Compare and Contrast.
The Just Assassins is a play that was published, as a book in the year 1949.Its writer was a French philosopher called Albert Camus. The only revolutions that were present during this period were between Russia and the French republic. The book is based on a true story of a group of Russians, who were Socialist-Revolutionaries that assassinated the Grand Duke Romanov in 1905. A bomb was to be used for the Duke’s assassination where it was planned to be thrown at his carriage. Everything was to take place as planned but when the hit man noticed the Duke was accompanied by his family, he aborted the plan. In the view of the assassin, it was not in order for him to eliminate the existence of the Duke’s family because only Romanov was the obstacle to their process of revolutionizing Russia. It was not ethical for the innocent children to loose their lives over a wrangle they did not even know existed.
In the book The Secret Agent, the professor who is a learned individual should have been against the act of assassination. In his urge of detonating the bomb that he has attached to his body and having its detonator on his palm clearly indicates that his motives were serous. Destroying what the public mainly believed in was found in it self a final cause that totally absorbed him from the act of revolving to destruction and became an agent of his ambitions. On the other hand, Stepan had a sense of remorse within him because he could allow another individual to initiate the first attacks. Not that he was a coward but he was regarded as the secondary right hand man who made sure that all the destructions tabled up were well executed. Not with standing this, Stepan had already served a prison sentence that made him not to fear the authorities while the professor had no insight of how what really life in prison entailed.
Both Stepan and the professor attributed to the setting of an established social order that was crushed effectively by a form of collective or individual violence that was straight to the point. Also, both characters were moral assassination agents that had the physical outlook of their targets and had it present in their minds that, it was designed of them to be anarchists. The professor at all times regarded himself as a ruthless agent in his agency since he was preoccupied with the thought of gaining power that was not dispensable to him. He gained a trait of bitterness since his appetite of power was not given to him on a silver platter. This led to him always having the weapon of destruction attached on his body. On the other hand Stepan also had an appetite to power but he always quenched it by making sure that not even a slight mistake would make him retaliate from his initial plans. He never got to attach the bomb to himself but always placed it afar as he valued his life though he perceived it to have no meaning.
Stepan was very bitter with the authorities as a result of his loss of freedom in the prison cells that encouraged him to oppose the authorities’ actions. He quotes that, ”Freedom is a person while every man on earth is enslaved.” (Camus,1952)verifying this statement, it always requires the effort of individuals to protect the rights and freedom of their citizens and failure to this, ruthless strategies and actions normally follow, causing the innocent to suffer. This is when man cannot entangle himself from the thought of always being more powerful than his opponents. On the other hand the professor was not ready to give up the members of his group since they were allied to each other though most of the time the professor was a loner. This made him to be highly suspected by the authorities as a master mine to all the events that followed the bombings of the Greenwich.
“Nothing resembles a charnel house more than another charnel house and a tortured body does not show whether the torture was ‘socialist’ or ‘capitalist’” (Camus, 1952). Regarding this quote, it was not the concern of Stepan and his group to have a designated place to perform their acts of violence because in the end what was to be achieved would have already taken place. When a target was set for execution, it really did not matter whether it belonged to the socialist or capitalist side because they were to be humiliated. Therefore, the act of torture was not institutionalized in the Soviet Union but was majorly capitalized on by the Russians. As a result, this was viewed to be more of an authoritarian leadership. It was a natural product of the camps that acted as integral sections for maintaining the states authority. In addition, Stepan had no room for sophisticated rationalization of not executing targets that were assigned to him. It led to the view that a committed offense should well be accounted for and denounced (Camus, 1952).
The Secret Agent is a book that has been regarded as a simple tale written by Joseph Conrad and was published in 1907.This story mainly deals with the life of Mr.Velroc, who is a spy. He works for a central European government with a mission of infiltrating the anarchists that are exiled in London. He is then to report to his employers when the anarchists are likely to mount an attack against the European government. The professor in the book is his ally as they are both terrorists and anarchists. Initially, anarchists were to blow up the Royal Observatory at Greenwich that took place as planned. We are introduced to the professor who cannot leave behind his glass vial of explosives. These items are strategically placed on his breast pocket and a detonator is held in his palm (Conrad, 1996).
The professors’ attitude towards violence and revolution is subjective in that he is ready at any given time to execute his plans. “Pull yourselves together. Remorse is for the weak and weakness is the source of evil on this Earth. There is a time coming-and it’s gonna be sooner than later-when this will be understood by governments and individuals: that there can be no progress and no solutions until you make a rational decision to exterminate the weak” (Conrad, 1996). According to the quote that was made by the professor, there is usually no backing out when a plan has been laid out for mass destruction. Not withstanding the consequence that even the initiators can perish, a weak individual was never invited to be a team player. Having weakness as a virtue was viewed the other way round, as it became a vice. This is because it was very easy for a weak anarchist to subdue himself to the authorities whenever they were asked to surrender (Conrad, 1996). The professor had no such quality. He would only become rational when the enemy surrendered and gave in to their demands and regarded to have surrendered not only their artilleries but also their powers.
“I myself have no future. But I am a force” (Conrad, 1996). Knowing very well that he had already been recognized by the government, the police force was forced to put him under surveillance. This did not make the professor to retaliate because at the back of his mind, he knew that he was not to be caught from the view that he was not a suicide bomber. He was always interested in political revolutions and liked to play the part of scheming. There is the quality of insecurity that can be picked out in the professor’s character. Being the explosive expert, he does not allow even his team members to get access to the bomb that is attached on his body. He could not even issue out the coordinates that can be used to disable the bomb in case any problem arose. This virtually makes him similar to Stepan in that, both have been through a lot that the current happenings do not really affect their existence (Conrad, 1996).
Therefore, both books are similar in that, they deal with acts of mass destruction that includes extinguishing government powers and its authority to satisfy the characters selfish motives and interest. The artillery that have been used in both texts are bombs that are composed of components that have been assembled by the anarchists themselves. Only those who had courage in both teams were allowed to carry out the executions, since they had little or no compassion within their traits. According to books, The Just Assassins and The Secret Agent, the attitude and views towards violence and revolution has been portrayed to be a desperate act in search of political freedom that has inevitably destroyed man and his society. The dramatic scenes however, come from the tension of the unreasonable characters refusal to present their grievances in a civilized manner (Camus, 1952).
Camus, A. The Just Assassins.Burzet, RA: Galimard, 1952
Conrad, J. The Secret Agent: a simple tale. Boston, MA: Wordsworth Edition, 1993.