Pechorin cannot sleep after overhearing Grushnitsky and the dragoon captain's plan to challenge him to a duel and to give him a gun without bullets. As a result, he is "yellow as parchment" in the morning (122). Princess Mary assumes that his appearance is due to his feelings for her. She thinks that he could not sleep because of the hard time she has been giving him. He allows her to believe this notion, and this causes her to confess her feelings.
"eyes as fine as Bela's" (Simile)
A connection between Karagyoz, Kazbich's horse, is made early in the novel. Karagyoz's eyes are tied to Bela's eyes. The horse's eyes are "as fine as Bela's" (13). It is not surprising to learn later in the novel that the horse and the young girl's fates are intertwined. Pechorin helps Azamat steal Karagyoz in return for Bela. Both Karagyoz and Bela are taken from their masters: Karagyoz from Kazbich and Bela from her father, the old chief.
"black eyes like a mountain goat's that looked right inside of you" (Simile)
This line is used to describe Bela. Black eyes are a running theme in the novel. Bela and Vulich have black eyes, and Karagyoz's name translates into "Black Eye." The color black carries an ominous tone and foreshadows these three characters' disastrous fates. There is a lot of emphasis on eyes in this novel. Bela might have "eyes like a mountain goat's that looked right inside of you," but like many characters in the novel, she fails to see through Pechorin (13). He manipulates her as easily as he does other characters in the novel.
"weaving his way along the street like a demon" (Simile)
Kazbich is depicted as a "demon" long before the word is explicitly stated (17). When Kazbich first appears in the novel, he is described as cunning, fearsome, and deceitful. Later in the novel, he kills without mercy both the old chief and Bela. The use of "demon" also ties in to the negative presentation of natives in the novel. Russian characters in the novel see the natives as savages. In their eyes, the natives are either lazy or violent.
"a veritable mermaid" and "my undine" (Metaphors)
Pechorin calls the young woman he meets in Taman a "veritable mermaid" and "my undine" (63). She is not beautiful, but he finds her intriguing. She is more mysterious than any of the other women he meets in the novel. She is one of the few figures in the novel that creates an intellectual challenge for Pechorin. He cannot read her, and she is able to play with his emotions. She kisses him and lures him to the sea, where she nearly drowns him.
A Hero of Our Time Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for A Hero of Our Time is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.