In the famous novel by Mikhail Lermontov "Hero of our time" Pechorin, the main hero of the novel is presented to have all the vices of human-kind. The prologue Lermontov says that, I paraphrase, the more clever reader will see in Pechorin him/herself, and other people, that Pechorin is the accumulation of all our short-comings. That is how he comes up with the ironic title "Hero of Our Time".
However I cannot help, but be one of those people who are drawn to him, due to his bravery in the face of death, ability to read people, understand the faults that other characters have.
The boy he manipulates into kidnapping his sister was egoistic and shortsighted. The gypsy girl was a thief. Reshinsky was the archetype of a "nice guy", etc.
Even the last words of the novel
"Some readers will probably want to know what I think of Pechorin's character. My reply may be found in the title of this book. "But that is wicked irony!" they will say. I don't know."
seem to say that the title is not completely ironic. Pechorin was certainly a man who has caused a lot of grief, but he caused them, perhaps only except the Cherkez girl, Bela, due to weakness of other characters.
I say he is a hero, one with clear sight and honesty to himself. I just want to understand what makes his character so "Unhero-like" why is he a man to be despised?
This question is different. What I am asking is not why the title is hero when he "obviously" was not a hero. I am asking what makes him "obviously not a hero.