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Nikolai Gogol's attitude to his women characters Wilmink, Svetlana 1973

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NIKOLAI GOGOL'S ATTITUDE TO HIS WOMEN CHARACTERS by SVETLANA WILMINK B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 1968 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n t h e Department of S l a v o n i c S t u d i e s ; Ue a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF October BRITISH COLUMBIA 1973 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available f o r reference and study. I further agree that permission f o r extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s representatives. It i s understood that copying or pu b l i c a t i o n of t h i s thesis f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Slavonic Studies The University of British Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date October 1, 1973 i i ABSTRACT IM. Gogol's Attitude to his Women Characters Nikolai Gogol has been an enigma that many scholars have attempted to understand. No one disputes his a r t i s t i c genius, yet no one can satisfactorily define i t . Both in his a r t i s t i c works and in his l i f e , Gogol uas original, or rather, he was true to himself, a feat that set him apart from Russian society during Nikolai I's reign. Gogol did not have any love affairs nor did he marry. This fact has led many c r i t i c s to formulate the opinion that Gogol feared women. Theories of an Dedipal or homo-erotic complex, or regression have been set forth as explanations for this fear. Yet did Gogol fear women and do his works reflect this fear? The Oedipal and regressive theories are justified by selecting examples from Gogol's literary works. However, these attempts, to date, have been usually based on one or two works, while the rest of Gogol's works are disregarded. It is the purpose of this study to give a comprehensive analysis of Gogol's l i f e and works before any conclusions are arrived at. The intent is to be objective rather than subjective. To do this, I have had to rely heavily on actual quotations from the author, his works, and opinions voiced by c r i t i c s . The study has been divided into four chapters. The f i r s t chapter deals with Gogol's biography. His early l i f e , his mother's influence, his aspirations and friendships w i l l be surveyed. The second chapter consists of four summaries of recent critiques of i i i Gogol. These four have been chosen on the basis that they reflect a diversity of present-day opinions of Gogol. Setchkarev analyses Gogol's uork from an a r t i s t i c point of view. Erlich regards Gogol as a great grotesque writer whose works reflect existential problems. Driessen and McLean illustrate what can be done when a psychoanalytical approach is used. The third chapter is an examination of Gogol's method of presenting his women characters. As Gogol developed philosophically and a r t i s t i c a l l y , his attitude to women changed. Therefore I have divided the chapter into four parts, each reflecting a different attitude to the subject, women. The parts are called modes and consist of the l y r i c a l , subjective, caricature and idealized mode. The milieu of the women characters, their physical appearance, actions and functions in the stories will be looked at. The last chapter presents my conclusion. On the basis of a textual analysis of Gogol's works, I have arrived at the conclusion that Gogol had a high regard for women. Women are a completely separate entity from men and should be appreciated for what they are. Gogol finds fault with men for expecting too much from womenj rather, men should seek contentment within themselves. However, women as objects to behold are an everlasting pleasure to Gogol. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Chapter I . N . GOGOL'S BIOGRAPHY 1 I I . A REVIEW OF FOUR RECENT CRITIQUES OF GOGOL I n t r o d u c t i o n . .21 P a r t I - GOGOL: HIS LIFE AND WORKS by V5EV0L0D SETCHKAREV... ,2k P a r t I I - GOGOL by VICTOR ERLICH 31 P a r t I I I - "Gogol's R e t r e a t from Love:. Toward an I n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f MIRGQRQD" by HUGH McLEAN 38 P a r t IV - GOGOL AS A SHORT-STORY WRITER by F.C. DRIESSEN. . . .M-3 I I I . GOGOL'S METHODS OF CHARACTERISING THE WOMEN CHARACTERS I n t r o d u c t i o n . ^8 P a r t I - The L y r i c a l Mode . e.51 P a r t I I - The S u b j e c t i v e Made 71 P a r t I I I - The C a r i c a t u r e Mode .....81 P a r t IV - I n t r o d u c t i o n t o the I d e a l i z e d Mode 100 - The I d e a l i z e d Mode 102 IV. CONCLUSION FOOTNOTES '\2h BIBLIOGRAPHY 137 V ACKNOWLEDGEMENT To Professor C. 3 . Turner for h i 3 patient and tolerant guidance, I extend my sincerest gratitude. His counsel, assistance and encouragement uere gratefully received. I am much indebted also to Professor M, Futrell, who guided me in the selection of reading material. I take this opportunity also to thank Mrs. Iriin<a Raid, who f i r s t stimulated my interest In Gogol. CHAPTER I GOGOL'S BIOGRAPHY N i k o l a i Gogol's l i f e has been c h r o n i c l e d , analysed and studied i n d e t a i l by many s c h o l a r s , an endeavour uhich t h i s paper u i l l avoid r e p e a t i n g . However, f o r a meaningful study of Gogol's p o r t r a y a l of uomen, a look at h i s personal l i f e i s unavoidable, i n order to be able to d i s c e r n to uhat extent h i s personal experiences uere expressed i n h i s prose. I t must be noted at the s t a r t that Gogol had very l i t t l e personal contact with women u n t i l h i s l a t e r years, by uhich time most of h i s l i t e r a r y uorks had been conceived. Therefore, we f i n d ourselves having to examine events and people i n h i s e a r l y l i f e i n a negative uay; to point out hou the lac k of female companionship determined the character of the man, and l e f t i t s imprint on the women characters that he uas to c r e a t e . Although Gogol had l i t t l e contact u i t h uomen i n h i s e a r l y l i f e , ue cannot dismiss the i n f l u e n c e that h i s mother, Maria Ivanovna, exerted on h i s l i f e . Her r u l e was of a short d u r a t i o n , yet of a high i n t e n s i t y . N i k o l a i l e f t the home haven f o r school at the age of nine, by uhich time h i s patter n of behaviour and moral c o n s t i t u t i o n uere formed. I t i s p r e c i s e l y i n the formation of N i k o l a i ' s character that h i s mother had exerted a great 2 influence. A look at this woman seems necessary. Maria Ivanovna was from the petty landed gentry class. At the early age of fourteen she married her neighbour, Vasily Gogol Yanovsky, aged twenty-eight. At the time of the marriage she was a pretty, raven-haired, dark-eyed and pale-skinned g i r l . But she was s t i l l only a g i r l r - a fact attested to by her auto-biographical note > that at the time of the marriage she could not decide whom she loved more "... him or her favourite old aunty".'' There is a story attached to the marriage which suggests that i t was due to a divine decree. The details of the story are unimportant; however, the fact that Maria accepted Vasily's visions as fact reveals to us her credulous and religious nature. Uith the consummation of her marriage, her intellectual development ceased, and she remained a provincial, g i r l of fifteen to the end of her days: "credulous, super-stitiously pious, and inclined to see God's hand in everything that happened to her and hers".2 Physically, she continued to develop, t i l l f i n a l l y at the age of eighteen she was able to bear Nikolai. Regardless of her intellectual limitations, she became a loving mother, completely devoted to her child. Nikolai at birth was not a pleasant sight; "a f r a i l and nervous child, with a rather sickly face and pus oozing from his ears".