Features of the genre

Beginning of the hero's growing up

Alyosha Peshkov was brought up in a family based on mutual respect and love. Father Maxim was engaged in the construction of the triumphal gates, which were erected for the arrival of the king. Mother Barbara was expecting the birth of her second child. Everything changed when my father died of cholera. He was buried on a rainy day, and Alyosha remembered forever the frogs sitting in the pit — they were buried together with the coffin. The boy looked at them and held back tears. Never cry - his parents are accustomed to this. And the mother began to have premature labor from grief. So sadly the first chapter of the work of Gorky begins.

Then there was a long journey along the Volga from Astrakhan to Nizhny Novgorod. The newborn died on the way, and the mother could not calm down from the fallen grief. Alyosha was attended by a grandmother who arrived at a difficult time for her family, Akulina Ivanovna. She took her daughter and grandson to Novgorod, from which Barbara had left in due time against the will of her father. It was Grandma Gorky who dedicated the best pages of the story. She was a kind, helpful person, always ready to help. This was immediately noticed by the sailors on the ship, who found the hero when he got lost on one of the marinas. Despite her fullness and age, Akulina Ivanovna moved quickly and deftly, resembling a cat. She often told amazing stories that attracted the attention of others. And Alyosha felt as if she was all glowing from the inside. It is the grandmother who in the future will become for the boy a source of good and the main support, will help to bear the coming adversity. And with the arrival of the hero in the life of the hero there will be a lot of them, as Maxim Gorky will write in his story.


The work "Childhood" continues acquaintance with new characters. A large family of the Kashirins met on the shore of those who had arrived, the main one in which was Vasily Vasilyevich. Small and thin, his grandfather did not immediately like Alyosha, and it will take time before he looks at him in a new way and tries to understand him as a person.

First spanking

In addition to his grandfather and grandmother, two more sons with their families lived in the Kashirin big house. Alyosha, who had previously grown in a completely different situation, was hard to get used to the constant hostility and anger that prevailed between relatives. Their main reason was the desire of Michael and Jacob to quickly divide property, which the grandfather did not want to do. With the arrival of Varvara, the situation became even more tense, as she also owed a share in her father's inheritance. In their desire to annoy each other, adults knew no bounds, and their rivalry extended to children.

Another boy witnessed a terrible procedure for him - children were smashed every Saturday. Did not escape this fate and the hero. On the advice of one of his brothers, he decided to paint a festive tablecloth to bring joy to his grandmother. As a result, he was on the bench under the rods of his grandfather. Neither Akulina Ivanovna nor her mother could save her from punishment. This is one of the first bitter events in the new life of the hero, with which Maxim Gorky introduces the reader to the story. Alyosha will also remember his childhood thanks to Gypsy, who during the spanking put his hands, trying to take the main force of the blows.

Ivan in the Kashirins family was a foundling. The grandmother told her grandson that she gave birth to eighteen children, of whom only three survived. The best, in her opinion, God took to himself, and in return sent Gypsy. The story "Childhood" Bitter continues the story of his bitter fate.

Ivana was found at the gate, and the grandmother took him to be raised. Unlike his sons, he grew up kind and caring. And he showed himself to be a good worker, which was another reason for the enmity of Michael and Jacob: each of them dreamed of taking the Gypsy to himself in the future. Often, for fun, Ivan arranged fun with cockroaches or mice, showed tricks with maps. I remembered Alyosha and evenings when my grandfather and Mikhail left home. During these hours, everyone gathered in the kitchen. Jacob tuned the guitar, and after the songs began a cheerful dance Gypsy. Then he was joined by Akulina Ivanovna, who seemed to be returning at that moment to her youth: that was how she grew younger and more beautiful during the dance.

Grandmother prophesied a bad future for the young man and was afraid for him. The fact is that the Gypsy traveled every Friday for groceries and, in order to save money and make his grandfather happy, he stole. Akulina Ivanovna believed that someday he would be caught and killed. Her fears came true, but in part: the Gypsy was not killed by strangers, but by Michael and Jacob. The latter beat his wife to death, and as a repentance he made a vow to put an oak cross on her grave. He was carried in three, and Ivan was put under the butt. On the way, he stumbled, and he was crushed by the cross, which the brothers at that moment released, - notes Maxim Gorky.

