Plot, Character Development, Irony, and Narration in Kate Chopin’s the Story of an Hour
Despite the fact that it is hard to be against the general public’s convictions writer Kate Chopin beats that to create a quality thought-provoking literature. Utilizing conventions of narrative stories like character development, plot development, and irony to her advantage, she lures readers into the world of emotions that the most people would not approve of. Kate Chopin proves her appreciable literary talent in ‘The Story of an Hour’ by making the plot and character development hand-in-hand and with her use of narrative irony and intriguing vocabulary.
Chopin marvelously integrates two conventions of account fiction, plot and character development. Plot is a literary term used to describe the events that make up a story, or the main part of a story. In the plot of narrative stories there is an exposition, rise to action, climax, and a fall from action. Character development is second thing that allows Chopin write such an intriguing story. Character is what stays with you after you have finished reading a story. The actions in the plot are performed by the characters in the story. Characters make something happen or produce an effect. Chopin utilizes character development to intensify the plot so much that readers can feel the emotions very closely. In the story, these are dynamically interconnected to one another.
The plot mainly takes place in the protagonist, Mrs. Mallard’s mind, which makes it crucial for readers to understand her personality and where her thoughts stem from. She is portrayed as a tender woman who suffers some heart trouble. This is important to the plot as it explains why her sister exercised caution to break the news to her. Mrs. Mallard is also described as being “young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength”. This is an important piece of information as it explains why she grieves her husband’s death only momentarily. In simple words, repression means the action or process of suppressing a thought or desire in oneself so that it remains unconscious. Mrs. Mallard’s marriage was restricting in a sense that she never could express herself freely except in her unconscious. We can observe that Mrs. Mallard becomes extremely confused on hearing the news; she resists her newly acquired freedom as it is her characteristic trait of being timid and weak and powerless. As she begins to accept the feeling of liberation, she starts calling herself a “goddess of Victory”. According to Urban Dictionary A goddess is a woman who is so beautiful, brilliant, and wholesome that she is simply not like any other women on Earth and therefore possesses some sort of uncommon spiritual element that while is cannot be solidly defined it is clearly present. Mrs. Mallard begins to feel beautiful and happy as she wins the battle of wills after years of oppression in her marriage. She first shows off her newfound beauty and strength when she lets her sister in to see the “triumph in her eyes”.
The aforementioned blend of character and plot development not only to the protagonist, Mrs. Mallard, but also to Mr. Brently Mallard. The only glimpse we get into Mr. Mallard’s character is from this part of the text: “Chopin writes “There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime…”. However, much more is disclosed through the passage. He was portrayed as, in contrast to Mrs. Mallard, powerful and oblivious to how he was tormenting his wife. As the other minor characters don’t play a major role, they are left to the reader’s imagination.
Chopin employs irony, a fundamental characteristic of realism, to bring surprise and to deepen the plot. ‘The Story of an Hour’ turns on a progression of guileful regulated ironies that come full circle in the end. There are quite a few instances of this, starting with of Mr. Mallard’s friend Richard taking the time to affirm his name with a second telegram, and afterward toward the finish of the story things being what they are, he isn’t even associated with the accident. Another irony is from Mrs. Mallard’s perspective: “She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long”. Her wish was answered and when she discovered she quickly had a deadly heart attack. Moreover, Chopin presents us with the biggest irony: the use of word ‘joy’. Mrs. Mallard feels a “monstrous joy” of finally being free and enjoying her life. Next, doctors use it when they say that she died “of heart disease — of joy that kills”. It is ironic that Mrs. Mallard didn’t die due to the joy of seeing her husband alive but because of the worry that she might never feel the monstrous joy ever again. Using irony, Kate Chopin really creates an exemplary example of Realism literature.