-' Maria, young and inexperienced, could not but be very anxious and protective towards this sickly baby. Moreover, she 3 over-reacted. Her concern far Nikolai's health carried on into his childhood uith the result that Nikolai grew up thinking of himself as having a poor constitution. Maria's concern also projected i t s e l f in her spoiling of the child. Some biographers see this as a reason for Nikolai's developing into an egotist. Gogol himself substantiates this in a letter written on October 2, 1833, tD Maria Ivanovna: To this day I often imagine my childhood before me .... I remember I didn't feel anything strongly, I viewed everything as things uhich were created to please me. I.didn't especially love anyone - except only you, and that only because nature i t s e l f i n s t i l l e d this feeling. I viewed everything uith dispassionate eyes; I went to church only because I uas ordered or I was taken; but standing in i t I didn't see anything except the priest's robes, the priest, and the repulsive howling of the sextons. I crossed myself because I saw that everyone was crossing himself ... However, we should not surmise that Gogol's egotistic tendencies were completely the result of Maria's attitude to him. Gogol's ability to separate himself emotionally from his physical body and analyse the situation and the character are disclosed in the above letter. It is this talent uhich he used successfully in the development of his character portrayals. However, this talent, coupled with Maria Ivanovna's over-indulgence could not but produce an egotistical nature. An egotistical nature does not have to be a detrimental character t r a i t . A creative person has to be an egotist -so that he can detach himself from mundane reality. However, egotism can be destructive, i f i t creates a limitation to one's knowledge or i f the person has a limited or arrested development Nikolai seems to have fallen prey to the latter. Maria Ivanovna unaware of the consequences, passed on to Nikolai a l l her super-stitions and naive religious notions. In the letter mentioned previously, Nikolai writes of the great impression her mis-proportioned interpretation of the bible had on him: I asked you to t e l l me about the last judgement; and so well, so comprehensively, so touchingly did you t e l l me, a child, about the blessings which await people for a virtuous l i f e - and so strikingly, so terrifyingly did you describe the eternal torments of the sinful - that this shook and awakened a l l sensitivity within me. That sparked and subsequently produced the most elevated thoughts in me 6 The concept that the virtuous w i l l be rewarded and the sinful eternally tormented deeply rooted i t s e l f in Gogol's psyche and became the ballast of his l i f e . But i t is his peculiar interpretation of what is good and what is considered evil that set him apart as a man and as a writer. It is important for us to ascertain where on this scale of good and e v i l Gogol places women. This can only be deduced after a close analysis of the sum total of his women-portrayals. Up to this point we have observed only Maria Ivanovna's influence on Nikolai. But what of his reaction? As seen from his letter quoted above, he loved his mother. He accepted her 5 concern for his health and her spoiling as inherent rights. He was a dutiful son, writing often to his mother. However, he seems to have outgrown her very quickly. This is evident in the letter he wrote her on the death of his father. Gogol was fifteen at the time: Don't worry, dearest mama!: I have borne this blow with the firmness of a true Christian. True, at f i r s t I was terribly stricken by this news; however, I didn't let anyone notice that I was saddened. But when I was le f t alone, I gave myself up to a l l the power of mad desperation. I even wanted to make an attempt on my l i f e . But God kept me from this - and toward evening I noticed in myself only a sadness, but no longer violent, which finally turned into a light, barely perceptible melancholy mixed with a feeling of reverence for the Most High. I bless thee, holy faith! In thee only do I find a source Df comfort and alleviation of my grief!: So, dearest mama! - (Mow I am calm, although I cannot be happy having been deprived of the best father, the truest friend of a l l that is precious to my heart ... Oh, your grief troubles me more than any-thing else! Please, lessen i t as much as possible, as I have lessened mine. Appeal, as I have appealed, to the Almighty 7 Several features Df Gogol's character are discernible; his egotistic reaction to the news; his genuine love for his father; and his love and pratectiveness towards his mother. From the tone of this and fallowing letters we observe a changing attitude in Gogol's relation to his mother. Whereas before he was the 6 pampered c h i l d , neu he treats his mother as one, and adopts a continual d i d a c t i c tone which begins with "Appeal, as I nave appealed, to the Almighty ..."^ and l a t e r in l i f e comes forth as pages of instru c t i o n s on every conceivable aspect of l i f e . It i s not disrespect that i s evident in Gogol's attitude to Maria Ivanovna, but a somewhat p r a c t i c a l solution of dealing with an immature woman. It i s known that in l a t e r years, Gogol did avoid seeing his mother, yet the circumstances were such that he thought he could function better without her presence.9 However,emotionally he was always close to her. The l a s t surviving l e t t e r of Gogol i s to his mother. The expressed tone remains one of a f f e c t i o n and love. From age nine, when he l e f t home, to age twenty-seven, when he l e f t Russia, Gogol l i v e d i n a predominantly masculine environ-ment. His pubertal years were spent at the boys' High School of Advanced Studies at Nezhin. Only short i n t e r v a l s during holidays were spent at home. Gogol's adjustment to t h i s new environment was gradual. At f i r s t he remained shy, withdrawn and s e c r e t i v e . However, his wit and observing q u a l i t i e s came to the fore h a l f -way through his school l i f e and he became popular f o r staging t h e a t r i c a l productions and excelled himself in comic portrayals of old women. At about age f i f t e e n , from his l e t t e r s , we discern a growing interest i n l i t e r a t u r e , namely the classics-; Petrarch and Aristophanes, the Romantics', S c h i l l e r , Tieck and Pushkin-> 7 and the playwrights Fonvizin, Knyazhnin, Katzebue and Flor ian . Gagol emerged from his schooling with a mediocre education yet with great ambitions. As early as 1827 Gogol wrote Maria Ivanovna: "I am testing my strength for beginning an important, noble task:, for the good of the fatherland, for the happiness of i ts c i t izens , for the good of the l i f e of my fellow men-." 10 There are also letters to his uncle, Pavel Hosiaravsky, in which Gogol stresses his desire for service. "Since years past, in the years of uncomprehending childhood, I have burned with an inextinguishable zeal to make my l i f e essential to the welfare of the State . . . " J I At the same time, there is a negative inter-pretation of this ambition, as noted by E r l i c h : . . a pervasive fear of anonymity, of obscurity, of p l a n t - l i f e passivity, which amid the placid stagnation of the early 19th Century Ukrainian backwater, seemed a clear and present danger.12 Gogol writes:: "To be in the world, and not tD make one's existence register, that would be terrible."13 Gogol's notion was that he had to serve the state and benefit humanity somehow. These are notions common to youth generally, but in Gogol's case they persisted throughout his l i f e . It must be noted that in none of his letters relating to his future ambitions does Gogol mention women or any ambitions for a family of his own. Following school, on December 15, 1828, Gogol with a school fr iend, Danilevsky, set off for St . Petersburg. Life in the capital 1 8 city was not easy far the two provincial youths. The climate was cold, everything uas expensive and their connections did not materialize. Although in the next eight years Gogol established himself as a writer, i t uas aluays a hard struggle. He uas able to obtain uork f i r s t at the Imperial Chancery, then the ministry, folloued by three years teaching history at the Patriotic Institute, a girls* boarding school,and finally eighteen months as lecturer in history at St. Petersburg University. His income uas also supplemented through lecturing assignments at f i r s t and later by publishing his works. Most of Gogol's known uorks uere uritten, published or conceived during these eight years, from 1830 to 1838. His time, aside from working hours, was predominantly spent in the male company of his Ukrainian schoolmates or with new acquaintances such as Pushkin, Zhukovsky, Mikhail Pogadin, Sergey Aksakov, Mikhail Shchepkin and other writers, artists and c r i t i c s . There is a noticeable lack of contact with females aside from his family and in the everyday encounters with his students and their families. However,during this period, he was placed in a situation where he could observe the education of young g i r l s , in the home and at school. He was deeply concerned by the lackadaisical attitude of parents, and, in his letter to his mother mentioned earlier, he proposes his own method of educating g i r l s . It is interesting to note that besides 9 religious training, he stresses purity and social grace as desired qualities. Later in l i f e , Gogol suffered great anguisb at the poor education his sisters had received from their Moscow boarding school. On his return to Moscow in 18^1 to find suitable homes for them, he was met by two shy, timid