The Absurdity of the Soviet Union
The novel Omon Ra, written by Victor Pelevin, Illustrates the absurdity of the Soviet Union and how important heroism, science, the military and space exploration was to the Union at the time. One of the main themes of this novel is the coming of age. Omon yearns to become a cosmonaut and a hero, or just to accomplish something important during his lifetime. But with aid from a series of events, he later realizes that heroism is nothing but a glorified illusion and something he does not wish to be anymore.
Basically, Omon learns that we seem to aspire to be extravagant things when we’re younger, for example: astronauts, actors/actresses, fire-fighters and much more and these things we can’t always be. We eventually learn that these dreams aren’t always accomplishable, we learn to let go of these dreams we used to have as children and have no other choice but to mature as people because of it. The main theme of Omon Ra is very similar to the main theme in the short story The Life and Adventures of Shed 12 written by the same author, Victor Pelevin.
This short story is about a shed (Shed 12) that is different from them other sheds, which makes him proud. He is a different color and is special because instead of having regular stock stored inside of him, there is a bike inside him. Throughout the story you can see the he always aspires to be more than he is, he always wants to know more then he already does. But one day, the bike inside of him is taken away and replaced with a barrel of pickles.
This event destroys the shed’s dreams of being more and you later notice that he comes to terms with the fact that he will never be any more special than the rest of the sheds. The fact that the shed gives up on what he aspires to be is exactly how this short story relates to Omon Ra. The main characters in both stories end up giving up on their dreams from when they were younger and accept the fact that they will never be anything special. A literary technique that is extremely present in both stories is symbolism.
In both of Victor Pelevin’s stories, he uses this technique to portray messages through to his readers to help them form ideas in their mind which will help them to understand the main theme of the story. In Omon Ra, the toys that Omon comes across throughout the story and his lifetime definitely represent the innocence of his dream of becoming an astronaut, since all of the toys in the story are astronauts and spaceships. It also represents to a certain extent the sort of freedom he has as a young boy since when he gets older, he cannot get out of becoming an astronaut.