Irony isn’t the only thing Chopin uses to enrich “The Story of an Hour”. She also delegates metaphor, narrative style and intriguing vocabulary. Mrs. Mallard’s heart trouble can be interpreted as a psychological issue due to less than ideal marriage rather than a physical ailment. Chopin uses “new spring life”, “delicious breath of air”, “blue sky showing through the clouds”, “drinking in a very elixir of life”, “summer days”, et cetera to describe Mrs. Mallard’s feelings towards her husband’s death. She also uses the metaphor: “an open window’ she sits at in the beginning of the plot. The window here means a window into the perspective of the protagonist rather than a part of the setting. When Mrs. Mallard says she “would have no one follow her”, she means she would have no one interfere with her new life again. These are all tools Kate Chopin uses to paint a wonderful picture of emotions of a woman for the readers.
By interconnecting plot, characters, irony and beautiful narration, Kate Chopin gives us an invaluable piece of literature that will be praised for a long time to come.
The Role Of Irony In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
What is irony, first of all? Irony is saying the opposite of what one actually means by using words. Miller has a sarcastic tone in The Crucible. This sound has to do with humor when we refer to each other. Sarcasm means reproach or sarcastic criticism. The reason Miller writes in such simple humor is because he needs the reader to see it and know it. The explanation Miller writes in such simple cases of humor is because he needs the listener to see it and know something. Most of the humor situations are because it reveals that the characters in the novel are almost always dishonest and have no real proof.
There are many examples of irony in the Crucible. The definition of irony is- Events that are or seem deliberately opposite of what someone expects or wants and is usually funny as a result of it. A few examples are when everyone was lying about other people being witches or practicing witchcraft when everyone knew that those people weren’t witches or involved with witchcraft. Late in the third act, Elizibeth lies about John’s adultery just to protect his reputation. Both Elizbeth and John were highly respected in the Salem community. They were caught lying and committing adultery. So as a result, Elizbeth lied to protect John.
Miller uses irony to create tension in important scenes in The Crucible. The use of irony is to develop tension for the readers. Elizbeth is known for being honest and holds honesty to a high standard. It was unexpected that she would lie. When Elizbeth lies to protect John, she didn’t know he already admitted to committing adultery. When Hale forced John to recite the ten commandments. John couldn’t name adultery. It’s ironic in the end because he had an affair with Abigail and Elizbeth lied to protect him. Adultery was handled very harshly back then. The most simple form or irony in the Crucible is when John was asked to recite the ten commandments to prove that he was a true Christan. He is able to get nine of them. He cannot, for whatever reason, recite adultery. Whether that was because he forgot or whatever. He, not much later, commits the same sin or law, however you want to look at it.
In conclusion, Miller added irony into The Crucible for many reasons. If you look hard enough you can find many examples of it. He wrote it in a way to show that appearances can be deceiving. Using verbal irony to create confusion and situational to add tension between characters. Maybe he wanted the readers to understand that to see through people and what they say, you must face reality head on.
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The History of Aesop’s Fable the Lion and the Mouse
For centuries, cultures around the world have used fables not only for entertainment but as a method to teach significant moral lessons. Fables have given cultures an opportunity to highlight their moral values and provide individuals a path to practice their traditions through their minds and hearts. One of the most prominent fables to emerge from Western culture is, “The Lion and the Mouse”, which is commonly attributed to Aesop. This fable has remained a favorite since its fabrication because of its simplistic yet enduring moralistic principles. Aesop’s allegorical fable has continued to transcend its ancient roots to offer our revolutionizing society a timeless scenario that emphasizes the need for mutual dependence. This fable begins with a robust lion peacefully sleeping in the forest. Soon a feeble mouse stumbles upon across the lion, disturbing his slumber. Aggravated, the lion attempts to kill the mouse until it fearfully implores the lion for forgiveness with the promise to aid him in the future. The lion disregards the mouse’s proposition and decides to spare him from death. A few days later while on a hunt, the lion is caught off guard by a hunter’s net. Roaring in anger, the lion grabs the attention of the mouse that he had overlooked earlier. Without hesitation, the timid mouse gnaws one of the ropes holding the lion hostage. The fable swiftly ends upon the lion’s freedom and the mouse exclaims, “You laughed… Now you see that even a Mouse can help a Lion” (Aesop).
