The author of the autobiography, “The Persecutor” is Sergei Kourdakov. Sergei uses contrasts to strengthen his narrative. In this blog post, I will give you a few examples of the use of contrast in the book and then we can see if it really made his narrative more powerful.
The use of contrasts in the autobiography
Kourdakov mostly uses the contrasts in the book to show the big differences between the communists and the believers. There are several in the entire book. All of these contrasts are stated either implicitly or semi-implicitly. These contrasts make it easier for the reader to understand the huge differences that existed in communist Russia between these two groups.
The contrast between the leaders of the USSR and the leaders of the believers
In one chapter of the autobiography, Kourdakov is at an anniversary party for Lenin’s 100th birthday. He and a lot of other communist youth league leaders were at the party. At the party, there were also the top communist leaders of Kamchatka province. One of the leaders nominated him as the best communist youth league leader in the province, after that Kourdakov was invited into a room with all the other top communist officials from the province. Here Kourdakov notices that most of the top officials are drunk out of their minds and the party leader that gave him the award, denounced communism right in front of Kourdakov’s face. He realized that the top party officials didn’t believe in the communist ideology, instead, they just used the communist system to gain power and wealth.
While raiding a religious meeting and there was a young girl there. In its own, it wasn’t anything particular, but she kept coming back and back to the meetings, even though Kourdakov and his team kept beating her up. By the third time they saw her at a religious meeting, Kourdakov and one of his thugs realized that the believers were different from the rest of the people in Russia. They didn’t want power or wealth or anything of the sort. They were willing to take beatings and lose everything in their houses, to be able to let other people practice their faith.
This contrast shows another difference between the communists and the innocent believers, this probably the most important and game-changing contrast in the book. This contrast definitely makes the narrative more powerful as it emphasizes this key difference better than the other contrasts in the book. This is because this one is more explicit than the rest, but not too explicit that it’s too obvious.