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Is what Kira did to Andrei justifiable?

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Eponine
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**Warning: Potential We The Living Spoilers Ahead**

 

I like the character of Kira and I can see why some people consider her the best Rand heroine, but I just can't agree with what she did to Andrei in order to save Leo. She used a friend by pretending to love him romantically. I understand that she had tried every other way in vain and Andrei was her last hope, but lying is lying, hurting someone is hurting someone. I also understand that many people might do the same in the same situation, but what really bothers me is Kira didn't feel guilty - she told Andrei she was proud of what she did. Did Andrei deserve to be used and cheated on, just because he was a communist? He was a communist, but also an individual who had feelings. Furthermore, he's not a communist like Victor; he's a person with integrity, which is why Kira loved him as a friend. And because they were friends, I find Kira's action worse than if she did it to someone she didn't care about.

If I was in Andrei's place, I'd be very angry at Kira, even if I agreed with her criticism of communism. I wouldn't care she had another lover (I'm not monogamous), but I can't tolerate dishonesty.

Anyone else feels the same?

Edited by dream_weaver
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As I read We the Living I had the same impressions. But that one aspect of Andrei's convictions never escaped me, that is, he was not only a Communist, but he was a communist. He believed in the whole Lenin-Trotsky concept, including the rejection of individualism, and making sacrifice for one's fellow man. Yes, perhaps Kira loved him for his devotion to a conviction, (and I suppose she loved him for physical aspects as well.) Nonetheless, the social-political environment created under the Revolution required all those within it to lie. They all had to lie in one way or the other. If they didn't, the state arrested and destroyed them. Those among them who had no intellect for understanding the state ideology may be excused for their ignorance, but Andrei was an impassioned member, a true-believer of the one of the most destructive governments in history. I may even sympathize with him as any man would for being played for a shmuck. But his revolution made comedy of human relations. And for that, I feel little sympathy.

As for Kira feeling proud rather than guilty, I'm not so sure. Do we know she wasn't being somewhat dishonest or disingenuous in moment of anger, an anger brought on by having to defend her choices lie?

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As for Kira feeling proud rather than guilty, I'm not so sure. Do we know she wasn't being somewhat dishonest or disingenuous in moment of anger, an anger brought on by having to defend her choices lie?

Yeah, I did think of that possibility. After all, she said that to Andrei after Andrei arrested Leo, in a moment of extreme emotions. In the movie, Kira also said something like "Oh Andrei, what did I do to you?" which showed her regret. But I don't recall the same words in the book.
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Well, I suppose she had every reason to proud that she saved Leo through the only means available. And I have the DVD of the film. I wasn't thinking of it as I read the book, but as I recall, her angry expressions to Andrei were mixed with her anger toward the Revolutionary authorities he represented. I'd be cautious about comparing the book with the film. If you have the same DVD set that I have, you know the story of politics and other problems involved in adapting it from book to film. Either way, Kira was in a very bad place, and anyone surviving a totalitarian government is likely to have lingering doubts or distortions about truth and justice.

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... ... can't agree with what she did to Andrei in order to save Leo. She used a friend by pretending to love him romantically. I understand that she had tried every other way in vain and Andrei was her last hope,... ...

If that's true -- i.e. that she had tried other ways and that this was her only choice, what was the alternative: was it Leo dying or something else? In what form do you think Kira saw the essential choice: deceive Andrei or let Leo die, or as some other alternative?
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I agree with what others have said concerning Kira's dilema and how it was forced on her by external forces. Andrei was the symbolic representative of those forces-the communist true to his principles. Leo was symbolic of the aristocrat, true to his principles. Kira had only an evolving understanding of that through the book. In the end she rejects both, leaving both to self-destruction. They both got what they deserved.

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**Warning: Potential We The Living Spoilers Ahead**

 

I like the character of Kira and I can see why some people consider her the best Rand heroine, but I just can't agree with what she did to Andrei in order to save Leo. She used a friend by pretending to love him romantically. I understand that she had tried every other way in vain and Andrei was her last hope, but lying is lying, hurting someone is hurting someone. 

No, it's not.  Morality ends where a gun begins. Some lies are NOTHING LIKE other lies.

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I get what you guys are saying, but I think there's a difference between what happens in the socio-political scope and what happens in the interpersonal scope. Andrei's political beliefs are destructive, but in his personal relationship with Kira, he has always been kind and respectful to her despite their different political views. That's why I think he doesn't automatically deserve to be used by a friend because of his wrongdoings in the political scope. That said, as I said before, what I disagree with most is not Kira's action itself (I agree it's forced and all), but her apparent lack of guilt and regret. Though as Repairman pointed out, it could be an extreme response in an extreme situation.

This got me thinking: What if Andrei wasn't a communist, but another Leo-like guy who somehow had a lot of money? (I know it's unlikely, but just hypothetically speaking.) Would you be more sympathetic toward him because he's more "innocent" in this case?

Edited by Eponine
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This got me thinking: What if Andrei wasn't a communist, but another Leo-like guy who somehow had a lot of money? (I know it's unlikely, but just hypothetically speaking.) Would you be more sympathetic toward him because he's more "innocent" in this case?

Yes, of course it would make a huge difference. But then, you would have an entirely different story. And actually, I can be sympathetic to Andrei for a number of reasons, but being an enforcing agent of such a tyrannical monstrosity as the Bolshevik Revolution is the game-changer. For his part, he helped to make his society what it was, and he ultimately reaped the blighted harvest.

Kira tried to escape. Failing once, she tried again. Overall, it was a story worth reading, but tragic in every way; it was not an example of Ayn Rand's romantic realism.

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I get what you guys are saying, but I think there's a difference between what happens in the socio-political scope and what happens in the interpersonal scope. Andrei's political beliefs are destructive, but in his personal relationship with Kira, he has always been kind and respectful to her despite their different political views. That's why I think he doesn't automatically deserve to be used by a friend because of his wrongdoings in the political scope. That said, as I said before, what I disagree with most is not Kira's action itself (I agree it's forced and all), but her apparent lack of guilt and regret. Though as Repairman pointed out, it could be an extreme response in an extreme situation.

This got me thinking: What if Andrei wasn't a communist, but another Leo-like guy who somehow had a lot of money? (I know it's unlikely, but just hypothetically speaking.) Would you be more sympathetic toward him because he's more "innocent" in this case?

 

 10 million dead Ukrainian Farmers would disagree with him, or any other communist, being victims.  

 

I say that to slam the point home - The background for the story is the most awful situation.  It is the definition of "The Ethics of Emergencies"  There is distopian then there is the hell of the Soviet Union.  

 

I think you are right to be upset at a situation where a woman has to lie about love to a man and mislead him, in fact the injustice can make you justifiably angry, but it is not to be directed at the Kira.  Your anger should be directed at the authorities of the system that forced Kira into such a decision in the first place.  They put her in the place. 

 

changing Andrei's position does change things, but it also changes the story and makes this moot.  

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