Who is the charcter in the first two pages of Hadji Murad who is telling the story?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The opening section of this short novella, which describes a beautiful field of flowers and the meditations of the anonymous narrator as he sees one flower that has been trampled upon, but still defiantly points upright, symbolically relates to the character of Hadji Murad and the massive impression that this heroic figure left on not just the narrator, but on others around him. Although the identity of the narrator is not ascertained, from his own description, the reader is able to find out certain aspects about him. Note, for example, what he reveals about himself as he reflects on the flower that is trampled but still, resolutely, points upwards:

“What vitality!” I thought. “Man has conquered everything and destroyed millions of plants, yet this one won’t submit.” And I remembered a Caucasian episode of years ago, which I had partly seen myself, partly heard of from eye-witnesses, and in part imagined.

The narrator is therefore somebody who was linked to the story of Hadji Murad, but only as a bystander who was not able to witness everything. As he himself admits, the story he tells is one that has "taken shape in my memory and imagination." Having heard so much about this mythical figure and having been involved, albeit in a small way, in his story, the narrator has used his creativity to tell the story of Hadji Murad and share the tale of one man who, although he is conquered, "won't submit."

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