In the novel A Hero of Our Time, Pechorin is created as an honorable man who is thought to be the victim of his own unfortunate surroundings that hinder his ability to be portrayed as honorable. Despite Pechorin’s nonchalant attitude and lack of interest in his life, Pechorin’s “heroism,” intelligence, and honesty can still be illustrated as honorable. Pechorin’s qualities stress the values the Russian generation in the 19th century deemed crucial in a “hero” or an honorable man. However, throughout the novel, it is evident that Pechorin’s intent is never to become a hero. Therefore, Lermontov characterizes Pechorin as an honorable man who encompasses the honorable traits that the Russian population values to question whether all honorable actions are established from honest virtues and views.
In Princess Mary, Pechorin engages in a duel with Grushnitsky which portrays Pechorin’s courage that is innate in an honorable man. However, Pechorin’s courage does not come from honest valor, but his desire to prove the existence of fate. Due to Grushnitsky’s jealousy and provocation of Pechorin, Grushnitsky and Pechorin eventually face each other in a fatal duel. Pechorin gives Grushnitsky a chance to “publicly retract his slander” (149) and during the duel “gives Grushnitsky every advantage.” (150) His only condition is to keep his affair secret as he does not want Doctor Werner “being held responsible.” Unlike Grushintsky who is worried about his own death, Pechorin worries about his associates before he worries about himself. His devotion to his Doctor Werner is the epitome of an honorable man who values friendship. Pechorin’s strength to forgive Grushnitsky who is constantly filled with anger and hatred for Pechorin delineates Pechorin’s audacity. Even though Grushnitsky slanders him, Pechorin magnanimously tries to give him a chance to apologize. Pechorin’s innate character makes him fear death, but his honorable traits allow Pechorin to let Grushnitsky to shoot...
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