and awkward g i r l s . Everything outside the boarding school frightened them. Gogol?althaugh perturbed by the situation, nevertheless, behaved very lovingly and protectively towards them. As there is no record lef t of any love affairs, marriage or scandals in which Gogol was involved, i t becomes d i f f i c u l t for us to ascertain his views an these topics. His can-temporaries did not consider i t important to comment on his personal attitudes to women as there seems to have been a definite lack of any. Our recourse is to look at Gogol's letters to see what his attitudes to love, marriage and women were. One incident, Gogol's flight to Lubeck in 1829, gives us an insight into his emotional psyche. Among his reasons for fleeing St. Petersburg, he wrote his mother: ... But I saw her ... No, I wi l l not give her name ... she is too exalted for anyone, not only for me. I would c a l l her an angel, but this expression is low and does not suit her. An angel is a being which has neither virtues nor vices, which has no character (because i t is not a human), whose thoughts live in heaven alone. But no, I am babbling t r i f l e s and cannot describe her. She is a divinity -but one to a certain extent invested with human passions. A face whose striking radiance engraves i t s e l f in the heart in one instant, eyes quickly piercing the soul. But no man of the human race mill survive their radiance, burning, piercing through every-thing ... No, this being whom He sent to deprive me of peace and quiet, to upset my shakily created uorld uas not a woman. Uere she a woman, not with a l l the powers of her enchantment could she have produced such terrible, inexpressible impressions. This was a divinity created by Him, a part of Himself. But for the sake of God, don't ask her name. She is too exalted, exalted.'''* Biographers tend to dismiss this encounter as a fabrication of Gogol's mind.15 However, there seems to be just as much evidence that the encounter did occur as against i t . Gogol uas a secretive character and he does write:.". .True, I uas able to conceal myself from everyone; but could I hide from myself ..."16 It is the second half of the sentence that is very important. Gogol is constantly concerned with the self. He meticulously examines his reactions:: Hellish anguish with a l l possible torments seethed in my breast. Oh, uhat a cruel state! I think that i f hell is prepared for sinners i t is not as tormenting. No, this was not love ... at least I have not heard of such a love. In a burst of madness and terrible mental torments, I thirsted, I seethed just to stare, I was greedy only for one look ... To glance at her one more time -that was my one single desire growing stronger and stronger with inexpressibly cutting yearning. With terror I looked around and discerned my terrible state; absolutely every-thing in the world was alien to me then, l i f e and death were equally unbearable, and my soul could not give an account of i t s actions. I saw that I nad to run away from myself i f I wanted to preserve my l i f e , to return even a shadow of peace into my tortured soul ...17 To Gogol l o v e , or i n f a t u a t i o n , whatever t h e f e e l i n g d e s c r i b e d above i s , b r i n g s torment i n s t e a d o f peace. T h i s i s t r u e of e g o t i s t s . To l o v e someone e l s e l e a v e s one v u l n e r a b l e , a s t a t e which Gogol chose not t o endure. Three y e a r s l a t e r he wrote h i s f r i e n d D a n i l e v s k y , who was a l s o i n a s t a t e o f torment over a l o v e d one: I u n d e r s t a n d and f e e l t h e s t a t e o f your s o u l v e r y much, a l t h o u g h t h a n k s t o f a t e I have not managed t o e x p e r i e n c e i t . I say " t h a n k s " because t h a t flame would t u r n me i n t o ashes i n one i n s t a n t . 1 would n ot f i n d p l e a s u r e - f o r m y s e l f i n the p a s t , I would s t r i v e t o t u r n i t i n t o t h e p r e s e n t and I m y s e l f would be t h e v i c t i m of i t s e f f o r t ; and t h e r e f o r e , f o r my s a l v a t i o n , I have a f i r m w i l l which has t w i c e l e d me away from t h e d e s i r e t o g l a n c e i n t o the a b y s s . 1 3 T h i s l e t t e r s u b s t a n t i a t e s t h e f i r s t one, t h a t h i s " f i r m w i l l " has " l e d him away" from the " f l a m e " t h a t would e n g u l f him. I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o note t h a t Gogol i s n o t a f r a i d o f the woman per se but i s a f r a i d o f h i s own r e a c t i o n s , of h i s own s e l f . A l t h o u g h Gogol had r e s e r v a t i o n s about h i s v u l n e r a b i l i t y i n the m a t t e r o f l o v e , he n e v e r t h e l e s s had a h i g h r e g a r d f o r l o v e and m a r r i a g e . In the same l e t t e r where he t e l l s D a n i l e v s k y t h a t he has h i m s e l f t w i c e t u r n e d away from t h e a b y s s , he w r i t e s him: "You are a l u c k y f e l l o w - i t i s your l o t t o t a s t e t h e g r e a t e s t good i n l i f e - l o v e . And I ..."^9 j _ n a p r e v i o u s l e t t e r w r i t t e n i n the same y e a r , he w r i t e s : Beautiful, f i e r y , exhausting and inexplicable i s love before marriage; but he uho has loved before marriage has displayed only one burst, one e f f o r t to lave. This lave i s not complete; i t i s only a beginning, momentary, but i t i s a strong and f i e r c e enthusiasm uhich shakes the organism of a man for a long time. But the second part, or better, the book i t s e l f - because the f i r s t i s only the advance announcement of i t - i s calm, an entire sea of quiet pleasures uhich open up more and more each day; and you are amazed by them uith a l l the more pleasure because they seemed absolutely i n s i g n i f i c a n t and ordinary. This i s the a r t i s t in love' uith the uork of a great master ... Love before marriage i s the poetry of Yazykov: i t i s e f f e c t i v e , f i e r y ; and already in the f i r s t moment i t possesses a l l one's f e e l i n g s . But love a f t e r marriage i s the poetry of Pushkin: i t does not grasp you suddenly, but the more you look into i t , the more i t opens up, unveils i t s e l f , and f i n a l l y turns into a vast and majestic ocean .. See hou b e a u t i f u l l y I t e l l a stary! Oh, I uould make a fine novelist i f I started u r i t i n g novelsl^O It i s i r o n i c that Gogol i s describing love and marriage, but at the same time he i s ta l k i n g of his oun love - l i t e r a t u r e , and marriage - his novel. The reference to Yazykov and Pushkin here does not have any homosexual implications, but places love and marriage on the highest plateau. Dualism in his attitude to love (and marriage) can be perceived from the l e t t e r s . On the one hand, he places love as "the highest good in l i f e " , and, on the other hand, he "chooses" not to give himself up to the passion of love. This d u a l i s t i c attitude i s not very strange i f ue look at the s o c i a l , moral and 13 sexual history of Gogol's time. Russian society in the f i r s t half of the nineteenth century uas repressed, highly structured: Very feu had the courage and individuality required to live in this dense fog. Nearly everyone uas directly or indirectly an o f f i c i a l and therefore at the mercy of his superiors, so that se r v i l i t y uas the rule everyuhere.21 For a young man like Gogol, one uith very l i t t l e means of support and no appreciable station in l i f e , a marriage or a passionate involvement at this stage of his l i f e uould have likely been a disaster, or a lapse into the mediocrity uhich he abhorred. Gogol's plea to his mother "... But for the sake of God, don't ask her name. She is too exalted, exalted," 2 2 could be a true statement of facts. On the other hand, Gogol had a passion for exaggerating, for hyperbolic statements, and his qualifying statement "... She is a divinity - but one to a certain extent invested uith human passions, l , 23 has led his mother and biographers to uonder i f the divinity is not in reality a prostitute - a louly uoman of the streets. In either case, an emotional involvement uould have been fruitless and would only have led to the torments that Gogol has described and rejected. Gogol's rejection of emotional involvement in the early part of his l i f e , does not necessarily mean that he had also rejected physical sex. There has been le f t no sexual history of the early nineteenth century (at least none that I have been able to find) but on a 1tf comparative basis, ue may compare the era to the early Victorian period in the West. A double standard uas an accepted uay of l i f e . Society men laved, cherished and placed on pedestals their mothers, sisters and uives, uhile their more basic sexual needs uere satisfied by prostitutes, mistresses and household staff. Accounts of the activities of gentlemen have been preserved in such books as My Secret Life or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure. There is no reason to doubt that a similar attitude did not prevail in Gogol's circle of friends and that Gogol uas not blind to i t . In several of his letters ta friends he jokingly laughs at his friend's amorous involvements: Krasnenkoy is clamouring (and not kidding) about marrying some actress uho, i t is said, has extraordinary talent, better than Bryansky (houever, I haven't seen her); and he insists very strongly that i t is essential for him to marry. Houever, i t seems to me that this enthusiasm u i l l grou cold for a uhile. The dragoon is here too ... His l i t t l e brother, in order to shou him a l l the curiosities of the city, took him to a bordello the D t h e r day; only the uhole time that his l i t t l e brother uas sueating auay behind the screen, he read a book uith extreme coolness and uent out, as i f from a pastry shop, uithout having touched anything, uithout even having made a significant face at his brother ...