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The Soviet Mentality

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Mikhail Zoshchenko approach to Soviet Mentality. According to him, people with soviet mentality are very nervous. Something under normal circumstances that is not supposed to cause any argument or curiosity; it always does for people with soviet mentality. For instance, the tenant lady who goes to light her primus stove. When it fails to light, she thinks it is the work of the devil and she becomes mad at it. Just as she picks the brush to clean her stove, the neighboring tenant who is the owner of the brush enters. She is again mad at her for telling her to return the brush where she found it after finishing. Because of the nervous nature the author associates with soviet mentality, the lady starts accusing the brush owner to the point of almost fighting were it not for the small size of the house. The other tenants rush in expecting a fight because of the noise. One blatantly gets amused for lack of the fight. For sure, in a normal society, we do not expect any time people quarrel, that it has to be accompanied by a fight. In fact it is logical that people who are quarreling should be calmed down instead of asking them why they are not fighting. This is contrary to a soviet mentality person who is ever nervous. In the story, the retired soldier is amused and asks why all the noise yet there is no fight.  This shows how the author portrays soviet mentality as being nervous.

Take care of the ladies 

In soviet mentality, according to the author, it is expected that men should take care of ladies even if they are dating.  According to him, regardless of the economic status of the man, her lady will expect him to do for her what she likes. From the story, for instance the man takes out her lady for a walk. He is fully aware that he is doing that because of the financial constraints he is in. The lady does not appreciate that and instead, she asks the man to take her to a different place like in a movie. The man accepts reluctantly knowing that taking her to the movie will mean extra costs. According to the author, the man is also fully aware that he is the one who should take care of the ladies. This is shown when the man takes in the movie, the lady keeps on eating while the man is worried of how he will pay. Despite of the man having an empty stomach, he does not eat because he does not have enough money to pay for food. This sounds quite absurd. The author presents soviet mentality as one where women look upon men for their needs. The author also presents people with soviet mentality as being so pessimistic. This scenario happens when the man with her lady during the time of intermission. They go to look for water and the first thing that runs in the man’s mind is whether the tabs have water.  The lady because of her pessimistic nature, she also wonders whether they run. The people are so obscene. The author illustrates this at the hotel incident where the man abuses the lady because she ate more than what the man could not afford. He calls her, “you lousy bitch.” This indicates how vulgar such people can be. The man goes ahead to call the man who ate the fourth cake as being a bitch. In the end, the lady dumps her man by telling him that men who do not have money do not go out with ladies. Soviet society is also presented as a place full of crisis. From the passage, it seems the kind of housing in such places is so wanting. One of the citizens is full of joy on realizing that there is a load of bricks in the streets.  According to the citizen, he hopes for a real life once the houses are constructed.  The citizen also reports of how long it took him to get a house while in Moscow. He walked for two weeks but could not succeed in getting a room to stay. He reports of growing a beard while still in the search of a room to stay. Through this, the author is emphasizing how bad the situation in soviet population is. This indicates that the kind of life people are leading currently is not the life they yearn for. In the society, it is also presented as being overpopulated. The citizen associates lack of enough rooms to increased population. According to him, if abortion becomes legal, perhaps it will help in reducing the crisis of rooms. The idea of abortion being legal also shows that people with the soviet mentality also have some constitution which they are expected to abide to. The author also presents soviet population as comprising of thieves. Jeremiah’s fur coat was stolen by someone. The soviet population is also represents as being made up of different classes of people. The way the citizen in the poverty story describes the kind of lighting system they used when in the big house, he says the poorest used candles. This shows that there were partitions among people basing on their richness. In the story of bathhouse, soviet society is presented as having people who do not perform duties to their perfection. The citizen is amazed at the way American will be handed their clothes well washed and ironed. This shows that such things do not happen in the soviet population. The author also presents people in soviet society as living in strained economical conditions. The citizen who went to the bathhouse and misplaced his check describes his coat as having a hole on one pocket, the other pocket is missing. Also several buttons are missing on the jacket. This description fits somebody who is poor.  In the story of lady aristocrat, society is presented as lacking basic needs like water and toilet. The man who goes to visit the lady who lives in room seven asks whether water or toilet services have been obstructed. That kind of question tells us the society is used to such kind of life. In the story of the crisis, the man has no room to stay till he opts on staying with his wife and the baby in the bathroom. This author has focused most on the low class people. His significance is the way he has described the crisis commonly faced by soviet population. Mikhail Zoshchenko represents a soviet mentality population as a place where every person is concerned with his/her businesses. Nobody meddles into affairs of others.  A person in the society is expected to handle his or her problems without expecting help from others. In the story, Marya’s primus stove fails to light. People instead of helping, the neighbor comes and demands for her brush without even assisting.  This describes a soviet as a place where every person lives his or her life without the influence of others.

