Essay on Buddha 's Little Finger, By Victor Pelvin

Essay on Buddha 's Little Finger, By Victor Pelvin

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Throughout Buddha’s Little Finger, by Victor Pelvin, the main character Pyotr Voyd struggles in separating History, dreams and reality from each other. Pytor struggles in deciphering which reality is real, Russia circa 1917 or Russia circa 1990. Pyotr’s difficulty in separating dreams from reality is also a side effect from his Schizophrenia. Pyotr’s Schizophrenia also affects his ability to distinguish the past and reality as he sees the events from the past and reality in a skewed lens. Because Pyotr views these events from a skewed lens, his consciousness is also skewed due to the traumatic events he views during the Russian Revolution, and while in the Psychiatric Hospital.
Pyotr’s troubles begin when the Russian Revolution begins. Prior to the breakout of the Russian Revolution, the Romanov’s had held power for over 300 years. However, the last Tsar, Nicholas II, was seen as a coward, indecisive, and dull-witted by the people and was constantly mocked by the people of Russia through the use of propaganda, namely Skazki stories and pamphlets (Hemenway, 2001). In Pyotrs case, reading the Skazki would give him a misconception of what was really going on in Russia under the Tsars. Because of the propaganda, the Skazki would be mixing the truth of what was going on within the country mixed with fiction, therefore solidifying the falsehoods of what was going on in the country prior to the Revolution.
The Skazki were also used to discredit the Tsars. Some of the Skazki were critiques on Nicholas II’s reign while others used parodic devices to discredit the Tsar (Hemenway, 2001). The Skazki also dealt with contemporary social and economic conditions in Russia, along with the long history of tsarist rule and abuses under of the tsar...


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...ed directly, but mediated through modes and practices of representation of perception which are historically determined, our experience of reality is quite the contrary(Fitting, 1983). Reality appears to us rather as natural and eternal (Fitting, 1983).
When Pyotr leaves the psychiatric hospital, after learning of his problems of separating the past from the present, and dreams from reality and being given medication to try to help him, Pyotr fails to remain in the present and instead, falls back to living in the past reality of Russia circa 1920. This decision to live in a past reality could be due to the trauma experienced in the past, the treatments received in the hospital, or because of Pyotr’s mental illness. Pyotr’s decision to remain in Soviet Russia is also an indication that he feels that that reality is the true reality while Post-Soviet Russia was false.

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