^ Whether or not Gogol himself had purely sexual experiences is a hotly debated question. In one of his instructional letters to his mother, uritten at the age of tuenty-four, he urites: Do me a favour, my priceless mama, don't bring up Glga as Liza uas brought up. Keep her auay from the maid's room so that she never goes in there ... That alone w i l l destroy the wilderness which children who stay in the maid's room get.... Because of the maid's rooms, because of the lack of common sense of mothers who cnly take their daughters under their care and get them away from the maids' rooms when they are already becoming of age, and they protect them when there is no longer anything to protect, when foolish-ness and prejudices have already put their roots too deep ...25 There is truth in Gogol's observation of environmental influence on the young child, but one wonders i f there is not a second meaning to the passage in particular, what "wilderness" does one acquire in the maids',) rooms? In an earlier letter, one following his explanation for leaving Russia in 1829 and as an answer to a frantic letter from his mother where she suspects that he has venereal disease, he answers: But I am ready to answer in the presence of God i f I have committed even one act of debauchery, and my morality has been incomparably purer here than during my l i f e at school and at home ... 2 & The two letters do not preclude that Gogol did experience sex, yet they do not substantiate i t either. However, an attitude of aversion to purely sexual activities for himself and his family is discernible: Uith horror I read your letter ... How, mama? You could even think that I am the prey of vile debauchery, that I am on the lowest level of human degradation!. Finally, you dared attribute to me a disease the thought of which always made even my very thoughts tremble. It is the f i r s t time in my l i f e , and I pray God that i t be the last, I have received such a terrifying letter. It seemed to me that I uas hearing a curse. How could you think that the son of such angel-parents could be a monster in which not one speck of virtue remained! ...27 An unsatisfactory, purely sexual encounter in his youth, could have thwarted his rather weak ( i f any) desire for physical sex. A sour experience combined with an egotistical nature and lack, of money quite readily explain Gogol's decision tD remain single. In 1836, at the age of twenty-seven, Gogol once again went abroad. This time, except for two short v i s i t s , he stayed away from Russia for twelve years. His reasons for leaving Russia are many. However, one of the reasons is that there was a change of attitude towards his writing at this time. Following the turn-ii ii about reception his play Inspector General created, Gogol wrote his friend Pogodin:: ... I am not going'abroad because I could not bear these dissatisfactions. I want to improve my health, to divert and distract myself, and then, having chosen a more or less permanent residence, think my future works over thoroughly. It is high time for me to create with greater reflection ... 28 It was at this time that he began his laborious work on Dead Souls which consumed his energies t i l l his death in 1852. Gogol's stay abroad was characterized by inconsistency. He alternated between periods of creativity and s t e r i l i t y , which in turn led to either exalted, elated feelings or periods of 17 depression and despondency. He uas also sporadically plagued by illness; gastritis and nervous attacks. He invented his oun cure uhich consisted of extensive travel. A marked difference occurred in his friendships. Whereas before his friends uere exclusively males, nou Gogol acquires female friends. Houever, these neu friendships uere not purely a result of vanity or social necessity. Gogol accepted female friends on the same level as his male friends - as comrades, or in reference to uomen - as spiritual sisters. One of his f i r s t close friends uas his former student Maria Balabin, uhose family he met in Baden-Baden in 1836. His letters to her are amusing, moralistic, yet very genuine in feeling. It is interesting to note that i t uas in a letter to Maria Balabin that he expressed his grief over the impending death of his young friend Count Iosif Vielgorsky in 1839. Other female friends uererf£lizav/etaChertkova, uith uhom he had cared for the dying Uielgorsky; the rich Catholic convert Princess Zinaida Volkonskaya, uhom he met in Rome in 1837-38; and Alexandra Smirnova, a famous beauty uith uhom he reneued and deepened his friendship uhile abroad. Gogol's f i r s t years abroad uere relatively happy ones.. But the death of his friend Count Uielgorsky and his oun nervous sickness in Vienna in 18H-0 once again led to a change in his attitude to his uork . Progressively Gogol acquired a religious mysticism, and he began to envisage himself as a •chosen one 1. He envisaged himself not only as an ar t i s t , but also as a teacher and a prophet. This role uas not a neu one; as early as 1825 he had instructed his mother on hou to lessen her grief over the loss of her husband, but the marked difference is that nou he begins to use art, his uriting, as a means of expressing his didactic ideas. The didacticism reached i t s climax in his fin a l published uork, Selected Passages from Correspondence uith Friends. The merits of this uork are highly debatable. Houever, in reference to women, his vieu of uoman is s o l i d i f i e d . Ldoman's attributes u i l l be discussed in Chapter III.29 Although Gogol's tone is didactic, he nevertheless shous a high respect for the female sex. "I avou, uomen among us u i l l regain consciousness before men ..."30 Gogol's consciousness uas on a different level from that of the majority of people in his oun l i f e . The  Selected Passages is an effort on his part to auaken people and to bring them around to his level of consciousness. Besides Pletnev and Professor Shevyrev i t uas his uomen friends uho understood and appreciated his efforts. It is ironic that the Uielgorsky family supported Gogol follouing the controversy that Selected Passages created, yet tuo years later, they are reported to have refused a proposal of marriage by Gogol to their daughter, Countess Anna Uielgorskaya. This shous hou fu t i l e uas Gogol's attempt to change the level of consciousness of his readers; agreeing uith the concept is not the same as making i t a uorkable part of one's l i f e . But i t is interesting that here, at age forty, Gogol uas not averse to marrying. Perhaps for the f i r s t time he found a uoman uho possessed characteristics that he admired. In 18^7 he urote Pletnev :. I particularly advise you to get acquainted uith Anna Mikhailovna Vielgorskaya. She possesses something thatjI knou of in no other uamanr not an analytical mind, but the higher pouer to reason; but one does not get to knou her at once: she lives completely uithin herself. In a letter to Anna, along uith a page of instructions, he comments t. ... dances do not became you at a l l - your figure is not that graceful and lig h t . You are not pretty ... you are pretty only uhen some noble feeling appears in your face; i t ' s clear the features of your face are arranged so as to express spiritual nobility; as soon as you lose this expression you become homely.