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The novel Absolute Friends by the renowned spy novelist John Le Carre's is described by Mel in an interview with the New York time in January seven 2004 as a book that narrating about characters who are expressing their individuality under huge burdens of history, people who are often fighting with inherited burdens while living out chances they encounter in their daily lives. He argues that in the novel Absolute friends the two lifelong friends Mundy and Sasha live a life of constant struggle to try to achieve the common want of humans beings i.e. taking ones destiny into own hands instead of letting one's origin to be a determiner of their destiny.
Mel argues that each individual tries as much as possible to breakaway from the inherited burdens of parentage, backgrounds of origin as well as from the sullied cultural values. Therefore this paper will concentrate on this argument basing evidence that are derived from the novel Absolute friends with special consideration being paid to the effect s that family background ,origin as well as culture affects the lives of the two absolute friends that the author narrates about. Specifically the focus is on the influence that their fathers and their inherited past burdens had on the entire lives of Mundy and Sasha the novel absolute friends.
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The novel absolute friends narrate a story of two men Ted Mundy and Sasha. Ted Mundy is Pakistani born Briton who was happy in the new state of Pakistan which had an ideal climate, played cricket and even had a female admirer but his fathers was cashiered and were prompted to return to the grey and cold Britain characterized by food rationing and racial discrimination. He then proficiently learns German language and joins the student protests group in 1960's of West Berlin where he meets with Sasha the son of Lutheran pastor and a West German student anarchist whom they both became idealistic men during the revolution of 1960's. That became an onset of life long friendship that would be very complicated and would also be tested to the limits. The two fiends then became engaged through out their university times, marriage life, children, divorces, affair, financial worries and any other simple things that life offers to them.
During the protest Mundy is brutally by the police and ejected from West Germany where he tries other careers like the English prep teacher, newspaper reporter, radio interviewer and novelist all in which he fails terribly but finally gets an opportunity to join the British council. On the other hand Sasha defects to East Germany and becomes a notorious Stasis secret police member. On Mundy's visit to East Germany they reunite with Sasha who as been totally disillusioned with the communist bloc who manages to enlists Mundy as a double agent. Consequently Sasha accesses state secrets which Mundy helps to smuggle to East Germany and deliver to MI6 a British secret service.
Their actions resulted to collapse of the GDR and the consequent destruction of the Berlin wall. Later in life the two friends conspired in grandiose schemes that were intended to combating industrial revolution and American military making them become pawns of similar group they initially defected. Their decisions led to their ultimate deaths which were portrayed by Britain as terrorist acts with their connections with the Algaeda. The espionage was supposedly intended to garner support of the America in name of fighting terror but the truth of the cause of their deaths never saw the light of the day as published material intending to unravel he truth were discredited by the British government.
While still living in Pakistan as a kid Mundy never knew the whereabouts of his mother as he was living with an alcoholic father who refused to explain to him about her. This made him to become unhappy and was forced to believe that his mother died while giving birth to him and such belief made him feel guilty often consequently making him become very eager in learning more about a character that he idealizes. Mundy's continued search for answers introduced him to habits of spying while still in his childhood for instance upon his fathers death he was able to find out crucial details on his topic as well as other events that depicted the person who his father really was. Therefore it's evident that Mundy becoming an agent and getting involved in spying career can be traced back to the influence that his father had on him during his child hood. In another point of view when Mundy tries various careers n vain it can be used to imply that he was trying to break loose from his parental influence of being spy in nature and more so trying to be somebody different from the military nature type of life that his father lived.
After Mundy reunites with Sasha in East Germany he is introduced to intelligence career which he willingly accepts implying that his father must have instilled in him the habit of trying to learn more of anything and anybody and this seemed like part of his destiny which he had tried to escape earlier in vain. Another influence that his father had on him is that Mundy cautiously searched for characters he idealized and considering that his entire life he never knew about his mother and his father never cared to explain to him, Mundy chooses to break away from such unhappy past when he portrays good natured feelings towards the Turkish street prostitute named Zara and her son Mustafa. Mundy contravenes the kind of live he lived and accepted Zara the way she was and even helped her out ending up establishing a family with them. It is very contrary to what one can expect especially considering that he never had a complete family in his entire life.