The history of this fable is so perplexing that scholars can only theorize its origins, a sharp contrast to the fable’s simplistic tale. Like other fables, “The Lion and the Mouse”, was a story believed to have been traditionally passed down orally and evolved with each reiteration. The first recording of this fable was collected within, “Aesop’s Fables”, and is attributed to the ancient Greek figure known as Aesop. There is little evidence to suggest that Aesop was a real being, but scholars have theorized that Aesop may have been a former slave before becoming a fabulist during the mid-sixth century BCE. Even though Aesop may be regarded as more myth than a man, he was still a prominent legend in Greece because his fables became a pillar of ancient Greek culture. Fables such as, “The Lion and the Mouse” served as a cornerstone of education that conveyed moral principles to Greek children. Interestingly, fables such as this one were often politically charged and “served as a code by which the weak and powerless could speak out against the strong and powerful”.
As with most fables the moralistic principal of, “The Lion and the Mouse” lends itself to few interpretations into how it is supposed to be observed. The most commonly accepted moral from this fable is that every being has value and the ability to act with kindness. This is demonstrated through the lion’s pompous behavior and the mouse’s timid and gentle nature. If the lion had continued seeing the mouse with little to no value, he would have fell prey to the hunters net himself. The selflessness of the mouse is also a contributing factor in the lion’s freedom. Essentially, this fable serves as an allegory to condemn passing judgment through preconceived notions.
Through countless reiterations, Aesop’s fable remains as relevant today as it did centuries before due to its abiding concepts of kindness and seeing value in others. This fable is chiefly relevant among children as the symbolic tale delivers a model that offers guidance for children developing their emotional skills for empathy. Moreover, when children show value towards their peers, they not only find value within themselves, but they establish trust and confidence amongst themselves. Since reading this fable in my childhood, I have recognized its increasing relevance through my personal experience. I have learned that approaching situations with kindness requires more strength and courage than any other approach, and the results are always more satisfying. Additionally, I have realized that valuing others is not only empowering, but others are more likely to gravitate to your compassionate character.
However, instead of focusing on a specific age group or my personal experience, it is more meaningful to envision how this fable could further benefit our society. As society becomes progressively interdependent, it is fundamental that each citizen shows compassion and develops an attitude that every being has value. If every individual could overlook gender, color, and socioeconomic status we could start dismantling the disconnect felt amongst our society and begin establishing a more peaceful world. Unfortunately, the morals of this fable cannot solve every problem in society because qualities such as kindness still suffer from some of our worst human attributes such as greed and egoism. Some people are so blinded by their own avarice and arrogance that no amount of compassion or appreciation can move them. This renowned fable achieves its goal by having the reader recognize the significance of the morals that it strives to communicate. This simplistic fable allows its audience to imagine a world where there is no greed or selflessness but a world where everyone treats one another with compassion and respect. To start achieving this kind of peace, we must start with ourselves and choose to lift others up and choose to give others the benefit of the doubt.
The Depiction of Irony in Rape Fantasies and The Girl in the Flammable Skirt
Irony as Depicted in ‘Rape Fantasies’ and ‘The Girl in the Flammable Skirt’
In the” rape fantasies” passage, and” the girl in the flammable skirt passage,” irony takes center stage, being featured in the comical incidences that could also make the irony in the passages go unnoticed. How do the incidences in the two passages bring out the theme of irony in a manner that compares them both?
