Hasek's Anarchist Beliefs Revealed in The Good Soldier Svejk

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Jaroslav Hasek, one of the most famous Czech authors from the late 19th and early 20th century, created one of the Czech Republic’s greatest novels in The Good Soldier Svejk. Throughout The Good Soldier Svejk, Hasek not only tells the story of Svejk, but also tells multiple stories through the voice of Svejk. Clearly this is no coincidence and Hasek is using the stories within a story to make comments upon each other, but what exactly are these comments? Ultimately we must look into specific stories by Svejk and see how they demonstrate parts of Hasek’s anarchist beliefs as well as providing a sense of comedic humor and ridiculousness on Svejk’s part. Right from the get go Svejk begins by telling Mrs. Muller two stories after hearing that the Archduke Ferdinand had been assassinated. In his stories Svejk tells of a man who failed to pay his bar bill, had to be taken away in a drunks’ cart to sober up and eventually hangs himself in jail. In his second story is from when Svejk was in the army and a fellow infantryman shot his captain and destroyed an ink bottle which messed up several important documents. From these stories alone you can begin to see how Svejk stories will comment on what has happened in the actual story of Svejk. Svejk stories of the man who was drunk and the man who shot his captain provides comedic relief to the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand, and lessens the severity and intensity of what has happened. Svejk, being your standard Czech citizen, acts as if the death of Ferdinand is nothing, basically saying so what I have been through and seen far worse than one man just being shot. Svejk furthers this notion of “so what” by stating that he would have “bought a Browning for a job like that.” Of course ... ... middle of paper ... ...es, e.g., the death of a baby be thawed out dog, using a browning to kill many archdukes, and the way he was treated in solitary confinement during his tenure in the army. These stories as we have seen provide more than comedic relief; they are the voice of Hasek and his beliefs. All of Svejk’s stories highlight some actions or beliefs by humans, in which Hasek feels is either a downfall of those who govern or a way to protect one’s self from the governmental tyranny. Ultimately, The Good Soldier Svejk is not just a story of an imbecile named Svejk who tells completely absurd and hilarious stories, but rather a look into what Hasek truly believes. The Good Soldier Svejk is truly Hasek’s way of saying anarchy does not hate the government, but rather understands the problems with humans and how you can defend your rights against idiocracy we call governments.

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