Life as Reading: Razumov’s Interpretative Situation in Under Western Eyes

Joanna Kurowska

This essay analyzes the interpretative situation of Razumov, the main hero of Conrad’s novel Under Western Eyes (1910). Challenged by a fellow student named Victor Haldin, Razumov must navigate through his internal experiences (past, present, and those anticipated by him in the future), as well as through external stimuli—which he has little experience to understand fully—in order to arrive at morally meaningful decisions. Communicative aspects of Razumov’s encounters, first with Haldin, then with his sister Natalie, are discussed in greater detail; particularly Razumov’s use of speech and silence, first to conceal but ultimately to reveal the truth.
Słowa kluczowe: interpretative situation, cognitive prejudice, community, tradition, the symbol of stranger, communication, speech, silence, moral choice

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