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Mikhail Lermontovs protagonist Grigory Pechorin belongs to that group of literary characters known individually as the superfluous man Generally an intelligent educated individual the superfluous man would appear to be one who has been either unjustly treated or outcast by society in general The superfluous man attempts to find a place for himself in the world but perhaps due to the combination of his talents upbringing personality and intelligence continually finds himself on the outs with his peers If the above definition is accepted as valid then Pechorin might appear to be the consummate superfluous man From the outpouring of his tale of woe to Princess Mary we may come to the conclusion that Pechorin has no concept of cause and effect at least not as it applies to himself as the cause Moreover it becomes fairly apparent that he is of the belief that he is a victim of the world which is more interesting as one considers the culture of victimization that has become popular in recent years Who has not heard the excuse I did it because my parentsstate representativedog harassedbitabused me when I was a child In my opinion the growing interest in pop psychology and the related fields of social psychology and child psychology have greatly contributed to the decay of moral rectitude and the concept of taking responsibility for ones own actions The translator attributes Pechorins capriciousness to the lack of employment for his gifts I do not agree with that assessment as it has been my experience that only those who have made up their minds to lack direction will be unable to find an activity that occupies their mind and appeals to them One possible pursuit would be some form of art Skill matters little if the activity is pleasing Cultural appreciation gastronomical excess or sexual exercise would all be suitable endeavors We see that Pechorin certainly takes pleasure in the company of women though in his
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