Arunima TripathyGoodkinLanguage Arts I31 January 2018″A Count Becomes a Waiter” The course of a lifetime and the future of generations can change in a matter of seconds. A Gentleman in Moscow, written by Amor Towles, tells the story of Count Alexander Rostov, an unrepentant aristocrat whose fate is forever altered by the rise of communism. Deemed an anti-revolutionary, he is sentenced to confinement inside the luxurious Metropol Hotel for the rest of his life. At its heart, it is the journey of a man finding his purpose through chance encounters in a world that has changed and left him in the past eras of the pre-Russian Revolution. Through the Count’s struggle of trying to stay relevant in society while he is isolated, Towles claims that making the best of one’s circumstance is the ultimate method of persevering.When one is exiled, they still have the liberty to start their life over. That is simply not the case when one exiled in their own country. There is no beginning anew. When the Count is sentenced, he is given a measly servants quarters in the attic room and can only take with him a few of his possessions. As an aristocrat, the Count was used to the conveniences that came with his title and now has to adjust himself to his newfound challenges. When he was given his room, he believed that his small residence can “provide the satisfactions of traveling by train”; when he had to give up his furniture and family heirlooms to the state, he told himself that a “thing is just a thing” (Towles 20 & 29). The Count never acknowledges his confinement as a hindrance to his freedom. Recognizing that would be like admitting defeat. Instead, he chooses to focus on aspects of his life that he has control of. An example of this is his friendship with a nine-year-old girl, Nina, who extends the horizons of the Metropol, both through a secret key and her companionship. This conveys that the Count realizes that there is no purpose in feeling hopeless; time will pass and at some point he will have to continue living. Even though the Count’s surroundings and environments have been reduced, his world has grown by the relationships he has built. In spite of the fact that the Count cannot start his life over, he utilized his surroundings to find fulfillment through his friendships with the other citizens of the hotel and stay optimistic about his circumstance.The Count conquers his circumstances by finding attainment in the constraints of the Metropol Hotel. An example of this is when “…for the first time in almost thirty years the Count opened one of the hidden doors in the legs of the Grand Duke’s desk” (Towles 597). Earlier in the novel, it was revealed that the Grand Duke’s desk was where the Count had hidden his secret stash of gold for emergencies. This is significant because it shows that the Count has found fulfillment within the enclosure of the hotel without relying on his secret stash to sustain himself. This is intended as a metaphor for the wider world beyond the Metropol; Towles reflects on the adaptability of human beings who can learn to cope and survive in almost any situation. It is possible to overcome and conform to a multitude of challenges in the same way that the Count was able to find life and satisfaction in a single building. Another way that the Count adjusts himself is by acquiring a job as the head waiter in one of Metropol’s restaurants, the Boyarsky Hall. Due to his upbringing, the Count is not a stranger to politics and manners. As a child he used to aid his grandmother in assigning seatings for her guests during their dinner, something that was regarded as an art form. The Count uses his background and prior experience from various fields to become one of the Boyarsky’s biggest asset. This can be seen when he recommends the maître d’, Andrey, on how their guest should be seated, “As both were relatively new to their positions, it was not essential that either have the best tables in the house. What was essential was that their treatment be identical in every respect….” (Towles 275). To the diners, the Count’s efforts in making sure that every night of the year went smoothly may have gone unnoticed, but the very task gave the Count a purpose in his day to day life. He was familiar with the social codes that came with being a waiter, and he used his skills to make the best of his circumstances. He was resilient in the way that he was the last of his kind; he was the last aristocrat, the last of his generation that would remember the noble sides to aristocracy. Even though he lived more than half of his life in confinement, he learned to make the most of the life that he was left with, whether that mean adapting to the life of an employee or finding fulfillment.Ultimately, through his endeavors, the Count prospers in captivity by forging friendships with the other residents of the Metropol and finding a purpose for the life he has left. The Count’s silent but powerful method of persisting helps him through the sudden changes in society that have also altered the Metropol. Through Count Rostov’s experiences, Towles is alluding to the idea that although conditions can change in moments, some people are able to evolve with the times and live a fulfilling life despite their circumstances and challenges –this is a story of a man who did– while keeping the best of their past, friendships, and elegance.