First Love: Vladimir's Voyage

In Turgenev's First Love, Vladimir's journey from boyish love to maturity is a tumultuous, burdensome, and often painful expedition. This pilgrimage is a transition from the consuming passions of the young and restless heart to the sound maturity of adulthood. The chief purpose of this undergoing is to leave the inexperienced wanderer with a steadfast outlook on love, life, and the nature of human relationships. For Vladimir Petrovich this expedition is confounded by an unrequited and unfulfilled love that can be seen at every cobblestone of the way. So difficult is his ascent, that the objects of his affection (Zinaida, his father, and ultimately himself) put him through turmoil but ...

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He comes into the experience with ideal notions of romanticism which he acquires from the poetry and romantic literature that he reads in his childhood. "I would take a book with me - Kaidanov's lectures, for example - though I seldom opened it, and spent most of the time repeating lines of poetry aloud to myself - I knew a great many by then."( p. 23) From his first encounter with the mystical enchantress, his behavior alters without his understanding the reasons behind these modifications: "As I was going to bed, without quite knowing why, I spun round two or three times on one foot; then I put pomade on my hair, lay down, and slept like a top all night." (p. 27) Spinning round for no apparent reason and applying a hair-styling product before going to bed is certainly a curious behavior. Not knowing yet what romantic love is, other than the ideal picture painted in his poetry readings, Vladimir is left with a conception of love which is archetypal of the knight in shining ...

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Petrovich is able to reflect on and yearn for his boyish, "first tender, touching joys of love."(p.48) Yet the illustration of the dying bird gives us an insight into the course of Vladimir's understanding of love. A feeling of hopelessness surrounds the image of the dying bird, suggesting to us that this love pursuit is fruitless. However, this is not Volodya's understanding at the time. It is a foreshadowing of his future sentiments on the topic.
Moreover, Vladimir's voyage to understand love continues in his tenacious pursuit of Zinaida. Despite observing her cruelty to the other suitors (bopping them on the head with flowers, sticking pins into their hands, making them act like ...

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First Love: Vladimir's Voyage. (2003, December 27). Retrieved February 18, 2019, from
"First Love: Vladimir's Voyage.", 27 Dec. 2003. Web. 18 Feb. 2019. <>
"First Love: Vladimir's Voyage." December 27, 2003. Accessed February 18, 2019.
"First Love: Vladimir's Voyage." December 27, 2003. Accessed February 18, 2019.
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Added: 12/27/2003 08:36:40 PM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1910
Pages: 7

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