Pozdnyshev's Self-Knowledge And The Limitations Of Narrative

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Pozdnyshev wife’s life altered after bearing children—beginning to develop independent hobbies, such as playing the piano, which sparks Pozdnyshev’s jealousy. Before taking up her hobbies, she brings a notion to her husband that in the world, the only “thing worthy of attention [is] love” (Tolstoy 42). She feels that she lacks love in her marriage, which results her “to devote herself passionately to the piano, which had formerly stood forgotten in the corner” (Tolstoy 42) to make up for lost love. Afterwards, their arguments became more intense, and Pozdnyshev becomes “polluted by jealousy” (Tolstoy 42) once his wife’s attention is no longer on him, knowing that he is losing control of the mastery of the gaze. According to Jeanette Bicknell, the author of the scholarly article Self-Knowledge and the Limitations of Narrative, she views Pozdnyshev’s ignorance “of his own emotional states and unhappy marriage could stem from a lack of self-knowledge” (Bicknell 409). He expresses his fear of losing the mastery of the gaze through anger, stemming “not from unhealthy attitudes toward sexuality, but from his frustration at his inability to control his own desire, and at his inability of controlling his wife’s body” (Bicknell 409). By getting angry with her for taking up hobbies, he doesn’t see her as a human being, but an object that always needs to be managed by him through the mastery of the gaze. Without being able to control her, he loses grasp of the gaze, which results in

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