At the beginning of the rape fantasies passage, Margaret Atwood notes that the rape title is given too much attention in the newspapers, and that makes the whole issue of rape appear as a recent problem in the society. It is ironical that the author tries to dispute the attention given to the rape title since it is a huge problem in the society that should not be ignored. Rape cases have been in existence all along hence we cannot assume that it is at this point in time, in the passage that the issue of concern is overrated. Apart from the rape issue being published in the magazines, Atwood notes that it also appears on television. She asserts that she would rather watch a movie than watch a rape related program on television. The other irony in the introduction of the rape issue in the passage is that Margaret does not like seeing the rape titles on television and magazines but she cannot do much about it. She may not like it that way but the sheer gravity of the rape issue in the contemporary society leaves her with no option but to bear with the public awareness and campaigns being put forward against rape (Atwood 3).
In Aimee Bender’s passage “the girl in an inflammable skirt,” the same situation exists where a school girl does not like what she sees on her father. The schoolgirl comes home from school for lunch when she finds her father putting on a black pack made of stone. Though she is not impressed by the idea of her father wearing a black backpack made of stones, it is ironical for her to order the father to take off the pack from his body. Under normal circumstances, it is the father who ought to order the daughter to stop doing something that he is against. Again, the school girl’s father gives the pack to his daughter without questioning why he has been ordered to remove the pack from his body. Eventually, the girl is happy that the father looks relaxed and lovely without the pack of stones (Bender, 10).
The rape fantasies passage brings out a character that is against the awareness created about rape on the television and magazines. The same character has no option but to avoid the announcements and concentrate on other issues. The same situation is reflected in the story about the school girl in an inflammable skirt; where the girl does not like the appearance of her father while in the black pack made of stone, even though she is successful in getting the pack off her father’s body. Despite being able to get the pack from the father’s body, she also does not succeed in deciding where to put the heavy backpack. At the beginning of the passage, it seemed ironical that the schoolgirl has the power to order the father, which eventually is not the case. The father later on makes a remark tells that there is a law that allows him to wear the backpack, making the girl unsuccessful in her mission. Despite the reasoning of the two characters from the mentioned passages, they are not happy as depicted at the end of their contradicting arguments.
There is a similarity of individuals’ looks and appearances in both the two passages, with Darlene in the rape fantasies story being forty-one years old; the oldest and yet she looks the youngest. The narrator notes that no one including Darlene herself would know that she is forty-one years old. It is hilarious that the narrator looks into the employees’ files to confirm the age of Darlene, who seems to be younger than everybody else. The narrator terms the data as confidential yet he manages to sneak and check the details of another employee. Again, the narrator explains to the reader that she does not expect anyone ever to meet the young looking employee since the world is a small one. It is also ironical that after discouraging readers about meeting the employee, the story teller again encourages the reader to depend on luck to meet her (Atwood 4).
Similarly, the girl in the flammable skirt story features two rats that practice the same habit yet only one is affected. The two rats ate some sweet sugar piles, and only one is complaining of pain and a bump in the stomach. The bump the size of the rat’s head is missing in the other rat’s stomach, making the rat look robust and aglow. The deathbed scene is only for one rat while the other is spared. The rat does not die though (Bender 13).
The irony about physical looks and feelings features in both the two passages with the concept of the irony being the same. One party is surprised at the looks the other party portrays yet the conditions in which they are contradict the looks. In both cases, there is also one party that seems to be suffering and wishing to have the appearance of the other party. For the happy group, it is the suffering group that seems to identify their happiness, even as they admire to be the same.
As mentioned in the rape fantasies passage, a stranger pops into the house and heads to the bathtub with a lady, but it is not considered as a rape case. The person is described as a guy the lady has never met before, but he happens to be very attractive. It is mentioned that rape is when the man has a weapon, and the woman is resisting. Ironically, many rape cases have been reported where the attacker never carried with him any weapon to hurt the lady. Rape can involve physical war when the lady does not accept the action, without necessarily having to involve the use of a weapon. The approach of the narrator of the rape fantasies passage takes us back to the beginning of the passage where the storyteller is not interested in reading rape titles in magazines and television screens. It explains the dangerous effect of ignorance in daily life. It is ironic that the narrator says things that do not make sense, and she again claims that there is nothing wrong with a little joke once in a while. It does not make sense uttering words confusing words and then claim they are all jokes (Atwood 5).
