This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Grigory Pechorin: The Superfluous Man Essay

1012 words - 4 pages


Mikhail Lermontov's protagonist, Grigory Pechorin, belongs to that group of literary characters known individually as the 'superfluous man.'; Generally an intelligent, educated individual, the superfluous man would appear to be one who has been either unjustly treated or outcast by society in general. The superfluous man attempts to find a place for himself in the world, but perhaps due to the combination of his talents, upbringing, personality and intelligence, continually finds himself on the outs with his peers.
     If the above definition is accepted as valid, then Pechorin might appear to be the consummate superfluous man. From the outpouring of his tale of woe to Princess Mary, we may come to the conclusion that Pechorin has no concept of cause and effect, at least not as it applies to himself as the cause. Moreover, it becomes fairly apparent that he is of the belief that he is a victim of the world, which is more interesting, as one considers the culture of victimization that has become popular in recent years. Who has not heard the excuse, 'I did it because my (parents/state representative/dog) (harassed/bit/abused) me when I was a child.'; In my opinion, the growing interest in pop psychology and the related fields of social psychology and child psychology have greatly contributed to the decay of moral rectitude and the concept of taking responsibility for one's own actions.
     The translator attributes Pechorin's capriciousness to the lack of employment for his gifts. I do not agree with that assessment, as it has been my experience that only those who have made up their minds to lack direction will be unable to find an activity that occupies their mind and appeals to them. One possible pursuit would be some form of art. Skill matters little, if the activity is pleasing. Cultural appreciation, gastronomical excess, or sexual exercise would all be suitable endeavors. We see that Pechorin certainly takes pleasure in the company of women, though in his own words, 'I must confess I don't really like strong-willed women,'; (111), the female sex does not hold an unbounded appeal for him. But his relationship with Vera, and his reaction to Maxim Maximych's inquiry about Bela clearly show that he is capable of feeling some emotion for others, although he refuses to expressing it. This is entirely Pechorin's own shortcoming, for if he were willing to conduct a fairly rigorous self-analysis, balancing himself against general social behaviors and mores, he could work to make those changes within his character that would allow him to relate with others. It would not even require major personality shifts, but rather a loosing of certain inhibitions, along with a different application of self-monitoring.
     Pechorin claims that he does not enjoy bringing misery to others, and that when he does, he feels just as miserable. I do not hold the belief that a person is...

Find Another Essay On Grigory Pechorin: The Superfluous Man

The comparison between "The House of Spirits" by Isabel Allende and "The Hero of our Time" by Mikhail Lermontov

1226 words - 5 pages Esteban Trueba, from "The House of the Spirits" by Isabel Allende, and Pechorin, from "A Hero of Our Time" by Mikhail Lermontov, both appear to be Byronic Heroes in each novel. However, Esteban is found not to be the Byronic Hero when closely examined. Pechorin is what he first appears to be. He has a demonic nature, possesses dark qualities, and is destructive of others throughout the entire novel. While Esteban appears to also have these dark

Parts of the Whole: Women in Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time as Missing Pieces of Pechorin

2017 words - 8 pages Parts of the WholeWomen in A Hero of our Time as Missing Pieces of PechorinLermontov's Pechorin is the prototypical modern anti-hero. He is the "hero of destruction," wreaking havoc in his path. A relationship with Pechorin is akin to a death sentence. He brings women nothing but pain and loss. He is almost obsessive in his conquests of women. Women fascinate him; he is repulsed, feels superior to them, and yet he feels that he must dominate

Search

561 words - 2 pages ). Grigory had been against war, but was recognized for his drunkeness (Radzinsky 271). Before Rasputin got his job with the Russian family, he lived off donations from peasants because of his claim of being a "self- proclaimed holy man" (Rasputin)."[Grigory] underwent a religious conversion at 18, where he was introduced to the Khlysty sect" (Rasputin). Rasputin's ideas were heretical from the chruch's viewpoint, however he was charged with using

The Russian Horse: Vitality, Personality, and Politics

1446 words - 6 pages resurfaces, he is seen at the fort which houses Maksim Maksimych, Pechorin, and Bella. He tries to steal Bella while Pechorin and Maksim Maksimych are out hunting, but when they come back, they realize she is gone when they hear a scream. Pechorin and Maksim Maksimych pursue. They find that, in the chase, they are gaining on Kasbich. He has a different horse, and thus cannot keep up his youthful speed. When they catch up to him, Kasbich stabs

