"The Captain's Daughter" is the crown of prose of Alexander Pushkin. This is the last completed work of the writer. Pushkin seeks to recreate the "historical truth". This in its time gave birth to such masterpieces as "Boris Godunov", "Poltava" or "Arap of Peter the Great." However, the story "The Captain's Daughter" is a completely different level.
"The Captain's Daughter" - a sample of the historical prose of Alexander Pushkin
Sharply increased peasant uprisings have left Pushkin in the side – and so was born the idea to write a piece that responds to the pressing social problem of the time. Pushkin originally wanted to implement the theme of peasant revolt in the "History of the village goryukhino", occupies a special place in "Dubrovsky". But full disclosure was achieved in "the Captain's daughter".
What distinguishes this story from the other historical works of Pushkin? The fact is that the previous works of the writer were based on existing historical works. When writing the same story about the Pugachev uprising Pushkin combines a brilliant prose writer and a conscientious historian. The writer does not just work with archival documents, he studies them - he goes to places that he plans to portray in the story. Pushkin visits the Volga and the Orenburg steppes, gets acquainted with the natural conditions, the peculiarities of people's everyday life, visits the battlefields, talks with living eyewitnesses, gets acquainted with the legends about Pugachev. The result of this painstaking work is the scientific work of the writer "The History of Pugachev" (at the request of the censorship the name changed to "The History of the Pugachev Riot"). Work on the "Captain's daughter" begins after publication. Probably, that's why Pushkin got such a multifaceted rebellious image. Emelian Pugachev in the story "The Captain's Daughter" - not a sharply negative character, as he tried to portray before Pushkin.
Pugachev: how it was shown before Pushkin
In the literary tradition before Pushkin, Pugachev was shown with a sharply negative side. Take, for example, Sumarokov's verses, where a rebel appears to be a real evil, "a rabid dog", a "monster of nature". These epithets reflected the fright and all-consuming hatred of the noble serf-owners to the leader of the peasant rebellion. That is why many critics have not adopted the image of Pugachev, shown by Pushkin in "The History of the Pugachev Riot." He was either not accepted at all, or the writer was condemned for the lack of certain Byronic traditions: it was a question of the fact that the image of Pugachev was not romanticized enough and elevated. But Pushkin's task, as we recall, was "historical truth", so this character does not have a sharply negative color and is not idealized. If we talk about the work "The image of Pugachev in the story" The Captain's Daughter "- the plan will be reduced to analyzing the episodes, where he appears in the work.
Compositional features of the disclosure of the image of Pugachev
Interesting composition of the novel. The story is being in advanced years Peter Andreevich Grinev. He describes the events of the years 1772-1774, which involved being a 17-year-old boys. The image of Pugachev in the story "captain's daughter" shows up sporadically through four meeting with Petrusha by Grineva. But each episode of the deep reveals to the reader the leader of the rebellion so that he becomes the second main character. The image of Emelian Pugachev in the story "The Captain's Daughter" is revealed through his knowledge of folk songs and legends (we recall the burlat song he sings, or the famous folk tale about the eagle and crow).
Pugachev, the people's leader, the image of the people's ideal of a just ruler, Pushkin opposes to incompetent tsarist generals (let us recall military councils in Orenburg and the Belgorod fortress).
Meeting 1: hare sheepskin
So, as we said above, the image of Pugachev in the story "captain's daughter" is shown through the encounter with another hero, by Grineva. The first meeting of the characters occurs in a snowstorm. Peter and Savelyevich (his teacher from childhood) got lost. Fortunately, he meets a man who brings to postalone yard. It is noteworthy that at the first meeting we don't know what it Pugachev. It turns out that the reader looks at it from the side, sees in a natural setting. What notices Petrushka? Grineva striking "his sharpness and subtlety of mind." The way to postalone court counselor (Pugachev) finds the stars and the smell of smoke. The reader also catches the eye good health Pugacheva: in the dead of winter, he is on the snow-covered steppe in the small armyachishko.
In gratitude from Petrushi Pugachev receives a glass of wine, a half a vodka and a hare sheepskin. "I'll never forget" - says Emelyan and remains true to his words until the end of the story.
It is impossible not to draw attention to the excellent knowledge of Pugachev allegorical language, knowledge of folk sayings. So covertly, it communicates with the innkeeper about the formation of troops Yaik Cossacks for participation in the peasant war of 1772.
Meeting 2: "To execute so to execute, to pardon so to pardon"
The second meeting of the characters occurs after the capture by the rebels of the Belgorod fortress. Here the reader is presented a completely different Pugachev. He enters the fortress on horseback, in a bright caftan. Declaring himself Emperor, he demands obedience and oath. Those who disobey – kills without mercy. The same fate awaits Peter Grinev. But what do we see? Pugachev is merciful to Petrusha, thus violating his principle. In order not to fall in the eyes of others, a rebel goes to cunning, shows kindness and delicacy. He justifies the refusing to swear allegiance to Petrusha that "his honor is stupefied with mercy." Pugachev perfectly understands that Petrusha will never swear to him and will still fight against. Nevertheless, he lets go of him, giving him a horse, a fur coat and a half-money.
We learn from the eggs of the Cossacks how he is Pugachev. Again, his health is emphasized: a good appetite and a too hot steam room.
At the military council, the image of Pugachev in the story "The Captain's Daughter" reveals from a new angle: with his Cossacks he behaves as an equal, he "did not have any special preference."
Meeting 3: "Who dares to offend the orphan"
The third meeting occurs after the second capture of Peter Grinev. Here even more deeply reveals Pugachev (image). The captain's daughter, Masha, left an orphan, is imprisoned in the Belogorsky fortress. Peter goes there to protect her. He explains these circumstances to Pugachev. What Emelyan is indignant with, with flashing eyes from anger, he demands to name the offender. "He will know what it is like to be self-righting and to offend the people," Pugachev said. Yemelyan's companions demand to hang Petrusha, but Pugachev once again releases him, "remembering a glass of wine and hare's sheepskin coat."
During the same meeting Pugachev tells Grinev an old Kalmyk fairy tale about the eagle and crow. Its essence is that the moment of free vibrant life is much better than a miserable existence. The tale becomes prophetic, as does the burlat song that Emelyan sings with her companions. It is noteworthy that the same song is sung by the guard of the Dubrovsky detachment in the story of the same name.
Meeting 4: execution
The last, fourth meeting of the Impostor and Grineva happens on the last pages of the novel. Peter is among the witnesses to the execution of Pugachev. In the latest look at Yemelyan Grineva no mercy, prayers of compassion and sympathy, on the contrary, Pugachev bold and proud. It is no accident that the image of Pugachev in Pushkin's story "The Captain's Daughter", or rather, his severed bloody head, is shown this way. This writer wanted to show that Emelyan-rebel - not a romantic hero: he is real.
Making the main conclusions, we will say that the image of Pugachev in the story "The Captain's Daughter" is ambiguous.
He is shown in all his socio-historical reality: on the one hand, he does not tolerate pity for his class enemies, but on the other, he is just (pleads for the weak and disadvantaged), knows how to remember and value good (his attitude towards Grinev).
It was this Pugachev remained in the memory of the people. Pushkin emphasizes the courage and cleverness of Pugachev - qualities that he himself valued in the Russian people, considered unique.