-^ Uith an analytical mind like this, i t is not strange that Gogol did not succeed in becoming a great lover. It uas not Anna, houever, uho refused Gogol, but her family uho became indignant at Gogol's presumption. In spite of Gogol's renoun as a uriter, socially he uas s t i l l encumbered. Before concluding our discussion of Gogol's relationship uith his uomen friends, a look at his friendship uith Madame Smirnova u i l l illuminate a further character t r a i t of Gogol, Gogol loved in uomen: "... Beauty; second, a spotless name, above scandal; third, the pouer of a pure soul."33 There uere rumours of an affair betueen the tuo, yet i t is highly unlikely. Madame Smirnova uas married and in spite of her beauty and their close friendship, Gogol aluays kept their friendship on a spiritual rather than an emotional or physical plane. Gogol uas a highly principled man; although his level of consciousness is not understandable to everyone, yet he himself lived by the ideals that he preached. CHAPTER II INTRODUCTION Nikolai Gogol has been an enigma that many scholars have attempted to understand. Unfortunately, for the most part, Gogol has been a victim of destructive criticism. His contemporary c r i t i c s , particularly Belinsky, uere the fore-runners of the socio-political c r i t i c s that predominated during the 19th and 20th century in Russia. To them, Gogol's works were valid only as criticisms of Russian society, while his positive attempts to enlighten society and show a new pattern of living were disregarded or ridiculed. Modern western c r i t i c s are liable to be biassed, judging Gogol's behaviour on the mores of their own times. It is not the intention of this paper to tear down Gogol's c r i t i c s , only to show how their pre-conceived notions have led to erroneous conclusions about Gogol's l i f e and, in particular, his attitude to women. Gogol's contemporary c r i t i c s and modern Soviet c r i t i c s have been omitted from this study as they have contributed very l i t t l e to the understanding of Gogol's women characters. In fact, the i subject of Gogol's women portrayals has been l e f t relatively i untouched. On the other hand, four recent c r i t i c a l works that deal to some extent with Gogol's women portrayals will be looked at in some detail in this chapter. The four have been chosen on the basis that they reflect a diversity of present-day opinions of Gogol. - 21 -Setchkarev represents the traditional scholarly approach to the interpretation of Gogol's works. Erlich applies existential psychology, while the two, Driessen and McLean, use the psycho-analytical approach. The summaries are presented so that we can see a step-by-step process in the formulation of critiques. Yet, at the same time, we. must be aware of the bias present in the four c r i t i c s . Gogol in his l i f e , letters and a r t i s t i c works professed a spirit u a l i t y that the c r i t i c s do not accept as a criterion for Gogol. The tragedy is that Gogol found himself in the transition between two sets of values, the spiritual and the materialistic. What were for Gogol ideal and eternal forms of a spiritual set of values are considered 'stereotyped epithets' by Setchkarev. Comparing the flamboyance of the living and loving mores of the Ukraine to the more restricted l i f e of the provincial town, and later to the acquisitive, materialistic, modern trends of St. Petersburg could not but result in Gogol's statement "It's a dreary world, gentlemen". This statement is not, as McLean calls i t , Gogol's retreat from personal love, but a sociological observation of his era. Gogol's lack of sexual involvement has been the cause of the greatest misconception about his women characters. Erlich assumes that Gogol feared women, as an explanation for abstinence. Yet is this not a further example of bias? The modern trend is to say that man's lack of sexuality is due to psychologically unhealthy reasons. Yet this is to disregard the older concepts of s p i r i t u a l i t y . A - 22 -spiritual set of values u i l l postulate sexual restraint as healthy for the masses, and sexual control and conquest as strength of s p i r i t for the leader or prophet. Gogol sau himself as a prophet. Erlich is entitled to question the universal psychological health of Gogol as seen in the light of the spiritual values, but not according to our oun values, uhich he does, thus revealing his bias. Driessen, and McLean to a lesser degree, emphasizes the importance of Gogol's attachment to his parents. Their conclusions are that i t uas a negative influence, resulting in an Oedipal complex uhich prevented him from seeking sexual fulfilment uith other uomen. Their conclusions are based on the interpretation of a limited number of uorks, uhile the uhole of his l i f e and uorks are disregarded. Oedipal and homo-erotic affinity is a psycho-physical reality about any child that lives in a loving home. It is the degree and direction that decides the health or ill-health of them, particularly in creative minds. That Gogol could use these tendencies in creative uork shous us his mastery and understanding of the Oedipal drive in him, not his subjugation to i t . It is also easily possible that in his mother Gogol sau womanhood in i t s maternal fullness and maturity. Although Maria Ivanovna was not intellectual, yet she was a loving mother, a character t r a i t that Gogol appreciated. The fallowing four critiques wi l l reveal how inadequate has been the study of Gogol's women characters to date. - 23 -CHAPTER II Part I GOGOL:: His Life and Works by Vsevolod Setchkarev Vsevolod Setchkarev's beck Gogol:. His Life and Works is a study of Gogol as an ar t i s t : "My purpose has been to examine Gogol primarily as an artist and to elucidate his formal peculiarities."1 The book mainly concerns i t s e l f uith literary trends, genres, techniques and peculiarities employed by Gogol, and an evaluation of the success or failure of Gogol's style. Regarding Gogol's attitude to art, Setchkarev sees tuo trends. The f i r s t dating from 1829 to 18^ +0 is art for art's sake. Follouing a spiritual c r i s i s in Vienna in 18H-0, Gogol began to vieu art as a servant of religion. Houever, Setchkarev observes that Gogol from his early years had a strong desire to serve the state and the later religious convictions simply superimposed themselves on the old theory. In regard to Gogol's attitude'to uomen, Setchkarev simply evaluates the characters according to the purpose they serve in Gogol's uorks. Although Setchkarev gives us a very good biographical sketch, he does not connect the events of Gogol's l i f e to his art, leaving this f i e l d to psychological c r i t i c s . Setchkarev finds i t 'striking' that Gogol appears to have had no relationship uith uomen. He notes: - 2ft -25 This circumstance has provided psychoanalysts uith a great deal of material for strange hypotheses, but i t uould hardly pay to go into them. As aluays in such cases, a grain of truth is present, but the attempt to explain the uhole body of Gogol's uorks, his religious upheaval, his illness on the basis of sexual inhibitions, is certainly farfetched.2 The further notion that excessive onanism during Gogol's school days led to severe psychic depressions is dismissed by Setchkarev as lacking pl a u s i b i l i t y . Houever, he does accept the fact that Gogol did not look at 'uomen as sexual objects'. The one event in Gogol's l i f e - his letter of June 2A, 1829 relating his encounter uith the "deity, lightly clothed uith human passion", - uhich has led to many suppositions by Gogol's c r i t i c s , Setchkarev dismisses as f i c t i t i o u s . Both the passion and the woman are regarded as false, as simply a: means of explaining his departure from Russia. Gogol's love for Anna Vielgorskaya is noted, yet no real emotional evaluation is given. Setchkarev notes that Gogol's religious convictions affected his art. To uhat extent Gogol's religious convictions evolved as a consequence of his relationship or lack of relationship uith uomen is not discussed at a l l . Setchkarev's main body of uork consists of a study of Gogol's uorks. Evenings Near the Village of Dikanka, Mirgorod and Arabesques are a l l connected uith a common theme: the intrusion of evil into everyday l i f e . The theme is treated in various styles, comic or tragic, yet the outcome in a l l is that e v i l can get you. 26 Gogol's concept of the world is that i t is f u l l of completely useless petty philistines who only "get the sky sooty, while they think they are God knows how important."3 People live in complete egotism. Passion for earthy things is the snare of the devil. Woman as the devil's tool is an old theme of Russian ascetic literature, but to Gogol i t took on a profound significance. In his earliest work, "Woman", Gogol reveals the power af beauty. "Beauty conceals danger, evi l lurks behind the Godlike surface. If one takes his eyes off ideal beauty, passions rage and pull everything to destruction."'