"Envy" Analytical Essay by The Research Group

Examines the portrayal of the dehumanizing effects of the first Russian revolution in this 1975 novel.
# 19925 | 1,575 words | 1 source | 1993 | US
Published on Feb 27, 2003 in Literature (Russian) , English (Analysis)

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From the Paper:

"In the novel Envy, Yury Olesha portrays the alienation of the bourgeois in the wake of the Russian revolution. The protagonist, Nikolai Kavalerov, realizes gradually that the new Soviet man is not to be envied but to be ignored. The critical incident occurs at the climax of the novel, when Kavalerov dreams of the death of the Christ-like Ivan Babichev at the hands of his own disaffected machine. At the end of the novel, Kavalerov decides to remain in the bed of the widow Prokopovich, symbol of decadence and decay. He comes to realize that a transition to a new Soviet man is impossible, and his envy changes to indifference. The Soviet world is represented in Envy as a place where individuality is lost and replaced with collective ideals--romanticism replaced with empiricism and emotions replaced by logic."

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