‘A Case Study in Human Psychological Analysis: Michael Lermontov’ (‘Psikhologicheskaya interpretatsiya romana M. Yu. Lermontova Geroi nashego vremeni 1841g.: Analiz samoobmana')
FOXCROFT, NIGEL (2008) ‘A Case Study in Human Psychological Analysis: Michael Lermontov’ (‘Psikhologicheskaya interpretatsiya romana M. Yu. Lermontova Geroi nashego vremeni 1841g.: Analiz samoobmana') Rusistika, 32 . pp. 3-8. ISSN 0957-1760
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Based upon a close reading of Michael Lermontov’s A Hero of our Time (1841), this investigation forms a case study in psychological analysis. Pechorin’s enigmatic nature is analyzed as a web-like manifestation of complex contradictions, deceptions, delusions, and outright lies. A paradoxical, self-analytical cynic, torn between passion and reason, he is exposed as a sceptical and pessimistic idealist, attempting to rationalise his egotistical emotions. Reflected in others are those very same Byronic physical weaknesses, vices, and myopia which he is striving to eradicate in himself. Yet, he is blinded by a gross misunderstanding of intentions and, like Tatyana in Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, falls victim to his own deceptive Romantic imagination. Despite his unquenchable thirst for power and influence, Pechorin refuses responsibility for his actions, seeking logical explanations for his uncontrollable, child-like passions. He remains wholly dependent upon Vera’s love – that Tolstoyan life-giving force for truth and selflessness; it is she alone who fully understands his defects. In his journal of past events Pechorin, the opportunist, resorts to fate as an excuse for justifying his immoral acts, enabling him to interfere in the lives of others and then to distort the facts to exonerate his means. However, he actually doubts the sovereignty of predestination when, in Fatalist, he is still unaware of the consequences of his deeds. Deceived by his environment, his ideas are inadequate to explain both himself and his surroundings.
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