The realistic fiction novel “Fall of Giants” by Ken Follett is based around the early 1910’s discussing the economic struggles surrounding the Great War and the life of families of different class . This book is based around three major families that give a global view on the effects during the time frame. One of the families lives in the lower class, poor and barely making a living, called the Williams family Who had been at britain at the time and were a welsh family, the Fitzherbert family who owned the mines, where the Williams worked, and were on the high class, extra money, more power, and more political standing, who were known to plenty “powerful families and people they started dispising the williams family after the economy started to go south with the coal mine ,and Grigori and Lev Peshkov, two russian orphans, worked in locomotive factories,they hated Princess bea and were low class due to being Orphans.
In a historical standing The time frame carries to the early 1910’s and barely caries into World War 1 but shows the economic effects of the war along with hitler’s radical rebellion (when they talk about it is my favorite part in the book)a and mentions Ferdinand’s assassination.
Within this Novel it makes references towards many major catastrophes including the Great War, Hitler’s radical rebellion, and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand along with showing on Economic crashes and segregation of class. Most of the references made towards these events were made at receptions, balls, or parties.
During the gathering at the beginning of the book, The fitzenburg’s reception hosted by Edward, Most were talking about the current state of the country and how they sold off companies, laid off workers, or hired “scotts”, an illegal immigrant, to pay less for more labor. These “scotts” had no choice but to be either extorted into labor or to be deported and loose the life they had earned for their families. Maud Fitzenbelt was the one who primarily made the remarks about historical events, which leads to my favorite part of the book.
Maud was sitting in her rocking chair on the porch reading the paper and she sees an article about this german radical group revolting and how the leader was arrested and identified as Adolf Hitler. She calms down looks over to Edward and says “I’m glad that’s over with”. This scene shows great irony because after Adolf Hitler is released from prison he took power over germany and started conquering leading into the second Great War ,World War II. Maud also talks about a man being killed on the street with his wife and how its all Because of the man who was kill turned out to be the son of Karl Ludwig but that was making mention to the assassination of archduke Franz Ferdinand. Ferdinand Was an Ambassador of Serbia and was assassinated in Austria-Hungary by a group of Terroristic Anarchists called the Black Hand which began the Great War.
In the story there are two orphaned Russian children Grigori and Lev Peshkov whose parents were executed due to Princess bea’s say because their cattle grazed too close to their land. This indicates the little reason royals needed to execute minor inconveniences like cattle. The Russian brothers had a dream to go to america and escape this tyranny of the Princess who had caused their parents demise, but they did not have that option available to leave . this had built up resentment between the brothers and the princess.They went to the fitzenbelt party despite being lower class with no political power they had been invited by Edward Fitzenbelt. The party itself was a version of class segregation due to the fact it was only for “powerful people”(people who had Some kind or sort of Political power over others or born of a wealthy family.) These people were all sided with the Fitzenbelt family, like planned marriages or independant trade.
The families consisted of the wealthy american family whose son is a close relative to woodrow wilson, the current president of the United States during this time period, Princess Beatrice, The youngest of Queen Victoria, Maud Fitzenbelt, Edward’s sister and attracted Walter, And Walter Who wished to “attract mutual attraction” from Maud during this outing. These Powers were all Business owning, high profit, and nobles who have had a silver spoon in their mouth since the day they were born.Which is the bias shown throughout the scripture discussing how the poor doesn’t get what they are owed because no one is owed anything. This is an important theme helps guide the reader explaining how the mistreatment didn’t all vanquish but carried on throughout the years on monarchy. Within the novel The higher classes don’t misuse their power but merely opened up more jobs, factories, and helped construct homes to further industry in the area.
In Conclusion this Novel I personally recommend to people who like history or economic studies. Throughout this novel it has shown great historical events and how they affected the common people globally. Follett did an excellent job with the description throughout the plot ,and put in extraordinary effort into this trilogy. While reading the novel i had a sense like i was seeing the scenario play out before me. Follett had expertly introduced his theme in almost every part of this novel while following the story line, which had been followed through in a unique fashion. He has a type of writing where he jumps story lines until it reaches where the characters meet. (usually towards the end of the books) He got the most out of the story as he could surrounding the time frame, which he turned into a trilogy to describe the harsh conditions surrounding three of the most catastrophic topics in national history World War I, World War II, and The Cold War.