The Eye in Lermontov’s "A Hero of Our Time": Perception, Visuality, and Gender Relations
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This thesis views Lermontov’s novel "A Hero of Our Time" as centered on images, glances and vision. In his text Lermontov conveys a persistent fascination with visual perception. The attentive reader can read this language of the eye—the eye can be seen as a mirror of the soul, a fetish, a means of control, and a metaphor for knowledge. The texts that form the novel are linked together by a shared preoccupation with the eye. At the same time, these texts explore the theme of visual perception from different angles, and even present us with different attitudes towards vision. Some are guided by literature, some—by science and physiognomy, and some—by spiritualism and imagination. Since imagination—the lack of it and more often an excess of it—is a persistent motif of the novel, this thesis also explores metaphorical blindness in "A Hero of Our Time."