I'll answer the second question first. I think they are the same. It's just that the cannon fodder is on a larger scale, and Samarin's attitude, of sacrificing others for his own ends, is symbolic of what happens in times of war.
Samarin, like Matula and Balashov had delusions of a paradise on earth in which the end justified the means. If Matula saw himself as a king, Balashov as a prophet, Samarin saw himself as a messiah.
d_b, I like that point. Very interesting.
On Pg. 257:
‘Wait,’ said Samarin, raising his hands a little. He didn’t gesture much. ‘Of course I was afraid of the Mohican. I did long to believe that we’d become too close for him to use me in that way, and the more close it seemed to me we were, the more terrifying my imagining the moment when he would turn on me. But out there on the river, when we ran and the whole of nature was trying to kill us with cold, and even before, in the camp, where he was protecting me and fattening me up, the comfort I drew from thinking of him as a father was greater than the horror I felt at the thought of him as my butcher. Don’t you think it would have been the same for Isaac? Abraham’s son?’ There was a new edge to Samarin’s voice, as if, now, he was trying to persuade her of something, although she couldn’t think what it might be. ’Isaac knew his father was going to kill him, yet he trusted him, and believed him, and loved him to the last.’
What do you think Samarin is really saying here?
It is hard to tell with him; he lies so much but I also think he uses the truth as a tool with equal facility. But strikes me about this passage is its possibility as a metaphor for Samarin's personality. He is talking about his alter ego here. It kind of reminds me of Secret Window, where Shooter tells Mort he does the things for him that Mort himself can't face doing. I read a comment in a review where the reviewer stated that the characters only partially inhabit their identities. That is true for Samarin. In order to cope with what he does, he has created an alternative identity and he projects his crimes onto him. He knows this of course - he isn't like Mort. He has found the Mohican a useful support and has been willing to sacrifice part of himself to achieve his ends. But perhaps too much of him is being eaten up by the Mohican.
I don't suppose that is really what he thinks he is telling Anna. But deep down, I think it is true nonetheless. And why he is able to connect with the victim's perspective.
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."