"Childhood" in the reduction introduces only the main moments from the life of the main character, but not to mention that Gypsies, whose painful death also deposited in the boy's mind, along with his grandmother became a source of bright and good for him and helped him to experience the first tests in a new life .

Alyosha liked to watch Akulina Ivanovna pray in the evenings. Before the icons she told about everything that happened during the day and asked for each one. And also the boy liked stories about how he is, God. At that moment my grandmother grew younger, and her eyes radiated a special, warm light. Sometimes Akulina Ivanovna saw devils, but they did not frighten her. Fear caused only cockroaches in her grandmother, and often at night she would wake Alyosha and ask to be killed. But the image of the grandmother in the scene of the fire, which continues (Maxim Gorky describes in detail) “Childhood”, is especially bright.

The grandmother prayed when the grandfather ran in with a shout: “We are on fire!” The workshop was ablaze, and Akulina Ivanovna rushed into the flames to prevent an explosion. She took out the bottle and began to give orders what to do next. She calmed the horse, which the grandfather himself was afraid of. And then with burnt hands she took birth from Natalia's aunt. And only when it was all over (Michael's wife died all), Alyosha heard the groans of her grandmother caused by severe burns. All this leads to the idea: only a broad soul can a person so fearlessly fight a fire, and then, tormented by pain, find words of comfort to others. This was exactly Akulina Ivanovna, who played a decisive role in Alyosha’s life, which Maxim Gorky repeatedly underlines. “Childhood” (the characteristic of the grandmother confirms this) is a work about how spiritual generosity and love can withstand anger and hatred, not letting the good and good sprouts, originally incorporated in the character of a person, die.

Kashirins are still divided. Alyosha with grandmother and grandfather moved to a stone house with a garden. Rooms, except for one, handed over. Her grandfather left for himself and guests. Akulina Ivanovna and her grandson settled in the attic. Grandma was again at the center of all events: lodgers constantly turned to her for advice, and for everyone she found a kind word. Grandson was constantly with her, like rooted. Sometimes a mother appeared, but she quickly disappeared, leaving no memory of herself.

Somehow grandmother told Alyosha about her life. She was born of a maimed lace girl who jumped out of the window when a gentleman frightened her. Together they walked around the world until they settled on Balakhna. Akulina learned to weave lace, and then her grandfather spotted her. Notable he was at that time. And he chose to marry a poor girl, decided that his whole life would be submissive.

And grandfather decided to teach Alyosha letters. Seeing the cleverness of his grandson, he became less likely to whip him and looked at him more and more attentively, sometimes he told the fables from his own life. So passed the childhood of Maxim Gorky.

And again the feud

The misfortunes of the Kashirins did not end. Once Jacob came running and said that Mikhail was going to kill his grandfather. Similar scenes began to be repeated often. And again the main burden fell on the grandmother. One evening, she stuck her hand out the window, hoping to bring her son to reason, and Mikhail broke her stake. Watching all this, Alyosha increasingly began to think about his mother. The fact that she refused to live in such a family noticeably elevated her in the eyes of her son. And he represented Varvara either in the camp of the robbers, or in the form of Prince-Mistress Ingalycheva, whom his grandmother told him. And sometimes the boy’s chest seemed to be filled with lead, and it became stuffy and cramped in this room, resembling a coffin. Bitter thoughts and feelings caused in the hero, as shown by Maxim Gorky, childhood. Analyzing them leaves the same burden on the soul of the reader.


There is another hero in the work, with whom Alyosha met immediately upon arrival in Novgorod. This is Grigory Ivanovich, the master who worked for his grandfather. He was old and blind, and boys, like his uncles, often mocked him. For example, they could put a red-hot foralum under their arm. When the Kashirins shared and the grandfather moved to Field Street, the masters simply drove out into the street. It was painfully embarrassing: to see how Grigory was hiding, because Alyosha avoided meeting with him and hid himself whenever he appeared, - remembers Maxim Gorky. “Childhood,” whose heroes are people of different social strata, shows how, in a boy, discontent gradually matured with the life he saw. And the merit of the writer is that he made it clear: man does not always go with the flow. Many find the strength to resist evil, thereby gradually changing the world for the better.

