How do the characters in the novel contribute to the theme of the story?Thanks for the help

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kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you look in particular at the young man on Iceland and his actions, he is used to demonstrate the heroic characteristics of the every man sort of character.  He is just an air-force weenie but the Marines with him quickly learn to respect him, not just for his physical ability but for his quick decision making and the way that he decides that they have to take action before Vigdis is raped.

This kind of character is common in Clancy novels alongside the more crucial and heavily developed ones like Jack Ryan and others.  But particularly in Red Storm Rising, the short and rather formulaic character development serves to give readers traits and people to identify with while also displaying similarities between the actors on both sides of the war.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Other important characters and their contributions include the Russian General, who is given a very human face as he is just a soldier following orders like everyone else, including his enemies on the other side of the line.  One of the themes this supports is that soldiers are soldiers, war is war, no matter which flag you fight for.  The Russian General is likeable, as is the General on the American side.  Clancy develops the reader's respect for both of them as warriors and as people to reinforce this theme.

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