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"Superfluous man" is one of the more common types of characters in Russian literature of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. This is an inspired person, intelligent, educated and critically minded, but nonetheless not fitting into the mainstream of the political era in which she came to live and act and aware of her alienation from other people. An "superfluous man" rejects society, and society, in turn, rejects it. He is a good indicator of all social ills of the historical epoch. The typical representatives of "superfluous man" in Russian literature, researchers usually include the heroes of "Eugene Onegin" by Alexander Pushkin, the "Hero of Our Time" by Mikhail Lermontov, "Oblomov" by Ivan Gorcharov, and others. In Polish literature, which for historical reasons has always been closely related to the Russian one, there are many characters that are very similar to the type of "superfluous man", although the term "superfluous man" (in Polish: "zbędny człowiek") is used in Polish literary criticism only the heroes of Russian literature. In relation to the characters of Polish literature, the name "Werther-like hero" (in Polish: "bohater werterowski") is sometimes found, but more often they remain unnamed. In this article a pioneering attempt is made of a comparative analysis of the image of the "superfluous man" in Russian and Polish literatures. The authors analyze all the major works of Russian and Polish literature, in which this motive is present and identify analogies between the way in which they depict the "superfluous man".


Superfluous man, Werther-like hero, Russian literature, Polish literature, alienation, mainstream, literature, estrangement, main stream