* Setchkarev notes that the theme of the destructive power of diabolical beauty which causes one to forget a l l other values is important; yet " i t seems unjustified to make of i t the cardinal point of Gogol's aesthetic system, as has been done in philosophical Gogol scholarship."5 Besides looking at women as tools of the devil, Gogol portrays his women characters as prototypes of world literature. Setchkarev for the most part finds that Gogol's physical descrip-tions are 'stereotyped epithets'. Episodes where Gogol's heroines are nude are not seen as profound psychic expressions, but simply as a technique of good composition, as heightening effects to avert the danger of monotony. The scene of the deacon introducing his i love declarations "... is so laden with sensuality and at the same time so comical that one would have to search a long time to find an equivalent in the history of literature."6 In Katerina.'s 27 dream scene, Gcgol depicts, for the f i r s t time in Russian literature, the world of the subconscious. "Kater.ina does not know what her soul knows."7 Setchkarev points out that Gogol had attained the high point of his tragic art in the pathos of Katsrina's lament and love speeches with Danilo. Gogol did attempt to show cruelty and erotism in his works. Mainly these traits are found in less knaun pieces which Gogol never developed into completed works. Setchkarev believes that Gogol did not pursue this course because he found the portrayal of r e a l i s t i c horror not suitable to him personally and chose rather to work on fantastic horror. Gogol's short story, "The Nose", is looked at simply as a piece of literature written as art for art's sake. Setchkarev does not dispute that the nose has a double meaning of which Gogol was aware. However both the psychoanalysts and the metaphysicians completely miss Gogol's true intent, which Setchkarev sees as:. "The Nose" is to be understood as a game playing with the technical narrative devices and as a challenge to those who always look for a moral and for profit in art, who are too uncultured and narrow-minded to see that a real work of art can be created only far i t s own sake and that i t is not at a l l a question of the what but of the how of the work.Q During Gogol's later stage of writing, in such works as "Inspector General", "Marriage", "Coach", "Overcoat" and 28 and Dead Souls, Setchkarev sees the role Df women as negative. Chertokutsky 1s wife and Agafya Tikhonovna are simple, ignorant " l i t t l e geese". Gogol is concerned with revealing his dismal view of the world. Mediocrity was seen as evi l by Gogol. Gogol does not describe individual wickedness and i t s ev i l action on good people, but a solid collective being with morals, habits, and customs in common that hold each one captive and from whose net there is no escape.9 The women characters form a part of the mass of collective nothingness. The love scenes of the "The Inspector General" are parodies, where simple nonsense is accepted as sense. Setchkarev notes that in the play,"Marriage", Gogol shows a gentle sadness for the world, yet no c r i t i c or audience saw this. The comedy is a break with the traditions of the love genre, in which, usually, two lovers encounter obstacles but somehow unite at the end. Gogol uses the same plot, but the ending dif f e r s . The reason far the change is that: Everything in this world has long since changed. Nowadays, more dramatic tension is generated by attempts to attain an advantageous position, to distinguish oneself and t D outshine another at any price, and to avenge oneself for neglect and for ridicule. Have not rank, capital, advantageous marriage now more electricity in them than love?10 Dead Souls is a continuation of Gogol's theme of the intellectual and spiritual limitations of human l i f e . The characters are "numerous possibilities for variations on stupidity and on 29. narrawness and their effects." 11 Gogol uses gentle irony to present Korobochka, and the t r i v i a l i t y of her cares. In other instances Gogol treats the uorld of women with malicious irony, showing a world without even a hint of a positive t r a i t . The love letter to Chichikov is very funny, "parodying as i t does the whole romantic - sentimental epistolary style."12 Chichikov's fal l i n g in love with the governor's daughter had significance only as a subplot, for compositional purposes. The falling in love reveals the driving force behind Chichikov's actions, his desire for progeny. Otherwise Gogol's efforts to develop a love plot are unsuccessful. His descriptions of the g i r l are stereotyped except for comparing her face to a 'fresh egg'. "The Overcoat" is a continuation of Gogol's former theme of the devil seducing man. This time the devil makes use of " l i t t l e passions" to divert men from their striving toward God. Instead of a woman, an overcoat becomes the centre of passion for Akaky Akakievich. An erotic atmosphere is created around the overcoat. Setchkarev's opinion of Selected Passages from Correspondence  with Friends is that i t was an honest attempt by Gogol to present his concepts of the world of his experiences. Gogol expressed many apt formulations and pertinent ideas. The downfall of the work was Gogol's confident, didactic tone. The details of how the wife should ration money, Setchkarev feels, produced an 30 unpleasant effect an the readers. Setchkarev does not discuss Gogol's ideas of women as expressed in the two essays. The ideal women, Setchkarev feels, are presented as f l a t , empty descriptions of improbable characters. According to Setchkarev's evaluation, Gogol was a good writer. He enriched the world of literature by creating a style where l i t t l e details became interesting. More significantly, he was able to show the inner wealth of human l i f e . CHAPTER II Part II Gogol by Victor Erlich Erlich's work is an attempt at incorporating Gogol's personal l i f e and his works into a meaningful study. It is a very f a i r study of the various psychoanalytical, psychological, religious and c r i t i c a l views of Gogol that have been voiced. Erlich's approach is from an existential point of view. To understand Gogol, Erlich adopts the fallowing method:. ... the unintelligible strangeness of /Gogol's7 s p i r i t , we may get more assistance from existential psychology than from straight-forward psychiatry or orthodox psychoanalysis in i t s familiar aspects. The view of the human psyche that lays special stress on such dichotomies as the real self versus the false, unauthentic self, and pays special attention to the devices of concealment and impersonation employed by a peculiarly f r a i l ego as protection against the encroachments of feared reality ... ' Erlich follows this view both into Gogol's personal l i f e and into his works. He observes that Gogol was unspontaneous, unable to express^ sincere, emotional feeling in his early letters, while he was in exile from home and even in Selected Passages from  Correspondence with Friends. In his a r t i s t i c endeavours, he concealed himself through the motif of the mask as seen through his varied use of the skaz: technique. The constant shifting of - 31 -32 paints af vieu and narrative tone lends i t s e l f to the grotesque manner of uriting and the grotesque attitude that Erlich sau as the main feature of Gogol's art. That Gogol indeed uas hiding behind a mask is a bold pDstulation that the main body of Erlich's uork does not quite substantiate. Yet his study of the nature of Gogol's imagination and the texture of his universe as examples of the grotesque imagination are excellent. Erlich accepts that Gogol's sexuality uas either uarped or stunted. He agrees uith the bulk of Gogol's biographers uho note that through " a l l or mast of his l i f e he shunned physical contact uith women."2 Erlich avoids speculation as to the reasons, observing only that Gogol's reaction to passion uas to flee rather than to consummate. No particular incident or influence is shown as forming this attitude. Gogol's mother, Erlich feels, did not influence his l i f e to any great extent. She uas partially responsible for "conveying to her son fear and distrust of the outside world, especially of that glittering den of iniquity, the city."3 However, i t is too much af an exaggeration to blame Maria alone for Gogol's religiously motivated fear of the Evi l Dne. Although Erlich admits that Vasily Gippius'4* reasons for believing Gogol's encounter with the "dazzling exalted creature" have some validity, he nevertheless dismisses i t as false. His reasons are that none of Gogol's friends know about the incident, or that Gogol's 'goddess' sounds more like: 33 ... the f i r s t in a series of unbearably dazzling women who inhabit Gogol's f i c t i o n , or, for that matter, like a slightly personalized counterpart of Alcinoe, the epitome of triumphant female beauty