M. Lermontov’s novel The Hero of Our Time, along with Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin, is one of the greatest works of nineteenth-century Russian literature.
The work consists of novels: “Bela”, “Maxim Maksimych” and “Pechorin’s Magazine”, which includes novels “Taman”, “Princess Mary” and “Fatalist”. They talk about various episodes of the life of a certain Pechorin. The narrative obeys not so much the sequence, as the significance of events.
In the first chapter of “Bela” we see Pechorin through the eyes of Captain Maxime Maksimych. This person is sincerely attached to the main character, but spiritually alien to him. They are not only people of different social status and age, but also different types of consciousness and thinking.
The image of Maxim Maksimych is one of the most important in the novel, because it is very typical for Russia of that time. This person
can not understand Pechorin and does not strive for this, loving him simply as a “nice little one.” Therefore, in the story of Maxim Maksimych, the protagonist appears as a mysterious and mysterious person: “After all, there are, indeed, some kind of people who have written on their families that different unusual things must happen to them.”
In the story of Captain Pechorin appears romantic hero, meeting with whom was one of the brightest events in the life of the captain, whereas for Pechorin Maxim Maximich himself and Bela’s story are only an episode from life. Even at a meeting that happened accidentally in the second chapter of the work, when Maxim Maksimych is ready to rush into his arms, Pechorin has nothing to talk about with him: “It’s time for me, Maxim Maksimych.”
Staff-captain and Pechorin stand on opposite sides of the barricade, with their mutual they do not understand sincere sympathy and will never understand each other. Their dissimilarity is not accidental, the difference between them is the same as the one that always existed between the Russian
intelligentsia and the people.
The third chapter, Pechorin’s Magazine, is a novel in the novel, consisting of three parts. The first novella partially reveals the goal of Pechorin’s life, which consists in trying to understand what motivates people, to comprehend their psychology. The chapter “Princess Mary” consists of the diary entries of the main character. On the water Pechorin meets his old acquaintance, the cadet Grushnitsky, whom he sharply criticizes. But why is the main character so hostile to the cadet?
I think, because Pechorin is always yearning, although he tries to hide it, and Grushnitsky, on the contrary, is by nature a cheerful person who does not know boredom, this angers the main character, forcing him to hate the cadets. But a new friend of Pechorin, Dr. Werner, is very interesting to him. Werner is in some ways close to the main character, understands his problems, but in many respects is alien to him. The history of their relationship is the story of the failed friendship of people, spiritually and intellectually similar. The impossibility of their friendship Pechorin explains this: “I am unable to friendship: two friends are always one slave of the other.”
Throughout the novel, Pechorin has no friends, but he gets many enemies. Why is it so?
I think, because Pechorin does not seek to achieve somebody’s friendship, although it would not be difficult for him, but without realizing it, he makes enemies. The main character plays the role of an observer and an actor simultaneously. It is not enough for him to simply observe the characters of people, he confronts them with each other, forcing their souls to open up and manifest themselves in full measure: to love, to hate, to suffer. This is what makes people, on whom he “experiment”, dislike and even hate him.