What is the reader’s view of Pechorin by the end of Part 2 and to what extent is it shaped by the style of Lermontov’s novel?
Pechorin is the main character in “Hero of Our Time”, however in the first two parts the reader learns about him only through other characters’ perceptions of him. The reader’s view of Pechorin, therefore, is less reliable, and this is reinforced by the inconsistencies in the viewpoint shown. Since Lermontov has chosen a more unique way of telling the story in that the central character is revealed very gradually as the story progresses, this changes the way in which we view Pechorin, as there is still much the reader doesn’t know about him and it adds an air of mystery to the character.
One way in which we form views about Pechorin is through the travelling narrator’s descriptions of him. Through the physical description of Pechorin we also learn more about him in a non-physical sense, for example his different traits and characteristics. For instance when he describes Pechorin’s eyes he describes them by saying that “they never laughed when he was laughing”. This reflects the way that we have started to see Pechorin, in the same way that the eyes never truly show what it is that he is feeling, the things that he says and does seem to be hiding the truth from the people he is speaking to, or anyone around him. He never seems completely worthy of the reader’s trust, and another example of this is when the travelling narrator says that his “gait was loose and indolent, but I observed that he did not swing his arms – a sure sign of a certain reticence of nature”, this description seems to contain a contradiction, however perhaps this is just reflective of the way that Pechorin appears lazy or “indolent” but he is trying to hide it. The way that he tries to hide it shows his unreliability. However, the contradictions in this passage, coupled with the fact that this isn’t the first time that the narrator has come across Pechorin, and...
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