Realism In 'The Cave' By Yevgeny Zamyatin

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The nature of Russian society is characterized by a sense of idealism. Russia’s beliefs of the potential for an ideal future have been pervasive throughout history. In 1920, Yevgeny Zamyatin wrote the short story “The Cave” during the midst of the Russian Civil War, a time when nationalism was at an all time low and people were hoping for a brighter future. In contrast to the goals that sparked the revolution, Zamyatin argues that the Russian Civil War will result in a primitive and decimated society that is ultimately worse off than the society that existed prior to the rebellion. In this short story, Zamyatin uses the cave setting to symbolize Russia’s retreat from modern civilization. What was once the booming city of St. Petersburg now resembles an obliterated war zone. Large Mammoths walk the streets. The people live in run down apartments. The town has no electricity, no running water, and the sole source of heat for the main characters is a small cast iron stove that the people idolize. The people burn their possession in a desperate …show more content…

Martin and Marsha’s lives are filled with worry. Although happiness and sadness in life should swing back and forth like a pendulum, for Martin and Marsha, pain is all they endure. They cannot depend on technology or other people to help promote happiness. Therefore, the hopes of death are the only speck of happiness they foresee. In their minds, death will cease their pain and bring forth the brighter future that was once promised to the people by the government. When given the opportunity to end their lives by drinking poison, both are eager to do so. In the end, there is only enough poison for one of them. Martin gives Masha the poison and takes a walk while she ends her life. Zamyatin exploits this dark perspective on life in order to stress the uncertainty that will come once the fighting is

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