Summary (Masterplots II: World Fiction Series)
Farewell from Nowhere traces the physical, spiritual, and emotional journey of a young Russian boy, Vlad Samsonov, through his turbulent adolescence and tentative venture into early manhood. Written in four sections, each comprising from seventeen to twenty-five brief chapters, the novel shifts the chronology of events frequently, so that it is necessary to read through to virtually the end of the work to understand the context or import of events that were related much earlier.
Vlad begins his role in the narrative as a boy of about seven or eight, the son of a peasant woman and a politically outspoken father whose Trotskyist leanings have led to his arrest and imprisonment. With his father absent, Vlad often goes to stay with his grandfather, Saviely Mikheyev, and spends the rest of his time reading and conversing with his neighbors in the Moscow suburb of Sokolniki. Vlad fancies himself a poet and writes tributes to the righteousness of the Soviet state. His neighbors, less enamored of Joseph Stalin’s government, are alienated and annoyed by Vlad’s blind allegiance. To Vlad, this loyalty is merely the mark of a good citizen, and he fulfills his “civic duty” even to the extent of reporting a classmate who tells an anti-Stalinist joke.
Gradually, Vlad’s experiences begin to change his attitude about political dissidence. He spends a summer at a Pioneer camp, part of a government-run youth-league program. At first, Vlad...
(The entire section is 1300 words.)
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