Analysis Of Nekhlyudov In Resurrection

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Across the ages, the general taste and style of literature has evolved immensely to fit the interests of ever-changing times. Both writers and readers alike have reshaped their views of ‘a good book,’ and as a result of this, reading anything written outside of one’s era seems foreign and strange. When reading a piece of literature written more than a century before one has even been born, thoughts that will undoubtedly cross one’s mind are, “Won’t the information here be outdated?” and “Won’t the language be near incomprehensible?” Upon reading this 1899 classic Russian novel, Resurrection, readers will definitely ask themselves these questions, especially young readers like myself. In these cases, we either turn away from a book, or…show more content…
This, of course, is an extremely exaggerated opinion, but stresses the point that he must symbolize the fickle mindedness of men- referring both to the gender and the race of mankind. He does a lot of things that the men of the time period did, and his thought are quite demonstrative of the confusion that men, naturally, would experience, pertaining to poverty and equality. Nekhlyudov symbolizes a man’s faults; he makes mistakes, and is prone to share mainstream ideas- simply because they are mainstream- by being in an environment with a group who share similar ideas, regardless of morality. He is pulled into the snares of a glamourous but disgusting life, especially if the trapper is a beautiful woman. In this way, he symbolizes both the faults of a man and mankind. He himself remarks numerous times upon the nature of man and how disgusting it can really be; on one occasion in saying, “And, curiously enough… he again felt both attracted and disgusted...This woman of the street is like stagnant putrid water offered to those whose thirst is greater than their disgust;”(Tolstoy, 267), and another in saying “‘The animalism of the brute nature in man is disgusting,’ he thought, ‘...But when that same animalism hides under a cloak of poetry and aesthetic feeling… -then we are swallowed up by it completely… no longer distinguishing good from evil.”…show more content…
Most specifically, however, is the aspect of the symbol that is his mind. Though he appears to be bipolar from a standard (and, again, exaggerated,) point of view, when one dissects and analyzes all the emotions of a man, one might find the same for the majority of subjects. The author wants to tell us that no man is perfect, and even those of the highest caliber are no better than another. We are all imperfect, fickle minded, and we make mistakes, no matter what shape or form they come in, and, not only do we make mistakes, we attempt to justify them; we try to make them go away, to suppress their memories, until they return to haunt us. “Up to this time, Nekhlyudov had played with a sensation of self admiration, had admired his own remorse; now, he was simply filled with horror.” (Tolstoy, 145) Nekhlyudov does not just symbolize a man- that is only the most simplistic way to phrase it. He symbolizes the shortcomings of man and mankind- not a physical but a mental commodity- our faults, our thoughts, and our nature. Nekhlyudov, as a symbol, ties heavily into the theme of the novel, a true philosophy on

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