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 Post subject: TPAOL #5 ~ Mutz
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:25 am 
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How would you compare the character of Mutz to Balashov and Samarin?



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:14 am 
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Well, if I may get Freudian for a moment (which I rarely do).....my first reaction to this question was to think of Freud's theory of the structure of an individual...id, ego and superego and that each character represented, to some degree, one of these states. Mutz- ego; Samarin- id; Balashov- superego. I know many of you may not be familiar with this theory, but it struck me that these three characters may represent a part of a total individual. Here's some info on what each state represents.....

Id- Freud believed that the id is based on our pleasure principle. In other words, the id wants whatever feels good at the time, with no consideration for the reality of the situation.The id doesn't care about reality, about the needs of anyone else, only its own satisfaction

Ego- The ego understands that other people have needs and desires and that sometimes being impulsive or selfish can hurt us in the long run. Its the ego's job to meet the needs of the id, while taking into consideration the reality of the situation. The ego is the strongest so that it can satisfy the needs of the id, not upset the superego, and still take into consideration the reality of every situation.

Superego-The Superego is the moral part of us and develops due to the moral and ethical restraints placed on us by our caregivers. Many equate the superego with the conscience as it dictates our belief of right and wrong.

I saw Mutz as a cautious man, not given to running away or being impulsive with his passions. A problem solver, a thinker. Samarin and Balashov were more dictated by their passons and 'needs' and willing to do what it takes to achieve it.

Okay, how far off base am I?? Is my training as a psychologist creeping into everything I read? What say you?

Info on Freud's theory was taken for this site.....
http://allpsych.com/psychology101/ego.html



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:12 am 
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Hi KYwoman! Good to see you for our discussion! :disco:

I think your comparison is a very interesting one and not off base at all. I would agree with you about Mutz being more cautious and I also think he was more concerned about others that Samarin or Balashov.



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:34 am 
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Wow! It's been a long time since I thought about that theory--my college days. It sure fits, doesn't it? :-O

Glad to see you here for the discussion, KY! :bounce:



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:51 am 
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Nice, KYwoman! Thanks for the psychology lesson! It fits, too! Do you think it was intentional on the author's part?

For me, Mutz was waaay out of his league, being neither cunning nor sly nor vain. He was a basically good guy, IMO, without any extraordinary personality traits. He was just trying to work within the 'system' (Matula's system) and get back to a safe-er place. His 'skill', if he had one, was not in the arena of high drama like Balashov and Samarin (who both could wow the crowd with their respective versions of spinning) but in the arena of subtlety. He was courageous enough to keep reminding everyone, including Matula, of what was really going on around them inspite of their fantasies...like when Matula is expounding on his vison of Slavic revival (pg. 164) and Mutz says, "We're eating cat, sir." As an outsider (a Jew) he could see things more clearly than the others, IMO.

Maybe Mutz was too good for his own good?



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:51 am 
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KY, You may have hit the nail on the head there. (I've been immersed in Pavlov's behavior lately. )

But I do agree, that each person seems to complement the other, making a whole, and your theory fits well.

Time for a :morning: of :capnjack: to wake up and think about what I just read. :blush: It's nice when someone is already awake, and gives us all a :ohyes: to the system.


Last edited by Depputante on Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:07 pm 
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WOW! KY woman! It has been before the earth's crust cooled since I was in Psych Class 101. And what a marvelous comparison . It really fits. Yea Freud!

Muntz, I saw as one who was always there, but not in everyone's face with radical views, like Samarin and Balahov. When I think about the read of the book, the latter two characters come to mind first. Muntz seemed like someone not wanting to "rock the boat".

Lady Jill

P. S. I hope you all don't think my comments are not so educated. But being here is pushing me out of my box to rattle the gray matter back into life. I love reading all your discussions.



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:24 pm 
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Quote:
Parlez Posted:

Nice, KYwoman! Thanks for the psychology lesson! It fits, too! Do you think it was intentional on the author's part?


Not sure, maybe it was a subconscious intention. Freud said, there are no accidents. :blush:



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:25 pm 
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Lady Jill wrote:
WOW! KY woman! It has been before the earth's crust cooled since I was in Psych Class 101. And what a marvelous comparison . It really fits. Yea Freud!

Muntz, I saw as one who was always there, but not in everyone's face with radical views, like Samarin and Balahov. When I think about the read of the book, the latter two characters come to mind first. Muntz seemed like someone not wanting to "rock the boat".

Lady Jill

P. S. I hope you all don't think my comments are not so educated. But being here is pushing me out of my box to rattle the gray matter back into life. I love reading all your discussions.


I don’t think that at all, Lady Jill. I think this particular discussion requires deeper thought than some others we’ve had. And I’m not really sure why that is. I know I’m feeling stretched.

I agree with you on Mutz, BTW. He tended to stay even keeled, sensible, anything but an extremist. And he wasn't impulsive.



