The Hero of Our Time

In first parts of the novel the author describes Pechorin's actions, showing how indifferent and cruel

The Hero of Our Time



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11/15 Introduction/thesis. Is the thesis clearly stated? Is it insightful and unique?

10/10 Summarising. Is the summary appropriate in length and selection of details? Is it suitably integrated into the text of the paper and does it support the paper's thesis?

12/15 Does each paragraph (or two) have an identifiable topic sentence? Are there at least 3 main points?

9/10 IS there supporting evidence for each main point?

14/15 Does each topic sentence relate to the thesis?

3/5 Transitions. Are the transitions from one point to another, from one particular to another, and from one paragraph to another logical and comprehensible?

10/10 Conclusion. Relate to main pont? Summarise/tie together arguments?

4/5 MLA style

12/15 Spelling, grammar, punctuation.


TOTAL 83/100 [B]










Anuar Orumbayev

English I


Kenneth Ziegler

Arapahoe Community College





















This is a Russian novel by Lermontov about the life of the Russian officer of XIX century, his personality and actions shown as life of hero of that time.

I think this is a psychological novel, because the idea and plan of the novel is not related to some events, they are related to man's personality, and his spiritual life. This is why psychological legasy of the novel is presented as an image of some "hero of the time period". Thru difficult and contradictionary character of Pechorin Lermontov states his main idea that explaining and analyzing everything is impossible and useless, that there's always something in life that's deeper than thoughts or ideas, something that can be understood only by feelings and not thru analize.

The novel describes not only Pechorin's constant travels throughout Georgia, but it also opens the window into his world, and psychology, his highly contradictionary and dissapointive personality.

In first parts of the novel the author describes Pechorin's actions, showing how indifferent and cruel he is to surrounding people, shown either as victims of his ambitions or cold calculations. You can think that egoism and desire for power rule Pecherin, who says "Why should I - traveling officer- care about happines and woes of people?" But things are not as simple as they might look, the hero is not so uniform. At the same time he is an emotional and deeply suffering man who's afraid of shame. Pechorin understands his psychology: "There are two men inside of me, one literally lives, and the other one analizes and judges him." [page #]Later he states his life credo: " I compare suffering and happiness of others with my own as a food supporting my spirit…" [page #]Based on that Pecherin develops his own theory of happines that in order to be happy one should be the cause of suffering and happines for the others, although he has no rights for that. For him being happy is being proud. But then Pecherin, knowing what causes happines, should be happy since he is restlesly and constantly trying to enjoy his pride of himself. But somehow his happines can't last forever making him even more dissappointed and bored.

Pecherin debates with his fellow soldier Wulich about predestination of human life, questioning him: "If predestinations are true then why do we have will and mind?" Pecherin tries to change Wulich's mind insisting that one should not let his fate be created by somebody else. Such debate leads into series of events: Wulich tries to commit a suicide but failes, and suddenly gets killed by a drunk soldier,and Pecherin fights and captures the murderer. Such event saves the novel from tragical ending. Pecherin, who dies in the middle of the novel, not only saves himself from almost certain death, but also for the first time makes something good for the others. Funeral march turns into greetings of victory against death: "The officers were congratulating me - yes, I deserved it."

The hero laughs at those who believe that hunman's life is predestinied long before he was born by someone above, someone supreme, but he also envys them, since every believe has its own good side. His pity is that he doesn't have own believe, nothing is ideal or holy for him; he questions goodnes of all and the world by itself. He is a smart and energetic person but such diebelieve creates only inertion or useles actions that bring him nothing else than but mental torment.

Showing his hero's bravery, Lermontov also states how important it is to fight for freedom of your personality. Freedom is one of the most important things for Pecherin, and can't be traded for anything. But such freedom without any humanistic ideals has its own sadness and weakness. Pecherin always tries to shut down his inside voice, and feelings: "For long time I've been living with my mind, not my heart"

I am not sure that Pechorin is some kind of a self-satisfied cynic. Although he acts like an executor and axe of destiny, he sufferes from such role as much as his victims. The entire novel is a hymn to a prejudise-free personality and at the same time requiem to a genious who wasn't able to understand his real role and destiny.



Lermontov M.J. "The Hero of Our Time".

Moscow, Pravda, 1987.




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