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Russian Revolution Essay

4854 words - 20 pages

Russia has never been a happy place. Since the 12th Century it has been bogged down in poverty, horrific living conditions, and an extremely separated class system. It took many years for the workers and slaves of Russian life to finally organize themselves and revolt against the causes of such hardship; many years of pain, suffering, and oppression that were brought on by the czars. It was this stagnant suffering that would finally begin to lift, and eventually bring power to the Bolsheviks and communism to Russia. Many revolutionaries encouraged killing, robbery, and used terror to advance their effort. However, there were other kinds of revolutionaries, some violent, some not. Gorky, ...view middle of the document...

Gorky’s My Childhood gives us an unforgettable view of Russian life, known as “the crucial generation,” in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The beatings and abuse throughout Gorky’s story is comparable to that of the Russian people throughout history. On page 56 of My Childhood, a quote by Grigory to summarizes how bad life in Russia was, and this was true for most families: “If you’re lucky, Grandfather won’t beat you today. Looks as if he’s in a good mood.” (My Childhood, pg 56). The fact that children are lucky NOT to get beaten signifies not only the physical abuse brought on, but also the psychological implications children would have to live with their entire life. Plus, the likelihood that abused children will become abusing parents is likely also, so the entire history of Russia follows this pattern. The working class, known as the proletariat of Russia, is a class of people that are beaten down and severely exploited by the bourgeoisie for years. But just like young Gorky, the proletariat accepted the abuse, because that was how Russia had always been, and that is all they knew how to do. Revolting or attempting to disrupt the old order was pointless in most eyes, for it would only make matters worse for the revolver and their family. The children of Russian families were also expected to endure this coercion. They were expected to abide by their parents rule (which essentially meant their father alone) and I see this relationship similar to slavery. Obviously Gorky did not have a father for very long, but his grandfather can be seen in the same light. His grandfather was an unpredictable, abusive tyrant that expected young Gorky, Gorky’s grandmother, and anyone else that could be subdued through fear to give into his orders. Gorky’s story gives an in-depth view of an ordinary Russians life, and unlike Turgenev’s Father and Sons, My Childhood depicts the gritty, violent hardships that many low-class Russians faced throughout history. Although it is not mentioned very often in the books, the czar had the power to decide where Russia was going. A passage spoken by Grandfather to young Gorky represents how the czars were viewed in Russia, “The war’s the Tsar’s business, and it’s not for us to understand.” (My Childhood, pg 86). People did not question the czar’s decisions that were made, for they knew if they did, they would be tortured or killed. They had to abide by his rule, and any policies he formulated. The czar was a main reason, but a subtle reason hinted at by the authors, that revolutionary in Russia was imminent to occur in the near future.
At this point it seems important to explain what exactly makes a revolutionary. Is violence necessary? Is an overthrow of the government needed? How many does it take to cause a revolution? All these questions are necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of a revolution. When I think of what a revolution accomplishes, the thing that often comes to mind is a “fresh start.” This means...

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