Illness Theme Questions

O veras emotional hold and emotional damage over

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from Taman tries to push him into the water. o Vera’s emotional hold and emotional damage over Pechorin may explain his sociopathic tendencies towards women perhaps as a subconscious punishment against the whole sex for what the denial of closure that Vera offered him o “I often wonder why I’m trying so hard to win the love of a girl I have no desire to seduce and whom I’d never marry” (102) o Yanko also may represent Pechorin’s symbolic loss of the father with a failed patricide, a failed closure or symbolic removal of the father figure. This removal
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of the father figure without closure may also represent Lermontov’s loss of his own father. “I have established in one of the preceding chapters that men cannot do without dogmatic beliefs and that it was even desirable that they possessed such ideas. I now add that among all the dogmatic beliefs the most desirable seem to me to be in matters of religion, a very obvious deduction even though one would wish to draw attention only to the concerns of this world” (510 Tocqueville) o Tocqueville sides that no matter how individual people believe their actions to be, these actions happen to reveal deep seeded ideas of self, other & God, and are the founding maxims of our actions o This dogmatic belief based in religion poses a solution to a possible disease of confusion and impotence that could grow throughout America if there was a doubt about an eternal creator o Philosophy can provide measures of truth about the creator, but there will always be doubts. Therefore, religion must take philosophy’s place to ensure the illness of indifference does not occur; religion holds the temptation to give up thought on the divine at bay “When authority in religious matters no longer exists any more than in political matters, men soon take fright at the sight of this boundless independence. This constant upheaval in everything brings disquiet and exhaustion. As everything in the domain of their intelligence is shifting, they crave at least for a firm and stable state in their material world. Being unable to recover their ancient beliefs, they find a ruler” (512 Tocqueville) o This religious authority is required to maintain the health and vigor of the American nation through stability. o This moral guidance is completely above the political scene and it provides stability against the disease of doubt that could ravish a democracy into fascism o Tocqueville, with a hyperopic foresight, predicts that the despair of having no understanding in moral / religious matters will lead to society’s discovery of a leader o Essentially, Tocqueville points to fascism as a possible outcome of the illness of doubt in the mind of the American public “The serf, in the period of serfdom, raised himself to membership in the commune, just as the petty bourgeois, under the yoke of feudal absolutism, managed to develop into a bourgeois. The modern laborer, on the contrary, instead of rising with the progress of industry, sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class. He becomes a pauper, and pauperism develops more rapidly than population and wealth. And
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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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