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An Exploration Of Lermontov's Concept Of Fate In A Hero Of Our Time

1231 words - 5 pages

It is the human condition to question the nature of our existence: philosophers, musicians, artists, and writers have all sought to address these issues. However, sometimes the patterns and events of our lives do not reveal their meaning to us, they are imperceptible us and appear as fate. In Lermontov’s classic novel, though some would argue it does not fit the definition of a novel, A Hero of Our Time, the author discusses the concept of fate from the perspective of the protagonist, Pechorin. The quintessential Byronic Hero and superfluous man, Pechorin, is a self-questioning, obsessive, narcissist, and exists between idealism and cynicism. He possesses talent, ambition, intelligence and ...view middle of the document...

Pechorin is brutally honest with himself and reflects on his life comparing himself to a sailor who needs the excitement of challenge every day. Nevertheless, he could never condemn himself to a life of tranquility and that all of his actions were to keep him on the adventurous path, laying the ruin to others to pleasure himself. The author dramatizes Pechorin as a person who loves the excitement from the challenge; however, he gets bored once the challenge is no long interesting to him. The author’s philosophy of fate is revealed in the novel through his depiction of Pechorin’s character traits, which are also those of Lermotov’s own generation, as plaguing Russian Society. Plenty of people in high society who feel unfulfilled, and uninspired by their lives; therefore, they project their misery and ennui onto others. Additionally, due to the nature of their generation, it forms their concept of fate. In Taman, Pechorin is an ambitious man who has the spirit of adventure; however, there is also the point where he turns into a listless person. He projects misery onto fate and blames it after a woman tries to kill him, he says, “Why did fate toss me into peaceful midst of these honest smugglers?” He doesn’t know what the purpose of life is and feels powerless. A concept of fate is also illustrated by the author through Pechorin’s characteristics, which are revealed in Pechorin’s relationships with the women in his life.
In the second last chapter, Princess Mary, author develops Pechorin’s cynical, and obsessive characteristics and protagonist’s view toward marriage which these characteristic only brings pain to the women. Additionally, in Princess Mary, which points out the fatalism that is filtered through the actions of the story, author reveals his concept of fate by the way that Pechorin reconciles his relationship with Mary and Vera. Pechorin provides an insight into his character and his fatalism while he illustrates his disgust for marriage, he stated, “When I was a child I remember that an old woman told my mother my future, and she said I should meet my death at the hands of an angry woman. This is made a deep impression on me at the time, and there was born in me later an insuperable aversion from marriage. Something tells me that the prophecy will come true, but at least I can make every effort to postpone the event as long as possible.” Pechorin’s character in believing the superstitious prediction made by an old woman leads him to believe his prediction will eventually come true. The quote reveals his character...

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