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Soviet mentality according to Tatyana Tostaya 

According to Tatyana Tostaya, he presents people with soviet mentality as being adamant. They do not want to accept the basic facts of life. When talking about Denisov, one of the characters in his story, he presents him as a person who disputes even the basic truth. He glances at the hemisphere maps and disputes the way continents are placed. Surely, is it logical to dispute nature yet you have no control over it.  That is how the author presents people with soviet mentality. They are ever complaining how bad things are. They even suggest on how things should have been instead. The author also approaches people with soviet mentality as being chronic smokers. While Denisov was staring at the map, he blew a lot of smoke over the map. The same author the way he describes Denisov’s apartment shows such people as being less concerned with their place of residents. He describes the ceiling as being water stained. We are told that the apartment also had only one sofa. Denisov will only appear home twice a year to clean his apartment. This creates a mental picture to show how dilapidated Denisov’s apartment is. The author presents people in soviet mentality as those who live on imaginations. Lora imagines herself having a tail. She goes ahead to describe how good she will look when with a tail. She even remembers the cloth she had seen on the market that could fit her with her tail. This is some sort of insanity.  Furthermore, people in soviet mentality are known to recognize the presence good life and bad life. For Denisov, he had already lived his good life and was only remaining with bad life. He believes that marrying Lora and dying thereafter will constitute a bad life for him. Tatyana represents the society as a place where people also do marry. Denisov and Lora got married. Despite of the hard economic conditions, people in such society indulge in economic activities for them to earn a living. Tatyana’s perception of soviet population is more less the same as Mikhail. He presents the soviet society as a place full of suffering. Apparently, in the story, all people are yearning for something better than they have. Some have become disillusioned. .

Ludmila Petrushevskaya

The third author, Ludmila Petrushevskaya presents people in the soviet as who are social. Marsha on every Friday, people meet at her place to drink.  One citizen remarks that Marsha always has a get-together on Fridays. This shows that people can come together and interact. The society is presented also as having people who are proud of themselves. One man believes that he knows everything. Anything that he does not know means it does not exist. This being too proud as one for real cannot know everything in the world. The author also presents the society as lacking freedom and liberty. Serge is worried of loosing his job for fear of expressing himself openly. The soviet people in our circle are represented as being educated. Professors do exist. Serge at the oceanic we are told he was just a junior researcher. Furthermore, the people are shown as being hardworking. Several people we are told took business trips. This shows the way the author is portraying such people as being entrepreneurs. He also represents people in the soviet as being made up of different social classes. Marsha is one of the richest in the society to the extent of staying with other citizens who are not family members. The people are also presented as being human and caring. We are told because of Surge’s help, Lenka got a job as a lab assistant. This shows the generosity and human nature of people. They like seeing their friends also succeeding.  The people also value children. The narrator of our circle considers members within the circle basing on the number of children. For her, she had Alyosha. The members in the circle felt sorry for Anyua and Andrea’s inability to have children. This shows that people in the soviet value children. They feel there is something absurd when one fails to have children around. When Anyuta suddenly gave birth to a daughter, there was a lot of rejoicing. This shows how children are valued in the soviet. We are told after giving birth, Anyuta became like any other woman. She was not frequently attacked as it used to be before she got a child. That night, Andrei bought vodka and people got drunk. This again tells us that in the soviet, people celebrate their achievements by drinking. The third author is unique in the way he represents the soviet population. Unlike the other authors, he presents people as being very jovial to their neighbors. They interact more than often to socialize and have fun. He also presents the society as having a great liking for alcohol. In the story, there is no much suffering the way the case is with the other two authors. He makes the soviet population to appear like ordinary communities where people can have fun without fear. Generally, the author has presented soviet as people who can also lead a satisfying life.

