Breaking Stalin's Nose
by Eugene Yelchin
Analysis: Narrator Point of View
Who is the narrator, can she or he read minds, and, more importantly, can we trust her or him?
First Person (Central Narrator)
Breaking Stalin's Nose is told from the point of view of Sasha, a ten-year-old boy. That's a big clue that we should proceed with caution. In fact, we should probably take everything Sasha says with a grain or two of salt, since he's a pretty young guy trying to figure out a very complex and disorienting system that throws even adults for a loop.
Because he's so young and idealistic, Sasha is naive. He thinks everyone is just The Best Ever (teachers, secret police officers, principals, etc.), and in particular thinks Stalin is a "brilliant genius of humanity" (13.4). If you're thinking Sasha's kind of like an odd mixture of Chaucer's "innocent puppy" narrator in "The General Prologue" and Huck Finn, you're on the right track. The ultimate effect is that the book questions the Communist system while Sasha is 100% buying into it.