Essay Alexander Tolstoy 's ' The Flies '

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Sergey lives in a collectivist society with cultural morals and values and he is constantly being reminded by his friends, his wife and other acquaintances that he must find a gravestone for his uncle (Tolstoy). Everyone in Sergey’s life sees his procrastination in this case to be wrong. The cook calls it sinful not to buy a headstone, and he threatens Sergey with the cultural supernatural belief by telling Sergey that Fyodor would come back and choke him if he did not find a headstone soon (Tolstoy). It is Sergey’s duty, not only as a loved one, but because he promised Fyodor his word and the only way his uncle’s soul may rest is if he is given a proper burial with a grave marker. Sergey eventually does complete the task with the motivation drawn from the constant pressure being placed on him by his community. Rather than allowing finances to dictate him keeping his promise, Sergey listens to the cook and rather than letting the expense stop him Sergey enters into the woods and chops down a young ash to turn it into a grave marker to fulfill his promise to uncle Fyodor (Tolstoy 50). The death of the tree also appears to have similar symbolism to the sacrifice that Fyodor makes for Sergey by giving him his boots. The tree dies to allow Sergey to carry out his duty to his uncle and is made into a cross. A Christ-like figure, the tree gives its life save Sergey from his sin of not completing his promise to Fyodor. These deaths and how Sergey honors them, provides us lessons of…

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