The soviet man

One cannot accept the way nature is. For instance, the story of Denisov who looks at the hemisphere maps and starts to criticize how continents are placed. He says waters masses should be there, India is at the right place and so forth. Logically, it makes no sense to complain on things that cannot be changed unless one wants to proof his/her imbecility.  Also in the story, the soviet woman at a point is presented as being promiscuous. For instance, Lora, Denisov’s new fiancée is planning to be married as her fourth husband. This is quite surprising as we do not expect people to keep on marrying and remarrying. Denisov himself also is fully aware that he is going to be the fourth husband but he is not worried either. This to some extent shows the level of promiscuity in soviet mentality. Men in the story have also been shown as being disillusioned. For instance, Denisov has lost hope since he is only remaining with the bad life to live. He pictures himself as being death. People from soviet mentality have also been shown as optimistic. When faced with a tough situation, they believe it is not permanent and it will come to pass. For instance, Lora is encouraging her papa. “Don’t worry, don’t worry” everything will be fine. This shows Lora as being optimistic. Also the citizen who hopes to live in enough rooms in the coming 20 years shows some degree of optimism. Soviet men are also presented as being ambitious in life. For instance, Denisov is described as having a dream. This shows some levels of optimism though his dream sounds to be so easily achievable.  Soviet man is also presented as being greed. For instance Denisov had bread which he was not planning to eat. But as soon as people request him to give them, he changes all over a sudden and says he also needs it. In the end, after soul searching, Denisov recognizes that he was greed till he remarks, “I shouldn’t have been so greedy.” This scenario also present selfishness portrayed by soviet mentality men. They are not concerned at all with the well being of their neighbors. Despite of the fact that Denisov recognized those people as being hungry, he could not give them the bread. Men of the soviet population can also be regarded as being too egocentric. They do not care about how their actions may affect their neighbors.  For instance, Mr. Jeremiah’s fur leather coat was stolen by somebody. He admits that his coat was a good one and it is a pity to lose it. Also in the story of “bathhouse”, there is one man bathing using three buckets yet another person does not even have one. Surprisingly, the one with three buckets is not willing to assist. This shows how egocentric the population is. The soviet man also appreciates the fact that there are evil deeds which are punishable. In the story of the “dog scent”, those hunted by the dog confess being guilty.  They further request people to tie their hands and punish them. The soviet woman also believes that it is the duty of a man to provide his lady with anything she needs. For instance, in the story of “nervous people”, the lady says, “people who don’t have money don’t go out with ladies.” The society of soviet mentality is also presented as living in poor conditions. For example, in the story of the “bathhouse”, the citizen admits that their bathrooms are not bad but they are worse. Also such a society can be perceived as lacking moral values. The citizen is surprised at the way people live their belongings with the bath attendant without fear of losing them in America. This shows that the citizen is not used to seeing such in the soviet society. Men in such society are presented as being selfish. In the bathhouse story, the man with three buckets is not willing to assist his friends who have none until he remarks, “what selfishness!”  Women are also not expected to wear certain attires in the society. For instance, a woman who wears a hat is described as being void. In the story of our circle, the man in the society is presented as being tough and ruthless till he admits it. He also presented as being too proud of himself till he confesses that he is very intelligent and in case there something that he does not know, then probably it does not exist. Marsha is presented as being loving and caring. In the story, despite of Lenka staying with her money for long, she still offers her a place to stay at her place. The people are also sympathetic. When Anyua and Andrea were unable to have children, the people felt sorry for them.

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