As for Gregory, the grandmother often called him to her and tried to somehow diminish the misfortunes that befell the one who gave her whole life to her family. Once she told Alyosha that God would severely punish them for this person. Years later, when Akulins Ivanovna was no more, the grandfather himself went to beg, repeating the fate of his master.

Good deal

And again, Vasily Vasilyevich changed his place of residence, Gorky continues the story “Childhood”. On Kanatnaya Street, where Kashirins now settled, fate brought Alyosha with another amazing person. Good Deed - so called the lodger for the words that he invariably used in speech - was considered a parasite and constantly conducted some experiments in his room, which caused discontent of his grandfather. One evening, according to tradition, everyone gathered at her grandmother, and she started a story about Ivan the warrior. This story made a good impression on the Good Case. He suddenly jumped up and shouted that it must be recorded. And later he advised Alyosha: by all means to study. And still - to write down everything that Akulina Ivanovna tells. From this, perhaps, began a writer's love for literature.

But soon the Good Deed left home, and Gorky wrote about this in a story: this is how the friendship with the first (best) person from the "infinite number of strangers in his native ... country" ended.

Meeting with mother

Barbara appeared in the Kashirins' house unexpectedly. Alyosha immediately noticed that she had changed, but still did not look like brothers and father. And again he thought: he will not live here for long. Mother began to teach her son to read and even decided to take up his upbringing. But for the time spent far from each other, they no longer understand each other. The boy was also oppressed by the constant quarrels of his grandfather and mother, especially since Barbara was not going to change to please anyone. And yet she broke Kashirin. After refusing to marry an old watchmaker, who was watched by his grandfather, Barbara practically became the mistress of the house, ”continues Maxim Gorky“ Childhood ”. The chapters dedicated to the mother of the hero, acquaint with the way she, against the will of her father, went beyond Maxim who did not look like her family. As young people came to bow to old Kashirin, but they refused to live in his house, which caused a new anger of the old man. How disliked her husband's sister, Michael and Jacob, who dreamed of grabbing her share in the inheritance. How, finally, the Peshkovs left for Astrakhan, where they lived happily together.

And although the mother always caused only warm feelings in Alyosha, she never became a man for her son, who helped him overcome the first life adversities, stand up to the blows of fate.

Change again

"Lead abominations of life"

After the incident with his stepfather, Alyosha was again at his grandfather's. Vasily Vasilyevich insisted that he and his grandmother cook meals in turn, each with his own money. At the same time, he always saved. The hero had to earn money himself: after school he went to collect rags and sold it cheaply. Earned gave grandmother and once spied how she cried over his heels.

The school had to tight. Here Alyosha was called a rag pot, and no one wanted to sit with him. But he passed the third grade examinations, for which he received a commendation sheet and several books as a reward. The last boy had been taken to the shop when Akulina Ivanovna came down and there was nothing to live.

Another memorable event in the life of the hero of the story "Childhood" by Maxim Gorky - the death of the mother. Barbara returned to Kashirin very sick, dried up and soon died from consumption. A few days after her funeral, the grandfather sent Alexey "into the people" so that he himself earned his bread. From that moment on, childhood ends, and the second story of Gorky’s autobiographical trilogy begins.

The ability for spiritual self-development in the face of tragic reality is perhaps the most important thing that Maxim Gorky wants to draw the attention of the reader to. Childhood (the theme of the work stated in the title underlines this) is the main time in a person’s life. The child usually remembers forever that made a big impression on him. And it is good that during this period Alyosha witnessed not only inhumanity and cruelty, but also met people who were infinitely good and open to others. This helped him to resist the "leaden abominations" and grow up to be a bright and unreliable man with evil, which could be an example for everyone else.