Through examining the works of Lermontov, A Hero of Our Time, and “The Demon,” as well as Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, we can see the similarities between Pechorin, the Demon, and Onegin and how each character embodies the qualities of the romantic hero. A romantic hero is a very contradicting character. For example, in the History of Russian Literature by Charles A. Moser, he describes the romantic hero as having “the anguish of emptiness; the trembling anxieties of a shallow self-love – as well as genuine power and courage; noble aspirations along with ignorance and poor upbringing” (137). All of the traits stated above are very conflicting. Pechorin, Onegin and the Demon, being the conflicting characters that they are find entertainment in playing with people's lives and emotions.
Like many romantic heroes, Pechorin is a character of contradiction. He is both sensitive and cynical. Many would describe Pechorin as having dual personalities because of the extreme opposing characteristics he possesses. He is often irritating, self-serving and tactless to others. However, in other instances, Pechorin proves himself to be the least guilty character. He proves himself to be a man who possesses great self- knowledge and knowledge of human behavior. Pechorin and the Demon can easily be compared because much like Pechorin, the Demon has dual personalities. The Demon is very human like and has human like qualities, but he is also demonic in nature. He is a demon and embodies evilness, but he has this human passion and desire as well as a yearning for love, especially with Tamara. Pechorin can be seen as a dangerous man, who is insensitive and manipulative toward others for self-serving reasons to the point of their destruction. Over the course of A Hero of Our Time, Pechorin plays a major role, whether intentionally or recklessly, in the cruel destruction of Princess Mary, and Grushnitsky. Pechorin, Onegin and
Cited: Lermontov, Mikhail. A Hero of Our Time. London, England: Penguin Group, 1966. Moser, Charles A. The Cambridge History of Russian Literature. Cambridge University Press, 1992. New York, NY.