On the same note, the story of the girl in a flammable skirt mentions a lady whose skirt catches fire but she does not realize. It is the boy dancing next to her who smells the burning plastic and rolls her in the carpet. It is ironical that the girl suffers third-degree burns yet she could not sense the burning skirt (Bender 13).
The incidence of getting burnt and assuming it is the warmth of the candles can be compared to a stranger getting into a bathtub with a woman who sees the man as too attractive to resist the temptation. The lady in a bathtub is pleased with the idea of an attractive man getting into the room out of nowhere. Again, the woman does not consider that rape since the man does not arm himself with a weapon such as a knife. For the dancing girl in a burning skirt, maybe she is in an imaginary world such that she does not even sense the fire that has caught her skirt and is spreading to her thighs. It is the boy who was dancing next to her who came to her rescue, the fire leaving her with third degree burns on her thighs. In both cases, the two ladies seem to be possessed with the idea of being next to men, whom they probably they imagine being intimate. Eventually, both the girl in the burning skirt and the lady inside a bathtub suffers the consequences of their ignorance.
There is the fantasy of the men who work in the bank as short and ugly fellows with pimples on their faces, thou not all of them have the same look. Satirically, the narrator has to walk to some fellows who resemble the man with a puffy nothing face in the dark when her bank account is overdrawn for some help. No matter how they look, the narrator has no option but to seek help from them. A short, ugly guy coming up along the streets to grab her hands ought to be no issue since she also walks to the guys when she seeks assistance in the banks. It is also ironical that she feels sorry for the guys in her rape fantasies instead of being scared. Moreover, she complains of the short guy who pins her against the wall in the dark, of being heavy yet she feels sorry for the same person. (Atwood 6).
The disrespect about some creatures is in the same way depicted in the girl on the flammable skirt passage, it is ironical that the narrator thinks of the bubonic plague and rabies; diseases that might be contracted from rats, yet she boldly approaches them with food. Unfortunately, the rats do not go for the food despite all the signs that they are hungry. In this case, the narrator expects the company of the rats who eventually decline the invitation (Atwood 13).
The two narrators talk ill of those they might need their help at one point without thinking of what might happen in the future. Talking of some people and animals as ugly and carrying contagious diseases eventually turns to be ironical as the narrators come into contact with the mentioned parties at one point in their lives.
In a nutshell, the contradictory statements and situations in the passage about the girl in a flammable skirt and the passage on rape fantasies reveal realities that are trapped or hidden around conflicting ideas that the narrators express.
The Power of Silence Potrayed By Kattrin the Mute
Mute characters play a significant role in plays. They are the characters most people would ignore because they do not say anything; however, mute characters may be the characters who say the most in a play. Within Mother Courage and Her Children by Bertolt Brecht, the mute character Kattrin shows us that the bravest and during characters do not have to be the ones who talk the most. Kattrin may be a mute character, but her actions speak a lot, and as the saying goes, ‘Actions speak louder than word.’ Kattrin is brave, sympathetic, and the one who notices everything in the play, the only thing standing in her way is her incapability to speak.
Brecht’s use of the character Kattrin brings out much irony, both dramatic and situational irony. Kattrin may be mute, but she uses her actions to communicate with others. Throughout the play, Kattrin is rarely noticed by other characters, so when she does actions, no one in the play knows what she is doing or what she is trying to tell them which is a challenge for her because she knows what she is saying but is unable to get it through to others.
Situations throughout the play occur and some involve Kattrin as the focal point for these situations. there are many things that happen that the other characters are oblivious to while Kattrin notices it automatically. When Kattrin is casually communicating to her family, they can understand her and communicate back; however, when a bad situation is about to happen, Kattrin notices it and tries to communicate to her family, they have no clue on what she is trying to say. One example would be when Swiss Cheese was about to hide the Cash Box.