Rasputin's influence on the Romanov's

1378 words - 6 pages Insert Introduction Paragraph Here!! Rasputin’s Religious Journey Grigory Rasputin was born into a Russian Orthodox family and grew up in a mainly Russian Orthodox town named Pokrovskoye, Siberia. In the late 1890’s Rasputin went on a religious journey to the Verkhoturye Monastery in Siberia. At Verkhoturye Monastery, Rasputin was introduced to a fellow Russian monk who greatly influenced Rasputin’s ways and convinced Rasputin to stop

Discusses the Reliability of Specific Narrators

2467 words - 10 pages narrators. As it would seem that the intent of the book is to portray a picture of a man and not the history of him Lermontov gradually introduces the reader to the many sides of Pechorin's character. The reader first gets the view of a former comrade, which is compassionate, and then the more objective view of the travelling officer's observations of Pechorin. It is important that the author at no point uses an omniscient narrator. In `Bela' and

A Modern Casting of The Bear, A Joke in One Act

1017 words - 4 pages Anton Chekhov was a Russian playwright who lived in the late 1800s. He wrote a comedy entitled The Bear, A Joke in One Act. This drama is about a man and woman who initially despise each other, but fall in love late in the play. Mrs. Popov is a widow who is unrealistically grieving over the loss of her husband. The leading male character in the play is Grigory Stepanovich Smirnov, a quick-tempered man who is looking to collect money that Mrs

Grigory Rasputin: The Straw that Broke the Camel's Back

2009 words - 8 pages God, Grigory from the Tobolsk Guberniya"' (Salisbury, 1977, p176). Little would he know, that the influence Rasputin would come to gain over him, would prove to undermine the monarchy's foundations so much, as to aid in it's collapse.Rasputin was a Siberian peasant and self-proclaimed holy man (Lieven, 2005), who somehow managed to alleviate Tsarevitch Alexei's symptoms, and successfully prevent him from haemorrhaging. The doctors had been

Boris Godunov

1820 words - 7 pages some seduction Marina and Grigory swear themselves to each other. Later in the opera Boris protects a homeless man from a group of children and then asks the man to pray for him. The man says he cannot pray for a murderer. Boris begins to fear that his time of power is coming to an end and he names his son as heir, and says goodbye to him. Boris starts to die a very dramatic death, and with his last breath asks god to forgive him. Grigory, with

Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov

1760 words - 7 pages poverty, and homelessness, the townspeople regarded her with sympathy and compassion. Fyodor, on the other hand, treated Lizaveta as an insubordinate who was undeserving of even an ounce of respect. He and his friends mock her. He, then, rapes her. And, as if these actions are not cruel and offensive enough, he vehemently denies any of it happening. Later, when Lizaveta gives birth to Fyodor's illegitimate son, it is Grigory and Marfa who take

Rasputin

822 words - 3 pages RasputinThe way a person lives his life and his religious beliefs can greatly affect history and the well being of a nation. A life of stealing and lying can kill you and destroy a nation, while leading a Godly life will keep you and everyone around you protected. Rasputin, in both his distorted religious beliefs and lifestyle, not only got himself killed, but changed the history of Russia and the world forever.Rasputin was born Grigory

Similar Essays

The Literary Trope Of A Superfluous Man In Russian Literature And Culture

1043 words - 5 pages Russian literature was very much influenced by the literary trope known as the superfluous man. This trope was ideal for writers to describe the shortcomings of Russian high-class society. There has been a witnessed general consistency when dealing with the superfluous man such as the exhibition of cynicism and existential angst, while indulging in vices such as affairs, gambling and duelling. These individuals are typically from noble birth

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

1231 words - 5 pages 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 charisma; however Russian Society, of his generation, offers no opportunity for him to put his idealism into practice. Pechorin laments this fact, stating, “I was ready to love the whole world, but no

The Role Of Female Characters In Lermontov's Hero Of Our Time

1057 words - 4 pages The novel "Hero of Our Time", written by M. Lermontov in 1839-1840, is the first realistic prosaic psychological and philosophical work in the Russian literature. The novel was written after the crushing defeat of December uprising. In his novel, Lermontov was drawing the portrait of a man of that epoch, i.e., the hero of his time, whose character was build on the defects of entire generation in which author lived. Female characters created

The Role Of Female Characters In Lermontov's Hero Of Our Time

1267 words - 5 pages sections in this Literature Study Guide are owned and copyrighted by BookRags, Inc.ContentsThe Role of Female Characters in Lermontov's Hero of Our TimeThe novel "Hero of Our Time", written by M. Lermontov in 1839-1840, is the first realistic prosaic psychological and philosophical work in the Russian literature. The novel was written after the crushing defeat of December uprising. In his novel, Lermontov was drawing the portrait of a man of that