eulogized in his turgidly romantic essay, "A Woman".5 Further, the whole incident - Gogol's unexpressed disappointment at the failure of his f i r s t work - led him to hide behind a mask, to invent an easier-to-convey reason for fleeing. Characters, plots and situations are secondary in Erlich's analysis of Gogol's style. Rather he pursues the study of obsessive themes and leitmotifs. The Evenings Near the Village of  Dikanka and Mirgorod are characterised by the following themes:: lust as a tool of the fiend, the path to perdition and self-destruction as seen in "St. John * s Eve";the consumed-by-love theme as seen in "St. John's Eve" and "Viy"; crime and punishment in "St. John's Eve" and "Terrible Revenge"; and'things are not uhat they seem'in "Viy" and later developed in "IMevsky Prospect". The last of these themes, 'things are not what they seem', was f i r s t applied to nature scenes, and only later uas i t used in reference to women. As seen from the themes, Gogol is not interested in particular character analysis, but is interested in a study of the cosmic relationships of man to the self and to the rest of the worldo In the same way, to interpret Shponka. in terms only of sex.symbols is to miss seeing him as a forerunner of Gogol's later genre -"the comedy of inanity, the enactment of pathetic stupidity through verbal incoherence and incongruity."6 In "The Old-World Landowners", 3k Erlich deems sexuality, or the lack Df i t , an important aspect of Gogol's attitude. The relationship betueen Afanasy Ivanavich and Pulheria Ivanovna has regressed to an infantile level, where oral gratification is paramount.. The idealization of this curiously unromantic vindication of "habit" at the expense of "passion" makes Erlich conclude that the work is another example of Gogol's fear of sexuality. Erlich compares Gogol's preference for emotional routine over emotional impulse to Tolstoy's preference for the solid, biological reality of marriage and child rearing over the romantic concept of love. However, whereas Tolstoy's target was romantic i l l u s i o n , Gogol's was lust and the erotic. Yet, within the context of the story, the regressive tendency is only a further example of one of Gogol's major themes -the tension between gemutlichkeit and wanderlust, or, to put i t more negatively, between the fear of l i f e and the fear of death-in-life.7 Important as the sexual symbolism i s , there are other themes present in this story which lend i t an existential level of significance. It is the later themes that Erlich feels are more important in the interpretation of Gogol's art. "Uiy" is a most striking example of the fantastic-grotesque strain 'in Gogol. However, i t is also one of the earliest explorations of sado-masochistic feelings. Khoma's reactions to riding the witch, "the unpleasant and at the same 35 voluptuous feelings", Erlich sees as a "quiver of debilitating, masochistic erotism." 3 The whole scene with the witch is one of sado-masochism; "the burning sense of shame produces an urge to redeem one's manliness by i n f l i c t i n g humiliation rather than savouring i t . " 9 Thus i t is that Khoma k i l l s the witch and pays for his sado-masochism with his l i f e . However, Khoma did not ask for any trouble; i t seems that the story is only a further example of the theme of ev i l intruding on man. Curiosity or excessive fear are not Khoma's chief vices - but complacency: Khoma Brut is Everyman, a bumbling, careless, insensitive homme moyen sensuel, who was fated to stumble into the devil's trap, to look into the abyss. 1 0 "IMevsky Prospect" is an extension of the theme of 'there is no place to hide', but set in an urban society* The motif of the beautiful prostitute and of the i d e a l i s t i c artist are not new to Gogol, but derive from "the forgotten exponents of so-called litterature f re'ne'tique, Jules Janin and Eugene Sue." 1 1 Piskarev's dilemma is not so much the g i r l , as his inability to reconcile "the unbearable discrepancy between their dreams and 'revolting' a c t u a l i t y . " 1 2 jhe finale, in which Gogol warns his readers not to trust IMevsky Prospect, Erlich sees as a frenzy of moral panic on the narrator's part. The Evi l One is as resourceful as he is ubiquitous. The trouble with him, as Gogol was to t e l l himself and his contemporaries time and again, is that he gets at man not only through taking advantage of his lowly 36 impulses, his base passions, but also, and more insidiously, by distorting, twisting, and capitalizing upon his l o f t i e r aspirations such as the yearning for beauty which brought down the tragically deluded dreamer, Piskarev. 13 Poprishkin's unhinged sexual fantasies in "Diary of a Madman" unite the woman with the devil, for "woman is in love with the devil". It is surprising that Erlich, here, accepts the anti-female demonology of Poprishkin as "a pathological travesty of Gogol's own fear of sexuality" .I'* Erlich does not dismiss c r i t i c s who insist on analysing "The Nose" on psychological grounds.- The story does seem to have phallic undertones and can be interpreted as an expression of castration anxiety. However, KovalSv is not so much concerned with losing his manliness as he is at losing his chance of an "important position". To Kovalev , marriage is primarily a stepping-stone in his career. In Gogol's emerging view of man, the loss of the nose enables him to have "a grotesque laugh at the absurd importance of appearances in a world of appearances. In the universe of "The Nose", status looms larger than sex. "15 As Erlich puts i t , "on Nevsky Prospect status is highly libidinized; in fact i t seems to be the chief focus of a l i b i d i n a l involvement".1S The displacement of the libido is further seen in "The Overcoat". The cloak is presented as an erotic love object which absorbs a l l of AkakiiAkakievich 1s attention. It is Gogol's sad commentary on man who needs substitutes: 37 a lowly ambition in lieu of a grand passion, a mundane fixation rather than a meaningful emotional involvement, or to put i t differently, on overinvestment in t r i v i a , such is the lot of the • typical Gogolian homunculus.^ Gogol's later years are characterised by the theme of the homunculus. Erlich does not separate the women characters from the men in this world; we presume that both are made of the same stuff. Gogol's epistles in Selected Passages from Correspondence with Friends are seen as 'dismal reading'. Erlich evaluates Gogol for his existential presentation of man, hat for any psychological or didactic bearing that Gogol had an literature. CHAPTER II Part III "Gogol's Retreat from Love: Toward an Interpretation of Mirgorod" by Hugh McLean (American Contributions to 4th International Congress of Slavists) The thesis of Hugh McLean's paper is that a regressive movement can be traced through Gogol's works. The f i r s t sentence of Mirgorod, "I love you" ("ya ochen' lyublyu"), and the last, " i t is dreary on this earth, gentlemen" ("skuchno na etom svete, gospoda"), are the two extremes of attitude expressed by Gogol. The symbolic transition from love to non-love, McLean sees as a "main tendency of development extending throughout Gogol's whole literary career."'' However, McLean limits his study to the four stories found in Mirgorod. He does not deny that Gogol did have genuine outpourings of positive emotions which were present for the most part in his earlier stories of Evenings Near the Village of Dikanka. The mature Gogol, following Mirgorod, found the world an absurdly dreary place, peopled by automata. Thus i t is that McLean has selected Mirgorod as a crucial transition in the author's l i b i d i n a l development. The regression advances along a "diachronic axis; the earlier works depict more mature forms of l i b i d i n a l expression than the later - 38 -39 ones."2 McLean Feels that this affected the a r t i s t i c development of Gogol:: ... the psychological regression almost exactly reverses the pattern of Gogol's a r t i s t i c growth, not only in a chronological sense, but also in a qualitative one; in other words, the more primitive the form of l i b i d i n a l expression depicted in a given work, the more mature and better his art.3 McLean does not analyse the stories according to their order in the book. He groups "Taras Bulba" and "Viy" as efforts at achieving a 'genital' choice of l i b i d i n a l aims. "Old-World Land-owners" and "The Tale of how Ivan Ivanovich Quarrelled with Ivan IMikiforovich" reveal regressions to 'pre-genital' l i b i d i n a l outlets. "Taras Bulba" is "the nearest approach to genuine heterosexual romance as the major form of l i b i d i n a l expression."'4 However, the theme of love is only a minor part in the epic depicting the heroic actions of the Cossacks. The whole story