Is Illuminated exemplifies Russian Fatalism
Fatalism is a philosophy of people who ignore life's problems
and hassles yet they expect no negative results or consequences from
their interactions. Fatalistic people rely on fate and whatever will
be will be. In the movie, Everything Is Illuminated, there are many
examples of Russian fatalism.
Jonathan meets Alex and his grandfather who believes that he is
blind. Alex knows that his grandfather really isn't blind yet he does
not seek medical help or mental help to figure out why it is he thinks
he is blind.
Jonathan is looking for the city of Trachimbrod and becomes
upset when he cannot find it yet Alex and his grandfather seem to
think that they will trip over it due to sheer dumb luck and are not
surprised when a million things go wrong and they don't seem to find
this one city. Fatalism has been summarized as the idea of “whatever
I'm sure I'll get lucky”, and not finding the city does not seem to
faze Alex and his grandfather at all.
When they finally do find the city of Trachimbrod they learn
that the people were unconcerned with the government and communism and
they just pretended like the Russians weren't there and lived their
lives letting fate happen to them.
Alex's grandfather becomes more and more depressed and cried
all the time and Alex pretends not to notice because he doesn't want
to deal with his problems or his sadness. Alex prefers to pretend it's
just not happening. The grandfather commits suicide.
Russian fatalism is an attitude that people are removed from
their own future and really have no control over it so why bother to
worry about it. Everything Is Illuminated has many examples of Russian
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