alyosha - Alyosha the Pot What does it mean to truly be...

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Alyosha the Pot What does it mean to truly be Russian? An incredibly complex question without any real “right” answer, this has been an actively debated issue for hundreds of years. However, one can find some major commonalities across Russian culture, namely the Russian perspective of power and faith. Leo Tolstoy’s short story “Alyosha the Pot” offers an interesting view of how these two fundamental aspects play off each other to form a singular Russian character. First, the authority figures in Alyosha’s life exert their power over him in a typically Russian way. Russia has a long history of all-powerful autocratic rulers, and the adults in the story carry on this tradition nearly every time they are mentioned in the text. Starting at a very young age, Alyosha is beaten by his mother, worked constantly by his family and employers, and absolutely dominated by his father. At the age of 21, Alyosha falls in love with the cook Ustinya and wants to marry her, to which his father responds,
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