Illness Theme Questions

Of byron he had one leg shorter than the other just

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of Byron) – “He had one leg shorter than the other, just like Byron” (78) Pechorin refers to himself later in the book as crippled, which may reveal a that he has an element of self-loathing
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“I love galloping through long grass on a fiery horse, with the wind of the wilds in my face. I gulp the scented air and peer into the blue distance, trying to make out the hazy shapes that show up more distinctly every minute. Whatever sorrow weighs on my heart, whatever anxiety troubles the mind, it vanishes in a moment” (Lermontov 90) Pechorin loves to ride, just as Lord Byron did, and this mastery of the horse may represent Pechorin’s ability to sexually master a wise, noble being This rapid riding underlines Pechorin’s love for the chase, but relative boredom with the catch, which explains his rapid boredom with Bella; initially he begs Bella to come round to loving him: “ ‘Listen, dear, sweet Bela,” Pechorin went on. “You see how much I love you. I’d give anything to cheer you up. I want you to be happy, and if you’re going to go on being sad then I shall die. Say that you will be more cheerful’” (23) No sooner does he catch the seemingly wild Bela, in the same way he hunts for game in the woods, than does he return to his state of “a young man and fond of the chase. [He goes] off hunting” (32) at a moments notice, and seems jaded with the pleasures of the world because it never seems like he’s had to work for anything. If he wants a woman, he’ll get her, if he wants a good, he’ll buy it. Pechorin seems to suffer from either manic depression or bipolar disorder peaked by moments of sheer pleasure such as riding at a gallop, and moments of sheer despair “my heart was like lead, the sun seemed to have lost its brightness, and I felt no warmth from its rays” (141) – the inability to see his symbolic mother, Vera, is another example of this crushing low. Lermontov seems to reflect the actual result of a Byronic hero played out in society – his sociopathic tendencies of delighting in “dominating those around [him]” (103) ultimately leave Pechorin a lonely dandy: “my imagination knows no peace, my heart no satisfaction. Nothing counts for me. I grow used to sorrow as easily as I do to pleasure, and my life gets emptier every day” (35). “Worn out by the excitements of the day and my sleepless night, I fell down on the wet grass and wept like a child. I lay there a long time, weeping bitterly, not attempting to hold back the tears and sobs. I thought my chest would burst. All my coolness and self control vanished like smoke, my heart wilted, reason deserted me. Anyone seeing me at that moment would have turned away in contempt” (144) o Although a Byronic hero in his attitude toward society, he ultimately fails as a Byronic hero because he never reveals Byronic passion except at this one stage in which he fails in the completion of matricide, the symbolic removal of his mother figure, Vera. Furthermore, he cannot swim, demonstrated when the singing girl from Taman tries to push him into the water.
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  • Spring '08
  • epstein
  • The Red and the Black, byronic hero, Julien, A Hero of Our Time, Parisian aristocrats Julien, Julien self acceptance

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