In Alexander Pushkin’s novel Eugene Onegin stanza’s nineteen and twenty in Chapter two illustrate the connection between love and fate that is present throughout the novel. These stanzas come shortly after Eugene and Lensky become friends. Lensky is in love with a woman, Olga, whom he has known since childhood and he continuously expresses to Eugene his blissful adoration for her. These stanzas illuminate to the reader that love and fate are intertwined concepts and that Lensky’s and Eugene’s fates will be intertwined as well.
Passionate love is only experienced by poets according to the speaker, because “they’re fated to.” (20) Since Lensky is a poet, he finds love and passion with Olga, while Eugene is “one whom love had left forsaken.” Poets may be fated to find passionate love since they explore emotions in their work and concentrate more on what is vitally significant in life, as opposed to others, like Eugene. Pushkin’s narrator states at the end of stanza nineteen, regarding feelings, that “to us they’re hardly new.” Here he is identifying himself and the narrator as poets as well, in order to explain their irregular behavior and sporadic manner of speaking and thinking. Poets are fated to love, which is an irrational emotion; therefore poets act irrational and irregular.
When the narrator describes Eugene “gravely” (19) listening to Lensky, he is speaking with a patronizing tone. Eugene is not interested in anything and everything has lost its appeal to him, therefore when he listens to Lensky, he is only humoring him. Eugene is apathetic and skeptical and as a result he believes Lensky is naïve and that one day Lensky will realize the folly of his ways. The narrator states through Eugene’s thoughts in stanza fifteen that Lensky’s “blissful, brief infection” will soon pass “without my [Eugene’s] knife.” However Eugene will only be able to humor Lensky for so long, before he whether maliciously or innocuously intervenes. Eugene’s eventual...
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