It can therefore be argued it's from the influence that Mundy's dad had on him that he chose to lead a life of contrary as he tries to live by the character he idealizes of regarding family values which his father never gave him. Also by establishing a family he is able to break away from his family background values hence taking his destiny into his own hands rather than letting his origin and family background determine who he is and he becomes in life (Le Carr‚, 275).
When we look at the life of mundy we find somebody who is lost and is ready to delay with anything and everything that life throws at any chance. Hs father never gave him a sense direction of life and that made him to search for himself. This father influence is evident when Mundy associated himself with what he encounters for instance joining anarchism through his girlfriend Ilse; move on to communism and later to socialism. From this Mundy is seen as a person who becomes influence by people he comes in contact and befriends with in the quest of finding his destiny.
This quest is also illustrated when his girl friend Ilse refuses to marrying him prompting him to leave oxford to go ad continue his studies sin Berlin where he reunites with Sasha who then determines most of his future developments making him obtain an almost stable and purposeful life. When he tries to live Berlin involving braking off from fiends he again loses direction in his life making him to be wiling to helping anyone who crosses his path and help them fight for their cause in life. Him befriending and developing a family with Zara a prostitute who had more problems in life than him triggers him to pursue his idealized character of setting things on cause for her. This shows that Mundy is somebody who is in continued struggle to fight for some cause and purpose in his life.
On the other consideration this consistent habit of Mundy trying to make things right in his life can be attributed to bad parentage he received from his father. He was never given the best parenting like being told the truth and as well as having a mother figure and such childhood influence of his father made him to idealize the character of helping out anybody whenever he is in position to which is actually opposite of what his father and childhood background gave him.
When we look at Sasha the absolute friend of Mundy we find that he escaped from East Germany nurturing a burning hatred for his father a pastor whom he believes may have had Nazis ties. Sasha has grown hating the hypocrisy that he sees and experiences around him and deep inside forces him nurse a deeper desire and strong believe that he is capable of changing the world. Such hatred and boiling desire to change things becomes a pushing element that makes him trust no one and to get inclined towards chaotic acts. At this point it can therefore be argued that his father greatly influenced the character and life of Sasha as he made him join student protesting and plunged whole of his life into trying to solve the problems around him with the intend of changing the world (Le Carr‚, 235).
Sasha is a person who is pushed by his polemist and political rebellious ideas and ideals towards achieving a goal in life. He is determine to change things and this can be viewed as ways in which he tries to breakaways from his past which was full of mistrust and hypocrisy especially shown to him by his father as well as the society he was growing in. The deep ideals that Sasha holds stir Mundy's personal and political desire to achieving a purpose that is larger than him.
Therefore the fact that the outsider comrades brought in family backgrounds characterized with mistrust and secrets from their father figures coupled with purpose in their lives influences them to trust each other only and hence their tendencies to develop a total commitment to each other and their causes in life. Such commitment can only be attributed to the effects and influences that flawed parenting given to them by their father had on them fostering them to becoming absolute friends who are willing to escape from their burdens of past including mistrust and limited commitment from family and society. Such factors influenced their fight and struggle for a common cause of changing the world till their ultimate deaths (Le Carr‚, 115).
In conclusion it's clear that the absolute friends were guided in their lives and greatly influenced by burdens they inherited from their past lives and such experiences made them to express what they stand for in many ways including engaging in protests, becoming double agents, taking life encounters as they present themselves. It's therefore evident the novel clearly illustrates that the two main characters Mundy and Sasha lived all their lives in constant struggle to achieve the common human cause of taking their destinies into their own hands despite being forced to struggle very hard to try and break away from their pasts burdens which they mostly inherited from their past life and parentage.