As Swiss Cheese is planning to hide the Cash Box in the river, two soldiers stand behind him and he is unaware that these two soldiers are there and that they are listening to what he plans to do with the Cash Box. Kattrin was aware of the soldiers and tried to signal to her brother what was happening but he is only more oblivious to the situation and say, “I wish I could understand you. Poor thing, I know you’re trying to tell me something, you just can’t say it” (2381) Kattrin’s heroic efforts do not do anything to help save her brother because she is unable to speak as he said. This is a form of dramatic irony because the audience is aware of Kattrin’s signals and the only person unaware is Swiss Cheese, this would be situational irony that Brecht uses to show how Kattrin’s inability to speak comes with many foreshadowing challenges. If Kattrin could speak, her brother may have lived; however, Brecht creating her as a mute character brings more entertainment to the play in both a humorous and suspenseful way.
Another example of Kattrin aware of a situation that others are oblivious to would be when Eilif was being recruited by the soldiers. Eilif wants to join the war, but Mother Courage forbids it, so the soldiers attempt to distract Mother Courage by pretending to be interested in buying a belt, when really the other soldier pulled Eilif to the side to have a drink with him. As Eilif goes off to talk to the soldier, Kattrin notices it and jumps up screaming, calling her mother’s attention; however, her awareness of the situation did not help and Eilif has already disappeared into the war, and Mother Courage has lost a child due to this. Kattrin’s muteness allows her to listen and observe things carefully, but when it comes to informing others, it always ends up being too late.
What we also may notice is that Brecht uses Kattrin to show the audience that disabled people are not all dumb. This is seen when Kattrin shows how she looks up to Yvette and wants to have the life Yvette has. Mother courage usually call Kattrin dumb because Kattrin is unable to speak, but is she really?
Brecht also shows Kattrin’s needs and wants throughout the play; she wants more for her life. Kattrin is not the average beauty, compared to Yvette, and she is also unable to take care of herself because her mother believes the world is dangerous and Kattrin will easily be taken advantage of. Although this may be so, Kattrin wants to get married and have children desperately when peace finally comes and she wants to be beautiful like Yvette. Therefore, Brecht describes Kattrin placing on Yvette’s red shoes and walking around like Yvette, because she admires her beauty and her ability to get men.
Kattrin is incapable of speaking but it does not mean that she is not aware of what life really is. She knows that she must be beautiful if she wants a husband and when she gets hurt by the soldiers and must wear an eye patch, she completely aware of the consequences that come with it; her dreams of getting married may be over. In all, she is aware of life and just because she is mute does not mean she is dumb.
Kattrin’s muteness does not stop her from getting involved in the war. At the end of the play, Kattrin is left alone with the wagon and peasants have come and began to pray. Kattrin intervenes to protect the burning city in front of her, by climbing a tree and beating a drum that was in her apron as loud as she can; she acts in a courageous manner knowing the consequences coming for her are deadly. While the peasants are busy worrying about protecting their farm, Kattrin is willing to sacrifice her own life over the wagon and any materialistic belongings. The peasants as well as the soldiers call for her to be quiet and they all threaten to shoot her and destroy the wagon, but that does not stop Kattrin from drumming. Eventually Kattrin is shot down by one of the soldiers but she was shot down by committing a brave act and not acting as a coward.
Kattrin is a brave character throughout Mother Courage and Her Children and Brecht opens the readers to understand more about her role and why she behaves the way she does. Kattrin’s mute role does not stop her from making noise and doing what she can to protect the family; however, her mute role is what causes her to die in the end. Her mute role affects many of the other characters badly such as Eilif and Swiss Cheese. Although Kattrin was the mute character she is also the most aware of everything being taken place in the war, even the things that Mother Courage may be oblivious to. Although Kattrin is brave and does not allow her muteness stop her from performing necessary actions, the actions she tries to inform for others to be aware of do not help her and her muteness ends up getting in the way for her to protect her own life as well as her brothers.
