Dead Souls Final Paper

Dead Souls Final Paper - Jonathan Rose The Peculiarities of...

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Jonathan Rose The Peculiarities of the Russian Character in Nikolai Gogol’s Dead Souls and Fyodor Dostovoesky’s The Brothers Karamazov : “ The Inquisitor” By: Jonathan Rose Russian Literature Tatiana Ivanava Baeva November 30, 2007
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The Peculiarities of the Russian Character in Nikolai Gogol’s Dead Souls and Fyodor Dostovoesky’s The Brothers Karamazov By: Jonathan Rose Indeed, Russia is not just a geographical space. Russia is its people, humans, who build their statehood in its vast territorial spaces, continue traditions of the ancestors, and form new behavioral and spiritual moulds. A national character is both a spirit, a definiteness of acts, a behavior and a perception of the environment; in addition there are processes of reflexive control over a person in a society, those processes being filled with different contents. Philosophical approaches to the Russian character in that regard are insufficient; it is necessary to penetrate into the reflexive component of that concept, to concretize the transition from the general mood to the individual act, from desirable images to the specific collisions of life. In that case one may distinguish what is called “the riddle of authority in Russia” as a reflection of specifics of the Russian character in a capacity of an object of thought (Birshtein 25-35). Once Nikolai Berdyaev (1874-1948), who was also persecuted in Soviet Russia and emigrated in 1922 to Berlin and then to Paris, while trying to explain the sources of communism in general and the Russian one in particular, proceeded from a definition of the essence of the national character. “The Russian people in terms of the spiritual structure is a people of the East, Russia is the Christian East that for two centuries was exposed to a strong influence of the West. And in its top cultural layer it assimilated all Western ideas... The contradiction-filled nature of the Russian soul was determined by the complexity of the Russian historical destiny, collision and antagonism of the Eastern
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and Western elements in it .... Among the Russian “the nature” is a spontaneous force stronger than among the Western people” (Berdyaev 39). National character (in this case not the Russian one in particular) as a social product is formed as a result of interaction of genetic and traditional-cultural, geographical and socio-political tendencies of development of an ethnos. In the construing of a national character the role of a reagent predetermining the progress of the creative process is played, of course, by the way of existence and construing of thoughts, by the specifics of the intellectual attitude to the life of an individual as a part of the whole and as a kind of “construction material” in the general scheme of the idea (Birshtein 25-35).
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