The nineteenth century is an important and a very spectacular period in the development of the Russian literature. A lot of talented artists in words performed in that time. Alexander Pushkin is among them father of Russian classical literature. His talent is in the constructive power, the many sidedness of his writing style, the striving of the creative development.
Alexander Pushkin was born in 1799 inMoscow. His parents were typical representatives of the impoverished noble class. He studied in the lyceum which educated and taught the ruling establishment. He was one the intractable and, as the teacher thought, doubtful student. In that time, he began to write his poems. After their publishing, they got the best feedback from the distinguished writers of that period. In his poems, Pushkin showed his deep patriotism and protest against slavery.
He finished lyceum at the time of huge social upturn after the victory in the Patriotic War against Napoleon. This influenced the creative work of Pushkin. He wrote so called chainless poems and political epigrams which contain contempt and hate for the autocracy. These works had the huge influence on the views of the citizens.
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He became the poetic revolutionist. It was the reason of his exile to the South where he met with the local Decembrists. The acquaintances made his views much more radical. He revolutionized himself more and more. He made public speaking about his sharp opinion about autocracy and slavery.
In 1826, he was allowed to turn back home. He felt as he cannot fit the society he lived in. Moreover, his new works cause the suspicions of the government, and he was kept under observance. He was killed during the duel, which had not only the Pushkin’s wife’s honor as a reason, but also the political background.
During his short life, Pushkin did the grand historical thing. He perfected the Russian literature language, and laid the basic ground of the whole Russian literature by creating not only the poetry, but also dramas, prose.
Pushkin was a workaholic. He worked all the time. He paid a lot attention to the language and style. In the 30s, Pushkin wrote more and more prose. The Queen of Spades and its consequence The Daughter of the Commandant are his best works of this period. The Queen of Spades is a story with the great example of the word economy. This is the representation of life in high society. It also answers the questions how to solve the problems concerning the European art. This is an independent point of view (Pushkin, 2002).
Pushkin’s later masterpiece was The Daughter of the Commandant which is a historical novel about the events during the period of the Pugachev’s rebellion. The novel’s hero is a young officer by the queen who experiences the pain, happiness, and evidence both in love and honor. In the novel, Pushkin connects the fictional story and the real history while he also creates a very interesting character of the rebel leader Emelyan Ivanovich Pugachev. He presents him through the sensitivities of the other not so important characters (Dictionary of World Biography, 1999).
The Daughter of the Commandant discusses different problems. The main place is the so called man of honor. This is the concept which contains birth, service rank, and social status. This is the constantly image or better to say perfection of the Pushkin’s heroes. Pushkin defined the duel of honor and provided his own view on it (Emerson, 2008). In general, topic of the honor, duels and “knights” was a worrying topic at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
As it was mentioned, this is the story which is a witness of the events of those times. It is also a part of them. In his novel, Pushkin reflected the morals of Russian society in the era of Catherine II. Pushkin mentioned some causes of the uprising, drew a variety of national and social composition of the movement participants. The people in the story are not just a faceless mass, led by their leader. They are the versatile personalities who are united for a common purpose.
Pushkin clearly reflected the passed and concrete historical facts and particularly truthfully described Pugachev’s rebellion. The main theme of the story for the author was a peasant uprising, not a love story. Pushkin tried to find ways of approach between the nobility and peasants. The problem, of course, played an important historical role as the poet sees an opportunity to change the political structure of the society only through this convergence.
However, there were a plenty of reasons why it was important for that moment. First of all, showing how perceives everything around Grinev Pushkin says that the nobles are not yet able to understand the peasants.
The other problem was with peasants. There were many such characters as Savyelitch who were already accustomed to this life and could not imagine themselves independent of their owners. He is naive convinced that the peasants exist only for a lifetime work for their masters. However, his devotion to the master is far from slavish humility. In response to the harsh, Savyelitch wrote to him that he is not an old dog, but a faithful servant. He mentioned that he fulfilled all master’s orders. A great inner nobility and spiritual richness of nature are fully revealed in a totally unselfish and deeply human affection of the poor, lonely old man to his pet. The characters of Ivan Kuzmich Mironov and his wife, who were living peacefully and simply, their godfather Ivan Ignatich, a good-natured old man, who loves his service, and finally Pugachev himself – all they give us a nearly complete picture of the life of the provincial nobility of the time, about its conflicts with the peasants.
Pushkin was likely to disagree with the understanding of duty and honor, but he did not undertake to argue with his main character, giving the reader the opportunity to see the society ideals of that time. Sure, it also reminds the reader again that the story is historical. The reader of the Alexander Pushkin’s story The Daughter of the Commandant while watching a fictional love story dives deeply into the historical events, represented in the scopes of the novel.
It is believed that in The Daughter of the Commandant reflected a routine side of Russian life and Russian reality, a little bit gray, poor reality, only a moderated understanding and feeling. In this novel, Pushkin described the people in only a few corners of Russian land, but in these corners there is easy to find a gallery of people with all their virtues, and moral purity.
During the work on the novel, Pushkin thought a lot on the problem of folk, peasant rebellion. He did not believe in the feasibility of a peasant uprising, and the possibility of its success. With the lips of Grinev, he calls this “the senseless and merciless rebellion”. This statement makes the character of Pugachev even greater. Instead of evil fiends he presents himself for the reader as a vivid embodiment of the many great features of the Russian national character.
The Daughter of the Commandant was written in the spirit of a real school, and moreover, the Russian literary realism comes exactly from it. Despite of the different points of views on the historical and literary significance of Pushkin’s prose, in general, and The Daughter of the Commandant seems to be the pure realism.
The special feature of Pushkin’s texts is that all of them are simple and clear, so the trial to discover them as the complex and enigmatic may finish with a failure. They are very sincere and open. This is the whole charm of the author.
Almost each of the Pushkin’s works is not only the masterpieces, but also the new stage of the development of the Russian literature. He wrote huge and grant works, as well as big amount of small poems. Pushkin was very cheerful, talented and generous. All these features are represented in his lyrics, especially devoted to the friendship and love.
The critics do not have any disagreement concerning the Pushkin. It is not a question that he was one of the most successful in the generation of Russian writer in poetry as well as in prose. He was many sided and could write in different genres and with various influences. Pushkin’s creative life cannot be limited by any term, neither “romantic”, nor “realist”, because his style of writing combines all the possible types.
Pushkin’s outstanding successes are Eugene Onegin, The Queen of Spades, and The Captain’s Daughter which show a tension between a cool intellect and a Romantic emotionalism (Dictionary of World Biography, 1999). The most important is that he cared about the political and social life, about the people’s feelings and the heroes of that time. These all aspects Pushkin personalized in his literary works and its characters.
As a conclusion, it is worthy to mention that Pushkin represented the contemporary life with its problems. Even the historical works are tightly connected to the time when he lived. The character of hero is the type of person who can confront. He used different symbols and created various characters, but they all there the mirror of the reality, just covered with the prism of the author and interpreted according to his acceptation. For all his life Alexander Pushkin fought for the literature full of social meaning combined with the high professional artistic form. This is the new and special, what he brought to the literature. The Pushkin’s optimism is the belief in the triumph of the human mind, in the “young life”, in the victory of light and life.