Corruption In Famous Last Word

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War is a horrific experience made worse by those who try to control it for their own advantage. In Famous Last Words, Timothy Findley creates a world of intrigue as he describes the tales of conspiracy and corruption for world domination. That made World War II far worse than it otherwise would have been. This is shown through the relationships of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and Benito Mussolini.
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor are prominent people in society, who want more power. The people in the Duke’s alliance invited Mr. Coty to join the alliance because, in the Duke’s words, "From time to time, Monsieur Coty and his friends are useful to us." (141) Although the Duke dislikes this man, he pretends to like him because he needs this man in order for his own selfish schemes to work. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor use their own alliance to gain leadership over the people in Europe, and truly believing they are the right leaders. The Duke says Europe needs, "…a new kind of leader--someone like a flag, whose very presence makes us rise. Not a Mussolini, of who we are afraid. Not a Hitler who drives us to our feet. But an emblem whose magnetism pulls us upward." (180) The Duke sees himself as being more powerful and influential, more of a leader, than either Hitler or Mussolini. He compares his potential leadership to that of a country’s flag- someone people will respect and admire. He truly believes he can be their new leader and puts himself on a pedestal. The Duke and Duchess posses many secrets. Findley explains how, "…an agent of Churchill’s [was]-- playing on David’s [Duke’s] drunkenness to discover how deep his treason ran." (198) The Duke has become very manipulative in his schemes and people want to know what he plans to do next. Thus, the Duke of Windsor was very manipulative and created an alliance where many secrets were kept and where the only benefit of the war and alliance was all his own.
Joachim von Ribbentrop is one of Hitler’s workers and whom Hitler has much trust in. He creates his own alliance to ensure that he will dominate the world. He does not care what he has to do to get things done his way. Von Ribbentrop explains the impor...

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...eir fascist Party, who’s name was derived from the groups of workers know as fasci--brought together under the hand of Mussolini to agitate for a change in social order." (159) Mussolini’s change of social order was to rule over several nations so he could be a powerful leader. He is willing to turn everything upside down. Mussolini is a heartless man or "god" who creates his own party so that he can rise to power.
Throughout this novel the characters get themselves caught in webs of betrayal and corruption so that, at the end of the war, they may prevail and gain total world domination. Through the experiences of the characters it is learned that nobody can get ahead without causing someone else’s downfalls. Most importantly, this novel illustrates the selfishness of individuals and shows how people are willing to do whatever they need to ensure that they are solely benefited. This is clearly shown in the novel. Although the Duke, von Ribbentrop and Mussolini employed different schemes and methods, they each tried to achieve the same thing: total world domination. As a result, many peoples’ lives were lost or changed forever.
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