The Noise of Time Themes & Motifs

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Destiny and Powerlessness

Very early on in the book, destiny is defined as “just a grand term for something you could do nothing about” (7), and the term is revisited multiple times throughout the book as a way of addressing Shostakovich’s general powerlessness in the face of the will of the Soviet government. This type of “destiny” is described as inescapable, and it is generally referred to in relation to Shostakovich’s inability to fully control his art and his career under the watch of the government. Shostakovich is constantly forced to reshape the content of his music so as not to offend the Soviet government, or else risk severe punishment.

Moreover, Shostakovich is portrayed as having no ultimate control over his own life, as Stalin reserves the power to have any citizens arrested and killed at any time, and officials under Khrushchev’s leadership hound Shostakovich...

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This section contains 1,392 words
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Buy The Noise of Time Study Guide
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