Lermontov’s Paradox: An Analysis of Pechorin
In Mikhail Lermontov’s novel A Hero of Our Time, the author brings out the irony surrounding various characters with Pechorin being at the center stage. The portrayal of Pechorin is viewed in the book as an exemplary Byronic anti-hero and Lermontov describes him as a typical man of his age. The author creates a hero who is both cynical and intelligent, who is honest but violent, not alive in an absolute meaning of this world, but also not dead yet, at least, not physical. In other words, Pechorin is a complex character full of contradictions. However, it is precisely with these contradictions that he appears as a human being whose life is a fight for the meaning. Pechorin is a very existential character. He understands his life as a senseless event. He wants to love women, but he spent life without giving them respect, and only taking love from them never giving anything back.
In one stage of the book, Pechorin clearly states that he does not know what he lives for, and this feeling of pointlessness is a source of his inner personal melancholia. Pechorin is doomed to die from the beginning because living a life of sensual pleasure and cynical self-reflection never actually experiencing a feeling of real unity with someone, and not knowing his true purpose no matter how smart and intelligent he was, Pechorin’s life aims at death at a highest possible pace. In one particularly interesting passage, he talks about himself in the following way: “What of it? If I die, I die. It will be no great loss to the world, and I am thoroughly bored with life. I am like a man yawning at a ball; the only reason he does not go home to bed is that his carriage has not arrived yet” (Lermontov, 36). This phrase of Pechorin shows two critical aspects of his complex character. Firstly, he comes to a point in his life when he considers death to be his only solution to the problems of life, and this desperation only further kills his inner light of real humanity, sensitive love, and spiritual power of the soul. Secondly, it says that Pechorin wrongly comprehended life as an entertainment and an exciting event comparing it to the ball. This attitude towards life is the reason why he lived most of his life wrong, becoming indifferent to the best that life can give, and never really be able to give anything in return. Pechorin himself exhausted his live spending it in a senseless pursuit of pleasure and sensual satisfaction. For him, women were entertainment, as the whole life was treated by him without real respect.
Pechorin began to understand all this being closer to his death which he predicts and feels closer to at the end of the story. He chooses death as the only thing to cure him of a pointless life and a tasteless existence. This mistake brings despair in the life of Pechorin as he no longer thinks that he can win in a battle against himself. Pechorin himself devaluated his life, spending it on the appropriate things. When he pursues Vera on a horse but then gives up, it is his feeling of existential fatigue that stops him as he no longer has the power to live being only illusively high intelligent, but unable to love with a real love and a partnership between a man and a woman: “I saw how futile and senseless it was to pursue lost happiness. What more did I want? To see her again? For what” (Lermontov, 42)? Pechorin understands that he does not deserve Vera and may be the reason for her suffering even though she understands him quite well. He does not want to use Vera as a beautiful woman without giving back to her what she deserves – a mutual all-encompassing, generous, sincere, and meaningful love. Pechorin simply doesn’t have it, but it is his awareness about this absence that makes him a good human being, a person worth of compassion and understanding.
Even though Pechorin accuses himself of being hateful, evil, and secretive, it is not so as he does that only due to a despair and not because of a real cruelty. As he states it: “I was ready to love the whole world–none understood me: and I learned to hate” (Lermontov 55). The paradox here is that Pechorin never actually tried to do that, and he thought that people should be grateful to him for him being so original, good, kind, etc. This setup again portrays Pechorin’s feature of showmanship.
Pechorin wanted to be understood by people and wanted to comprehend the most problematic, complex, and important thing in the life of any human being – purpose of the existence. Unable to find it and passing long into the wrong way, Pechorin felt lost and desired to quit everything at all. This is what many tragic, romantic, and existential characters are doomed to, as they alone try to do what most of the people never really thought, but it is precisely with people (and characters) as such that other can try to understand life better and give it more credit. Without any doubt, Pechorin appears as one of the most tragic, deep, and consistent romantic characters of the 19th-century literature.
Work Cited Lermontov, M. A Hero of Our Time. London: Planet, 2011. Print