Kingdom of Shadows by Alan Furst can be perceived as a tale of decadence, rather than a tale of revival. Kingdom of Shadows is a tale of decadence because there is moral and cultural decline in society as a consequence of World War II. The corruption of Europe under Hitler 's power is exhibited throughout the novel and also shows through Nicholas Moraths’ treacherous encounters.
Nicholas Morath was a Hungarian veteran who believed that his youth was taken away by the conflict in Europe. His experiences as a cavalry officer affected his behaviors in the novel, such as his loyalty to family. Morath was given assignments by his Uncle Janos Polanyi, who is a diplomat at the Hungarian legislation. Morath believed that men like himself were not acting on preventing WWII, and he wanted to prevent Hitler from taking over Hungary. Moraths’ motivation to complete his missions depended on the fate of Hungary if Hitler 's dominance was not terminated.
The upheaval in Europe as a result of World War II portrays Kingdom of Shadows as an account of destruction and violence. The novel described the events that took place when Hitler was in authority such as the Jewish communities of Austria being destroyed in a day (Furst, 13). The disarray in Europe continues when Austria ceased to exist because the Nazis took over (Furst, 19). In 1938, the effects on the citizens in Europe were negative especially from the chaos that Hitler and Stalin brought.
Many lives were taken away as a result of World War II, and Jews experienced the unfortunate consequences of Hitler 's power. For example, the corruption of society from Hitler 's dictatorship hindered Europe. The corruption in society is shown with immoral behavior such as the killi...
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... happened if Hitler was not stopped. Germany would bomb the cities with Hitler in power. Another result that was discussed about the war is that central Europe would have starved (86-87).
The disorder in Europe affected Nicholas Morath on his missions for his uncle, Janos Polanyi. Morath’s experience with the war may have even resulted in emotional detachment, which affected his actions, interactions, and behaviors. Morthas willingness to embark on dangerous missions shows loyalty to his uncle because he puts himself in threatening situations. Mortah may have completed the missions out of loyalty to his blood relative, or his obedience as a result of serving in the military. Morath’s experiences in the war may have motivated him to attempt to stop Hitler. This tale of decadence emphasizes the destruction, bloodshed, and death taking place as a result of World War II.
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