Tales of Belkin

The Shot and the Ideals of Romanticism College

A theme that is immediately apparent in Pushkin’s The Shot is “the noble man with a romanticized view of life”. This theme was common during the Romantic Era, the period in which Pushkin wrote, but is important for more than historical reasons; in many ways, such "romanticization" guides the entire experience of reading Pushkin's storyline. As it often did, this theme takes place in an emotionally charged, descriptive narrative. Yet the true importance of Pushkin's romanticism, here, is the manner in which romantic ideals guide the life of the Silvio, the character central to The Shot.

From the onset of the story, Pushkin makes his protagonotist an outsider. While he lives in a military outpost surrounded by Russian men, his name is “Silvio”, which is clearly not of Russian origin. He is older than the rest of the men and has mysterious qualities to him. His personality traits are paradoxical; he is inviting and keeps the door to his home open for all, yet mentally he is aloof from the rest. This aloofness makes the other men simultaneously respect and fear him. Pushkin wrote that “nobody knew what his circumstances were, or what his income was, and nobody dared to inquire about them” (23). While Silvio keeps his life separate...

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