Is Oblomov (the main character in Oblomov by Goncharov) stuck in a childlike state and thus weakened morally?

1 Answer | Add Yours

herappleness's profile pic

M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Goncharov's Oblomov is the story of Ilya Ilyitch Oblomov; a young, dandy-like bachelor in his thirties whose aristocratic and privileged position has come dwindling down leaving him to face life and reality for the first time.

From the very beginning, we are told that Ilya is good-natured, but a mere "simpleton" whose lack of intellect is evident even in that in his "dark-grey eyes", there was "an absence of a definite idea", and his overall demeanor pronounced a general "lack of concentration".

In Oblomov we find the typical characteristic of the Victorian upper-classman who has never had to worry about money, but who has succumbed to the changing times, coming out in the losing end. However, Oblomov is too used to his ways. As a true member of his class, he feels the entitlement that comes with having been born into privilege. It is an entitlement that comes with its own set of social freedoms that, naturally, would be quite hard to give up. The result is that Oblomov certainly has remained in a state of blind comfort, not realizing that all things come with consequences. Like a child he simply expects things to take care of themselves, and he assumes that his ancestral name and fortune will never cease.

Chapter 2 expands on Oblomov's mentality with the words

a modicum of... satisfaction was to be derived from the thought that, from nine o'clock until three and from eight o' clock until nine of the following day, he, Oblomov, could remain lying prone on a sofa... Yes, he leisured for the indulgence of his feelings and imagination.

Therefore, the morally-weakened aspect of Oblomov's personality comes from his aloofness and his inability to take life seriously; he simply leads a life turning a blind eye to responsibility and consequences. His self-indulgences know no boundaries.


We’ve answered 317,919 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question