AN ANALYSIS OF UNDER WESTERN EYES
DUALITY OF UNDER WESTERN EYES
The duplicity and duality are the most dominant themes of Under Western Eyes. Joseph Conrad reflects successfully to his novel by analyzing inner conflict and psychological war in the character's mind. The novel also reflects the political effects of Russia such as moral corruption, an ardent patriotism, the sense of pity, the noble aspirations of humanity, etc. With these harsh conditions, the character’s subconscious and acts are quite complex and far away from understandable to the reader.
The novel starts with the two narrators, one of which is a diary of the hero Razumov, the other one is a language teacher. In that way, it can be seen as two different functions one of which is told by Razumov his own experiences, emotions, and feelings, the other one is teacher’s experiences, observations, and comments on Razumov. With the oppressive and suppressive atmosphere of Russia, Razumov does not know how he should act or not. And he is always suffering his duplicity and duality. As Razumov has no relatives and no parents, he feels loneliness deeply. He is suffering from isolation and alienation. When he is in trouble, he has no one to guide and supervise.There are so many examples in the novel about dilemmas. While Razumov is receiving Victor Haldin, he thinks that all policemen have been searching for Victor Haldin. He is always in a terrible dilemma on one side, his life on the other side Haldin. He does not know how to overcome this problem in general. He seems as if he were imprisoned caged bird, there is no way out of Razumov. He sees himself as swimming a deep-sea on his own through his life. Both Razumov and Victor Haldin are suffering from duality and indecisiveness. Even though Victor Haldin tells firstly the event to Razumov, he has some question marks concerning Razumov, he is afraid of the fact that he can give himself up to the authority. Haldin is unable to forget about his doubts. For this reason, he does not refrain from threatening, giving some message to Razumov. Because of these dualities, There is a psychological war between Haldin and Razumov. Both of them go on evaluating on trying to understand what the others are planning in their minds. Razumov by locking the door, he must have told that he has lock Razumov, but he does not know the fact that it is not Haldin who is locking in, he has locked himself, his hopes, his plans. Haldin lives in his mind, body, and soul. And sometimes thinks that if he helps Haldin to escape perhaps much easier for him to get rid of this problem. He is again suffering from a split personality. Step by step, each movement forces him full down deeper and deeper. And for the sake of self-protection,he gives his friend up to the authorities. He not only betrays his friend but also betrays himself. He is in existential anguish. He causes his end to himself because of his nothingness.
In conclusion, Conrad highlights the psychological war of characters and their mistakes during the inner war. Razumov is suffering from alienation, loneliness, and oppression. Just for the sake of saving himself, he betrays both himself and Haldin. Since he has no guider, he did a great mistake not only to his friend but also to himself. The novel is full of their dualities and duplicities of their complex, split characters.