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This Is A Term Paper For Western World Lit Ii (The Tragedy Of Greed) Complete With Work Cited Page

1190 words - 5 pages

In the 1820's, a great literary author was emerging in Russia. Alexander Sengeevich Pushkin, with his varied style of writing, soon became a leader in Russian literature. "His completed masterpieces rank among the best not only in Russian but in world literature of the nineteenth century" (Debreczeny, Paul). In the years he was developing as an author, the art of prose writing had no great accomplishments. With new writers, trends, and the growth of readership in the 1820's and 1830's, the style of writing grew more popular (Debreczeny, Pual). Puskins did not limit himself to writing only poetry or nonfiction works and turned out to be a successful prose writer. In his work, The Queen of Spades, we are introduced to a dark and twisted tale of greed, money, and power.In this story, we are introduced to three main characters. The first character, Hermann begins as a young honorable man, not a gambler like his peers, but an engineer. The second character, Lisaveta Evanovna is portrayed as a young woman, faithful and obedient to the countess. The third character is the countess, an eighty-seven year old woman, still clinging to her youthful past. When we take a closer look, the reader may come to see the tragedies that develop around the three characters lives. Each of the three main characters is driven by money, greed, and power which ultimately leads them to their own demise.Hermann is the catalyst that sets off the chain of events, which leads to the misfortune waiting to happen to them. Hermann is the first character to let himself become completely overpowered with his own selfish desires. He was once careful with his money and refused to join his friends in card games and betting. "He's never held a card in his hand, never doubled a stake in his life, and yet sits up until five in the morning watching us play" (Pushkin 865). Though when he learns of the card trick the countess supposedly knows, he is then driven to learn her secret. A seemingly innocent curiosity to learn the trick soon leads him to insanity. He is no longer able to think rationally about anything else. He finds the easiest way to the countess is to seduce her ward, Lisaveta. After several forged letters of love, he is able to gain entry to the countess's home on false pretensions of going to see the young girl. He has no shame of the transgressions he is willing to commit. After the countess arrives home, "in his heart there echoed something like the voice of conscience, but it grew silent, and his heart once more turned to stone" (Pushkin 875). Hermann pleads with the countess, but when she will not reveal her secret, he takes out his gun and threatens to force her to answer. His maliciousness frightens the women to death before she can answer. The countess returns as an apparition to tell him the card numbers. When Hermann receives the knowledge he goes to gamble but miss-drew the last card. The countess, avenging her untimely death, drives him completely mad. He has...

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