There is a certain attraction to dark characters that defy the social norm. In the literary world, they are more dramatic, more colorful and more flaunted. Instead of being drawn to the idealized Romantic hero that does not exist, we are fascinated with characters like Pechorin. They keep us on our toes and do the unexpected. Of course, the Byronic hero is a popular choice for protagonists especially in the modern literary world. Lermontov invigorated the Byronic hero through Pechorin making him a character that some love to hate while others wish to understand. Although many would argue that Pechorin is an awful man (possibly a sadist), I feel that he is an example of what people are really like -- especially in 19th century Russian society. Regardless of what readers may think, Pechorin is an iconic character in Russian literature.
“What if it does? If I die, I die. It will be a small loss to the world, and I’ve had about enough of it myself. I’m like a man yawning at a ball who doesn’t go home to bed because his carriage hasn’t come” (Lermontov, 131).