The Possessed Themes

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Men of the '40's vs. Men of the '60's

Much of the novel is a playing out of one of the central cultural and political themes of the 19th century, the dispute between the older men of the '40s and the younger men of the '60s. Both of these groups are stereotypes, though salient types of the time. Men of the '40s were superfluous men, aristocratic, highly educated Russians who desired change in their homeland, though were unable to influence change directly. They tended to live outside of Russia, particularly in Germany or France and pursued literary pursuits. Stepan is meant to embody, somewhat comically, this type. Men of the '60s on the other hand had tired of their elders' talking and desired direct revolutionary action for political change. They tended to eschew the arts and culture and to be taken in by...

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This section contains 819 words
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