The Problem of Identity, The Search for the Self-Consciousness and The Reflections of Hegelian Philosophy On Razumov In Conrad’s Under Western Eyes

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The aim of this article is to display the problem of identity and the search for self-consciousness, in Hegelian terms, intensively experienced by Razumov in Under Western Eyes by the famous Polish-born English novelist Joseph Conrad. In the novel, written in the light of Conrad’s own experiences in the past, the process of identity acquisition which begins with Razumov Sidorovitch’s, an ordinary, reserved and passive university student in autocratic Russia, opening up to the external world and the occurrence of changes in his personality along with this process are examined in terms of Hegel’s theories of self-consciousness, dialectics and master-slave relationship. 

Razumov’s relationships first with his friend Victor Haldin, later with the government officers and lastly with the revolutionary circle and Victor’s family members in Geneva shape his identity and lead him to self-consciousness. The constant struggle between two opposite ideas or groups generates a dialectical process of development in the society, especially in the personality of Razumov.


Razumov, identity, personality, self-consciousness, dialectic, autocracy, revolution

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