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The Great Purge Character Analysis

Decent Essays
Also prominently featured in the novel, the Great Purge negatively affected society. Fear and brutality reigned while logic and decency disappeared. Fear held an important position throughout the novel and in the real historical events the story is based off of. When the police came to arrest Rubashov in the beginning of the novel, the other residents of the house were afraid. Wassilij “panted with fear,” on page 5. A woman had yelled after the men had started banging the door, but stopped abruptly after Wassilij shouted, “‘Be quiet…Here is Authority.’ (7)…The house was silent after the one shrill woman’s cry, but they had the feeling that all inhabitants were awake in their beds, holding their breath (8).” Everyone in the house remained quiet to avoid trouble for themselves. Richard also illustrated this fear through his heavy stammering when a bodyguard of the regime was close (39). Another important instance of fear occurred as Michael Bogrov was led away for execution—he shouted for help, screamed, whimpered, and hung like a doll (144). Hare-lip—Professor Kieffer’s son—provided one of the more significant instances of fear. While in the third hearing with Rubashov and Gletkin, Hare-lip had a haunted gaze, trembling upper lip, a white face, and a sunken head—he “quivered as though struck by a whip” and “in his eyes appeared the flickering of naked animal terror” (200-210). He was terrified and only gave this testimony due to a desire to stay alive. The book mentioned that
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