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:34 pm 
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KY woman, I think you descibe them perfectly.

Mutz is the man in the middle, average, dependable, organized, capable of both good and evil. His desires are simple, he wants to go home and take the woman he loves with him ( and also his fellow soldiers).
Balashov and Samarin are the "superstars" at either end of the spectrum. Balashov has adopted the moral high ground (in spite of what he has done to himself and his family), he is the leader of his congregation of angels and delivers "God's message". Samarin is the wild force of destruction in the name of his ideal, using his many charms to achieve his goals.



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:26 pm 
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I really think you're on to something there, KYwoman!
KYwoman wrote:
The id doesn't care about reality, about the needs of anyone else, only its own satisfaction
Sounds like the "Catechism of a Revolutionary," doesn't it?

I googled a bit and found http://www.wilderdom.com/personality/L8 ... erego.html

The parts that really hit home there were:
"Id too strong = bound up in self-gratification and uncaring to others" (I'd say that a willingness to eat people was a bit uncaring.)
"Superego too strong = feels guilty all the time, may even have an insufferably saintly personality" (I'd say that Anna found Balashov "unsufferably saintly.")


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:27 pm 
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No worries, Lady Jill! Our ONBC discussions push me and my gray matter way outside the box every time! Just one of the things I enjoy so much over here!

Here are a couple of passages that I love in regards to Mutz. I think one of the things that separates him from Samarin and Balashov is his higher level of compassion. He is a thinker but in a different manner.

For me, these two passages are a key to Mutz:


Quote:
Pg. 321:
The clock hand twitched forward. Mutz wondered if he could be shot in his sleep, and whether that would be better for him. He wasn’t troubled about looking brave. He didn’t want to die in an hour’s time, and it seemed that he was going to. How much time did he need to live? He didn’t need a year. He didn’t even need a month. A week would be good. He could do a lot in a week. He could help many people and uncover many secrets, knowing he was going to die in seven days, and people would remember him when he was dead, and think well of him. And then, in that last hour, he would realize that he needed another week. Nobody was ever ready to die in an hour.


And on pg. 322:

Quote:
“Anna would wonder what happened to him, but not for long. For some reason he most desired to be remembered by Alyosha. There was something deeply honourable and fine about being someone else’s childhood memory. He would never be a father now, but those men who cannot be fathers can be fathers for a hour, or a minute. All of a sudden he felt, for the first time, something he had only apprehended with his intellect and prejudices before, the misery of Balashov and Anna, the husband and wife, the father and mother, living a mile apart, separated forever and by a universe by a single stroke of the knife. He felt it without condemnation of Balashov, without jealous anger towards Anna. The worldly demons of war and guilt and religion and self-loathing which had inspired his contempt for Balashov were the same as those which had driven the gelding knife onto the cavalryman. Were he, Mutz, to live, the most important thing would be bringing together those two whom he had tried to drive apart.



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Wow! What a ride!
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:49 pm 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
Here are a couple of passages that I love in regards to Mutz. I think one of the things that separates him from Samarin and Balashov is his higher level of compassion. He is a thinker but in a different manner.


Not just compassion, but selfless love for others--in my mind, the most honorable of loves, but the hardest to actually live.



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:08 pm 
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Oh dear me, Sometimes I just cant get myself to delve deep enough to think some of these things through, so I think I'll just relax today and comment on some of you ladies comments who were better equipped to jump in today.

Kywoman, I don't remember my lessons on Freud well enough to comment so I bow to your post which seems very fitting indeed. I am with you Lady Jill, Psych Class was so long ago I am out of my league here.

Linda Lee said
Mutz is the man in the middle, average, dependable, organized, capable of both good and evil.
Balashov and Samarin are the "superstars" at either end of the spectrum.


Parlez said
Mutz was waaay out of his league, being neither cunning nor sly nor vain. He was a basically good guy, IMO, without any extraordinary personality traits.


I don't disagree with any of these statements but just found it a little disconcerting that the person we perceive to be most normal and good was out of his league as Parlez says. Scary thought?



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:43 pm 
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Our women have a proverb about the men like Mutz: “He’s a good man, but not the eagle”. Mutz is a good man, indeed – kind, trustworthy, but bored. Balashov also was a pretty right man until his infatuation for a religion; I admit, Anna Petrovna took an interest in him properly only after his castration. And Samarin – he is like a fire, dangerous and attractive.
But this is only woman’s point of view; if we will value them with a point of view of a pure reason, in pragmatic way – Mutz really is the most deserve man from that trinity. He has a responsibility, a conscience; he is a really intellect man. He didn’t betray his family like Balashov; he wasn’t an awful, mad criminal, like Samarin. But… But, but. I can understand Anna Petrovna in her infatuation for Samarin, to be honest, and I can understand her, when she declined the trip with Mutz to his home. I think, it is an eternal enigma of woman’s soul. :grin:



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