The two sides of oppression (?)

In the recollections of both Pasha Angelina and Ludmilla Alexeveya, getting together with groups of like-minded young people played a pivotal role in their early adulthood. Both women were about twenty when Komosol meetings and kompaniya helped solidify their respective identity. Angelina says, “…the future of our country and our own future. They were bright and limitless, and they were inseparable” (Angelina, 308). Her story goes on to show her devotion and, as other posts have noted, marked synthesis with the state.

Alexeveya’s experience is a near ideological opposite. The socio-political resolve of the members is similar, but the subversive nature of the kompaniya directs the energy of participants inward to intellectualism and individualism, though still in the name of the state. She says, “we wanted to believe that we would be able to recapture [the old intelligentsia’s] intellectual and spiritual exaltation…to lay claims to [their] values” however, “we were not interested in sacrificing ourselves for a cause” (Alexeveya, 97).

It seems like the cruelties of Soviet power had been successful in quieting resistance, though it still developed. There’s a lot of questions about the experiences of these two women, but I wonder about the relationships that tied each woman it the state: Pasha was tied to the state through labor, work in which she took pride. Ludmilla was bound by threat and resistance of the Supreme Soviet, KGB, etc. After twenty-odd years, Lumilla says, “I was ready to put my life down for the group” (Alexeveya 294). Both seem to have their lives encompassed by the state. Were both oppressed?

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