“A hero of our time” is the most important Lermont’s work, the first Russian psychological novel and the announcement of Russian realistic writing. The main character is Pechorin, one of the first European characters of contradiction that is divided between being tired of pleasures but still unable to love and settle down. He thinks that happiness does not exist for him. He is a Byronic hero.
The time and place of the plot is the 18th century in a small fisherman village and later on in a hospital. The main characters are Maxim Maximovich, Pechorin, Vera, Princess Mary, Bela.
Genre: psychological novel
Time: 18th century
Place: small fisherman village, hospital
The writer was traveling through Caucasus mountains when he met Maximovich. They became friends and told each other different life stories, and he mentioned his friend, the unusual Pechorin. They served in the army together and lived in a fortress for a year. He told the writer that Pechorin fancied a girl named Bela, the daughter of a hated prince. But also a robber was in love with her.
The robber had a wonderful horse and Bela’s brother wanted that horse badly but he wasn’t for sale. A few days later Pechorin and Bela’s brother Azamat made a pact that if Pechorin gets him the horse he’ll get Bela. Azamat kidnapped his sister and took her to Pechorin who had the horse. Even though Bela was sad she finally fell in love with Pechorin. Bela gave herself to him but he didn’t care. She was kidnapped again and stabbed in the back. She died afterwards and later on Pechorin went out of town.
The writer and Maximovich kept on talking and he stated that he does not have a clue where Pechorin is.
Time passes by and the writer encounters Maximovich again in a bar were Pechorin was also staying. He paid no attention to the writer and went to Persia. Maximovich gave the writer Pechorin’s diaries that he wrote when he was in the mountain Caucasus. Pechorin died and then the writer decided to publish his diaries but he left out the part where Pechorin describes his whole life.
The first part of his journal describes a blind man, a girl and an old woman who chaperoned him to the city. The other part is his description of an encounter he had with his friends and one of them was Grunshnitsky.. There the princess Mary appeared with her mother and Grushnitsky fell in love with her. Pechorin also like princess Mary and tried to to everything possible to split him and the princess but the princess just hated him more and more because of that.
Despite that the princess becomes fond of Pechorin and then his ex-girlfriend appeared. Pechorin was playing with both of them but in the end he realized he liked Mary. Pechorin went to another town and Mary came after him. They spent a lot of time together and when Mary mentioned marriage he started to dislike her.
Grushnitsky accused Pechorin because he took Mary away from him. They confronted each other in a gun fight and even though Pechorin was hurt he won and killed his opponent. After that Pechorin left and that is the end of the journal.
The plot continues in a fortress where Pechorin talks to Maximovich about another anecdote when Pechorin made a bet about the existence of faith with a soldier. He told him that he will die. That happened in the end when a drunken Russian horseman cut him with a sable from his shoulder to his heart.
Characters: Pechorin, Bela, Maxim Maximovich, Princess Mary, Vera…
Pechorin was a 25 years old soldier and nobleman. He was beautiful and very well educated. He was of aristocratic blood. He lived through a lot when he was young and lived his life with his mind but not his heart. The only thing he enjoyed was the Caucasus mountain. He cured his boredom and coldness with women. Everything he did he did out of pure bitterness because he was hurt by infidelity in love and a friends betrayal and also the social injustice. All of that inside of him accumulated into a cold, biter and selfish character. He looks for happiness in what is unreachable because he thinks that what is offered to him cannot give him happiness. He wonder around in search of passion. He is not happy with that but can’t settle down.
Bela is the only romantic character in the novel. Pechorin fell in love with her and decided to win her over as soon as possible. Even though she was brought to him likea slave she fell in love with him and suffered when he rejected her. She died on his arms. The true love she felt coasted Bela her life. In the beginning of the novel she was a simple girl in search of a romantic love but at the end she grew up to be a noble girl.
Maxim Maximovich is a kind soldier about to retire. He was hurt when Pechorin told him that the journal he kept safe for many years is worth nothing and that is why he gave it to the writer.
Mary was a beautiful princess who gets seduced by Pechorin and she fell deeply in love with him. When he realized her love for him he told her it was all just game and that he never actually loved her.
Vera is Pechorin’s ex-girlfriend and he was also playing games with her. Despite that and the fact that she was a married woman she wants t give it a one last try with Pechorin. She doesn’t care about what the society thinks.
Mikhail Lermontov Biography
Mikhail Lermontov was born in 1814 in Moscow. His father was from a poor family and his grandmother took care of him after his mother died when he was three years old.
When he heard that Pushkin died he wrote the song “Death of the poet” and drew lots of attention to himself. Pushkins’ death was his breakthrough. From 1837 to 1841 he wrote his only novel and best work “A hero of our time”. In those 4 years he created a lot of mature works of art and some of them were installed into the roots of Russian literature of the 19th century.
He died in 1841 with a smile on his face from a gunshot to his heart. He left behind him 26 poems, 5 plays 1 finished novel and 2 unfinished.