The Story of an Outsider
Andrei Kazimirovich Sushinksy is the protagonist and the narrator in the Sci-Fi thriller “Pkhentz.” He is revealed as an alien that has crash-landed on earth, and is believed to be the only one from his planet to survive. In the story Andrei is very conscious of his appearance and talks extensively about reality and appearances. Much like the writers during the Russian Revolution who had to be very aware of the way they appeared to act, they had to disguise their true thoughts and writings. Tertz is essentially portraying how he felt like Andrei, because he was a writer and was forced to not act himself. Andrei, talks a lot how his body is changing and has to keep his human form at all costs. Like the writers during the Russian Revolution it was the utmost importance to keep conforming for the fear of getting punished, deported or even killed. Tertz is representing a conformist getting censored that cannot write freely through Andrei. Only way Tertz thought he could write in Russia about what he truly felt and not get persecuted was through stories like an alien narrative. Andrei’s surroundings are very foreign to him, and he calls them out as being weird. If Tertz were to call out flaws within the new system he would surely be punished, he was smart enough to use stories like Pkhentz to disguise his distaste of the system through Andrei. Again through Andrei, Tertz shows the pride of his character even though he has to portray something he is not. In the end he cannot remember things simple things like his language and how he used to live, much like what happens under censorship, you forget how you did things before, all you know is what you are told to do and how you are supposed to live now . Tertz is able to use Andrei’s interactions with humans as a metaphor of highlighting soviet writer’s censorship as a result of the Russian revolution.
Andrei knows in order to survive he must disguise himself as a human; because...
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