Alyosha the Not Analytical Essay by Rory

Alyosha the Not
This paper discusses the book 'Alyosha the Pot' by Leo Tolstoy and looks at the treatment of the poor.
# 113343 | 859 words | 0 sources | 2008 | US
Published on Mar 29, 2009 in Anthropology (Cultural) , Literature (Russian) , History (Russian) , Sociology (General)

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In this article, the writer discusses that in Tolstoy's 'Alyosha the Pot', the life of a peasant is told with such abject complacency that it both ridicules and perverts the way the poor were seen in pre-revolutionary Russia. The writer maintains that Alyosha's demeanor throughout Tolstoy's short story is that of the faithful lapdog; obedient and always following the master's words. The writer discusses that Tolstoy switches the way the story is detailed and instead of a bland world with a colorful hero the reader is given a bland hero with a wicked world much akin to a fairy tale; in short he becomes Cinderella. The writer notes that Tolstoy demonstrates that while the peasant may do things willingly and be treated as a tool, underneath the dutifulness and complacency there are actual dreams, wants, and needs. The aggravation of the reader as for the lack of Alyosha's aspirations is only testament to Tolstoy's demonstration that everyone has wants and to want is to be human. The writer concludes that Tolstoy shows, paradoxically, that everyone is human through the example of someone that is alien to human aspiration.

From the Paper:

"Traditionally the help married in czarist Russia, it was something that could not be avoided given the living conditions and the similar social standing; this would be no different with Alyosha. After some time working for his employers he developed a crush on the cook, Ustinya, as expected. As in most settings it is here that love, as always, complicates matters and it is here that Alyosha's simplicity magnify root emotion into something more. Alyosha's lack of nuanced personality were skillfully crafted by Tolstoy so that, once the plateau of characterization was reached, anything different would become a bumpy ride of feeling. Alyosha's blunt intentions of marrying Ustinya are not played out as usual, she reciprocates but his simplistic nature leads him to see it as a different kind of love, a love of convenience but love nonetheless. It is here where Alyosha shows signs of being the ardent man that the reader first thought he could be, he has a plan and someone to share his life with. Yet, it is the will of others that he must obey, not just as the employee, but as what his personality dictates, dutiful to a fault."

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