Cyclops Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 50 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Cyclops.
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Evil Is a Matter of Degree

Fidel Castro has long been considered the evil dictator of Cuba, and that nothing could be worse than him. Russia, wishing to use Castro's regime as a cover for their own nefarious plot to seek world dominance, is actually far worse than Castro. In the story, Castro is seen as a benevolent dictator, who does seem to care about his people. The Russians, instead, use Castro's people as a cover, and have no compunction about blowing up the harbor, killing thousands of people to falsely lay blame elsewhere.

When the Soviets realize that there are men on the moon, they immediately know that only the Americans can have accomplished this feat. Instead of contacting the U.S. President, and opening dialogue and negotiations, the Russians decide that they will send up a lunar lander, and change out the scientists for soldiers so that they can take over the moon colony. They now understand why their previous lunar probes have failed. They consider the Americans to be evil for shooting down their probes. The Americans, however, were unaware that the probes were manned, and so when the lunar colonists shot them down they knew they were damaging valuable Soviet property, they never realized that they were killing people. The Soviets, on the other hand, have no compunction about sending up an armed military invasion to take over the moon colony.

Patriots Come in Many Guises

The Inner Core are seen throughout part of the book as an enemy. Their initial approach to the President is one of threats because they finally need something from the President. Their intention, however, is to keep their magnificent triumph secret enough so that their lunar colonists and all their research data and samples can come home to earth safely. They made mistakes. Their decisions to fake deaths, establish an Inner Core that has such secrecy that no undercover agency in the U.S. knows about them, to put men in high positions in NASA, the Pentagon, and in the White House in order to maintain their secrecy are all choices that can be construed as possibly evil. However, their intentions were never evil. Even when they downed the Soviet lunar probes, they were still striving to maintain secrecy. They did not know that the probes were manned, so they were shocked to realized they are responsible for the deaths of nine men. Despite all this, the men are patriots.

Jessie LeBaron and her husband are both patriots. Raymond LeBaron is one of the Inner Core. How he manages to reach the social and financial position to be of value to the Inner Core can be construed as nefarious. He murders a man in order to have the man's wife. He is not married to Jessie, but pretends to be. He steals the La Dorada and uses the huge ruby to start his financial empire. Yet, he still believes in the Jersey Colony and keeps the secret. Jessie is even more of a patriot for her role in becoming an envoy between the U.S. and Cuba. She lies to NUMA. She is a snob and rude, but deep down, the woman is strong, courageous, determined, and ultimately an American patriot, for she did not stop when she could have. She endured horrible torture and cruelty at the hands of the Soviets, and yet she did not yield. Instead, she forces Pitt to join her in Cuba to put an end to the Rum and Cola Operation by informing Castro of the assassination plot and the fact that the U.S. President is open to peace treaty negotiations.

The hero of the book can be seen as the most evident patriot of all. Dirk Pitt is willing to do anything for his country. While he does not have the highest regard for men or women because of their social, political, or military standing, he does know the difference between right and wrong. He knows that the military and intelligence agencies have their hoops. He also knows that he is not constrained by the same ropes. When Brogan is skeptical about the events on Cayo Santa Maria, Pitt has no compunction about leaving the debriefing and notifying the press. He believes the public has a right to know that there is a dangerous Soviet Military installation just off the coast of Florida. Dirk Pitt is a true patriot.

Sometimes the End Does Justify the Means

Rules are made for reasons, but there are sometimes good justifications for breaking rules. The effort required to establish a colony on the moon is tremendous, and had the Inner Core gone through traditional channels, it is highly likely that Jersey Colony would never have been achieved. Instead, it would have remained a dream. Unfortunately, the lunar colonists killed nine Soviet Cosmonauts by shooting down their lunar probes, attempting to keep Jersey Colony a secret from the Russians. The Americans had previously given the Soviets Space-age secrets, but the Russians still play for keeps and have no wish to share any of their information. From the point of view of Cyclops, Clive Cussler shows the Russians to be unbending, unyielding, and impossible to negotiate with. Because of this, the Inner Core chose to keep Jersey Colony a secret, even from the U.S. government. Because they did this, Jersey Colony is truly a success, and a triumph for the U.S. A good case where the end justifies the means.

Jessie LeBaron had reasons for her silence. The Rum and Cola Operation threatened negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba. Fidel Castro had made a tentative approach to the United States to establish a peace treaty. Because Cuba has a strong Soviet presence, Castro had to use subterfuge in order to get his message to the U.S. In return, the U.S. had to do the same thing, by sending an envoy, Jessie LeBaron, to Cuba in the Prosperteer. Castro was unaware of the purpose of the blimp, and only realized later that it likely contained the individual who was bringing his message to him. Jessie knew just how vital it was that she reach Fidel, but that it absolutely must be kept a secret from the Soviets. Landing on Cayo Santa Maria must have been a horrible surprise for her, for she knows that the Soviets will be very suspicious of her landing on the very same island where her husband is being held captive. Jessie keeps her secret even from Pitt and the rest of the NUMA team that she used to get her to Cuba. At first it seems to be a horrible withholding of information, because Pitt, Giordino, and Gunn suffer horribly on the island, but when viewed overall, the fate of the entire western hemisphere might possibly be in her hands, one can easily see why she kept her counsel. In this case, her ends did justify the means.

This section contains 1,160 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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