘October’, which isn’t moving because the diesel-engine failed too (sabotage). With a small submarine, the ‘Mystic’, Ryan and the volunteer are going to the ‘Red October’. Through different locks they get into the ‘Red October’. There they meet Marko Ramius and his crew. With the ‘Mystic’ they get the crew from the ‘October’, by 25 people at the time. Ramius, his officers, Jack Ryan and the volunteer are left in the ‘October’. Ramius says that he wants to live in America, his officers want that too.
To get the October to a more safe area, Ryan helps to navigate and steers the submarine to Ocracoke Inlet. In the meantime, the ‘USS Ethan Allen’ is blown up. They do that to let the Russians think that the ‘Red October’ is destroyed. The whole Russian navy returns to Russia. In the ‘Red October’ is a man left behind in the front of the ship, the cook. He is hired by the KGB to stop the ‘October’ in cases like desertion. He wants to blow up the ship. Ryan shoots him, Ramius got a bullet in his leg.
Not the whole Russian navy returned to Russia, one ‘Alfa’ submarine stopped and went back to the American coast. On the sonar they noticed that the ‘Red October’ wasn’t destroyed at all. The ‘Alfa’ shoots and hit the ‘Red October’ in the side. The ‘Red October’ is damaged, but is still able to float. The ‘Red October’ gives full throttle and rams the Russian ‘Alfa’. The ‘Alfa’ sinks immediately.
When the ‘October’ arrives, Ryan went home to celebrate Christmas, Ramius and his officers went to the CIA. The ‘Red October’ was brought to a dock for investigation. America has got world’s most powerful submarine now…
3) Beginning/end connection:
The ‘Red October’ leaves the Russian dock and is guided by a small boat. It is very cold, it’s december 3rd. ‘Zampolit’ Poetin (political officer) talks with captain Ramius about their mission: a practice, just to test the Red October. (Later in the story, Ramius kills Poetin because Poetin
doesn’t want to desert)
The ‘Red October’ arrives in Norfolk. On board are Ryan, Ramius, the officers and some crew-members from the ‘Dallas’. They steer the boat into a large dock, made for submarines of the Ohio-class. Jack Ryan has a short conversation with James Greer, and went home.
I don’t really see a link or connection between the very beginnig and the very end. The only possible link could be the fact that in the beginning the ‘Red October’ is leaving the Russian docks. At the end the ‘Red October’ arrives -damaged- in Norfolk in America.
‘Sorry for this uniform, but I am not a marine officer. It was an idea of the CIA, not mine.’ (page 92)
There are not much descriptions of persons, but I think that Jack Ryan is about twentyeight years old and has a normal figure. I like the figure Jack Ryan because he is friendly to everybody, in spite of his high function.
‘The man in front of him was quite small, but heavily built. He had three stripes on his shoulder, a lot of ribbons on his chest and a broad golden stripe on his sleeve. So this was Marko Ramius…’ (page 231)
I also like the figure Marko Ramius. Although he is very strict, he is friendly to (almost) everybody. When he talks to somebody he likes, he ends his sentence with the word ‘comrade’, even the person is an ordinary seaman.
5) The book makes me think, especially the part when Ramius meets the Americans. There has always been some kind of war between Russia and America. Who has the most advanced equipment? Who is the best? In the beginning, Russia had the ‘Red October’. At the end America has the ‘Red October’… This battle keeps going on and on.
6) The book has an open and closed end; the book has an open ending, because you don’t know what America is going to do with the ‘Red October’.
The book also has a closed ending, because the ‘Red October’ is in America. Captain Ramius’ plan worked.
I expected that the ‘Red October’ would reach America, because the American government wanted to have that submarine and Ramius wanted to live in America (and give the ‘October’ to America as a ‘present’).
7) The action is the most important part in ‘The hunt for the Red October’, it’s about a kind of war. Both Russia and America want to have the ‘Red October’. You can’t know what’s in a person’s mind because the story is written in the he-form.
Tom Clancy uses a ‘describing perspective’ (the writer ‘tells’ the story). The reason why he had chosen this perspective is
-in my opinion- because he mentioned a lot of technical
things. The writer doesn’t explain them. That makes the story more difficult to understand. I know some things about planes, the ‘Harrier’ as an example, is my favorite (jet)plane. For me it isn’t th?t difficult, but for somebody else, who doesn’t know much about ships and planes, it will be a lot more difficult. The usage of a lot of (person’s) names makes the story very complicated.
9) The complete book is written in chronological order. It’s like a diary; it starts december 3rd and ends december 20th of a year. I don’t know what year. There could be a (few) flashback(s) in the story; chapter three is about the youth of Marko Ramius.
10) I liked a scene in chapter seventeen (Sunday, December 19th). The three submarines (’Dallas’, ‘Pogy’ and ‘Red October’) are going to Norfolk, but they are discovered by a Russian ‘Alfa’ submarine. The result is a true battle between the American submarines, the ‘Red October’ and the Russian ‘Alfa’. I like this scene because it’s thrilling; it’s about the battle of life or death.
11) The theme of this book is war (they are shooting at eachother), treason (America used a spy ‘Cardinal’), the gap between two countries (Russia and America) and power (who will get the ‘Red October’?). I already read more books about these subjects. An example is ‘The Innocent’ by Ian McEwan.
12) Strong points:
* Tom Clancy can describe the suspense and the action very well.
* Tom Clancy has used too many names of people.
* Technical things are not explained.
13) The story happened on the Atlantic Ocean and the Northsea, but also in the Pentagon, the Kremlin and the White House (Oval Office).
14) The story happened in the winter of an unknown year from December 3rd to December 20th.
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