appears more as an a r t i s t i c realization of normal, pre-pubertal boys' fantasy. Andrey's love is visualized, yet the sexual act is not quite attained. Pathological tendencies are present in this very f i r s t story, which serve as warning signs of impending disaster. The hero envisages the woman as a superior being. He encounters her under circumstances where he suffers a humiliating loss of dignity. As McLean notes: "a love af f a i r based on an idealized and unrealistic image of the woman is not likely to lead to any earthly kind of happiness."5 Gogol's description of the kiss betueen Andrey and the panochka has connotations that sexual fulfilment and death are closely associated. Andrey experiences sexual ecstasy from the kiss uhich can be felt only once in a lifetime. The price for this ecstasy is execution by his father. Thus an 'Oedipal' situation has been enacted. In the normal development of a boy, the taboo is placed only against the mother, uhile other uomen are available for pursuit. But,McLean notes, in Gogol's pathological case the taboo is extended to uomen in general. It is based on the belief that any attempt of the individual to assert his mature sexual desires u i l l be punished by death. PJot wanting death, only one choice remains; retreat from love, regression. In "Viy" the connection betueen sexual fulfilment and death is direct. Khoma not only k i l l s his sex partner, but is made to pay for the death himself. However, the onus of responsibility is placed on the woman as u e l l . The witch lures the hero to his doom so she must bear some of the guilt and be punished too. The story also offers an excellent exploration of sado-masochistic feelings. "Aggressive, sadistic impulses, the desire to hurt or injure the object have not only become sexualized, but have become the main expression of sexual feelings."6 But the love abject has the same aggressive feelings. A man can control his own aggressive feelings, but not someone else's. He inevitably fears, therefore, that this aggression, houever pleasurable i t may seem within bounds, may get out of control and lead to injury and even death. Consequently, sado-masochistic gratification is inevitably tinged with fear; and i f this fear becomes strong enough, the individual u i l l probably decide that the satisfaction is not uorth the risk and u i l l set out along the regressive road once more.7 A regressive step, from the uorries of the 'Dedipal' turmoils and aggressive uomen, is to return to one's childhood, to pre-sexual love. Oral gratification becomes a displacement of l i b i d i n a l outlet from the genital to the oral zone. Such is the case found in "Old-Uorld Land-Owners". Not only does the narrator find a haven for himself, but the old couple also live a desexualized existence, a fact McLean sees as Gogol's act of vengeance against his parents carried out in fantasy. However, this regressive solution is never really satisfactory. The narrator vacillates betueen two feelings: ... satisfaction at having attained a haven of safety ... and at the same time regret at the terrible price paid for this safety and an accompanying resentment directed at the parental figures who are believed to have exacted it.Q The passing of time makes this stage of regression also tentative. Parents die, and where shall the child look for love? A solution found in "The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarrelled uith Ivan IMikiforovich" is to find male friendships. However,male friendships, not based on any biological foundation, are unstable kZ and inadequate as substitutes for love. The f i n a l possibility explored in Mirgorod, is to find love in love-objects. Although objects are not threats to the human ego, yet they are poor substitutes for the libido. Not shoun in Mirgorod, or for that matter in any of his work, but only in his l i f e , is the regression "to complete self-love, the individual has arrived back at the starting-point of his journey, the stage of primary narcissism of earliest infancy." 9 It is a bleak uorld that unfolds for Gogol, once he has abandoned his search for love. And i t is thus that McLean sees Gogol, "alone in a uorld uithout love". Interestingly enough, McLean stresses the point that his study is based on the literary product and not on biographic material. He hypothesizes:: "Gogol's uorks do constitute a retrospective reenactment of the pathological emotional develop-ment of his early life."10 The uorks chosen by him do seem to express the regressive tendency. Houever, his last supposition -that Gogol completely retreated from love - is based on biographical data and not on literary examples. We cannot disclaim the value of McLean's study; he has evinced a deeper psychological and aesthetic understanding of Gogol's uorks, yet ue cannot accept the steps in the regressive process as necessarily implying the author's personal dilemma. CHAPTER II Part IV Gogol as a Short-Story Writer by F. C. Driessen An attempt at a formal analysis of Gogol's works led Driessen to observe that in many instances the construction of the story did not lead to any logical or aesthetic relevance to the whole. Wishing to reach definite conclusions concerning the interpretation of the stories, he has applied Freudian psychoanalysis.to bridge the gap between what is presented and what is l e f t "unformed". The unifying element found in Gogol's work was anxiety. Driessen believes i t is the author's own anxiety which he consciously and unconsciously projects in his works. The strongest anxiety expressed is a feeling of guilt due to an Oedipal complex. However, Driessen finds evidence that Gogol also had homo-erotic feelings towards his father. The sum of these guilt feelings results in Gogol's narcissism. Not only does he dwell an his feelings, but he i n f l i c t s self-punishment in a masochistic-sadistic fashion. Gogol's physical illnesses are regarded by Driessen as results of Gogol's anxiety or self-punishment. Driessen presents us with ample evidence to substantiate his theory of Gogol's Oedipal complex. Maria Ivanovna was very beautiful, with pale skin, dark eyes and raven coloured hair. - ky. -Gogol's descriptions of the beautiful maidens are simply the same image. Perhaps this is the reason that,however hard Gogol attempted to describe a beautiful woman, the result was always f l a t , a collection of helpless hyperboles. The image of the mother obscured that of a l l other women. Driessen agrees with Gogol's f i r s t biographer, Kulish, that "... Gogol's sole passion applied to his mother."1 This explains why Gogol had no love affairs in his l i f e or why, in his works, woman is always devalued sexually. There are also two aspects to Gogol's concept of lover; a passionate desire which is forbidden; a longing for a spiritual home of the soul. Both aspects are directed to the mother. A" question that Driessen does not answer i s : did Gogol as a last resort flee from the mother in an effort to sever the bonds? Gogol's homo-erotic tendencies are not so much deduced from his personal l i f e as from his work, "Uiy". Driessen does note, however, that Gogol did express tender emotions to his male friend, Pogodin, and in his notes "Nights at a (Roman) V i l l a " . Also in his f i r s t work, "woman", Gogol writes that "one loves the feminine in men." Driessen specifies that he does not think Gogol was homosexual, only that the power D f the homo-erotic element which exists in everyone was f a i r l y strong in Gogol. Instead of having purely aggressive feelings to the father as a result of the Oedipal complex, Gogol is attracted to the father image. The U5 combination of the feelings towards the mother and father, could not b u t develop anxiety. "A Terrible Revenge" and "Uiy" are interpreted in such a way as to substantiate Driessen's theory of Gogol's incestuous desires. The construction of "A Terrible Revenge" reveals that the story has two levels. The f i r s t deals with the wizard's atrocities which are motivated by his incestuous desire. On the second level, we see that the wizard is fated to commit the worst e v i l , as the last of his race. The incest is not committed for two reasons: Firstly Petro's punishment consists in the fact that he cannot find satisfaction but wil l continue gnawing at the bones eternallyJ Secondly, Katerina is innocent of incestuous desire toward her father. Driessen is adamant about her innocence. Katerina, as the mother image, has to be innocent. It is Gogol, objectified as the wizard, who has the incestuous feelings. The father-daughter relation is a reversal of the son-mother relationship. Although "... the guilt of Katerina's father is a result of a craving for which he bears no responsibility ..."2 yet the desire is nevertheless punishable. Not God, but man, presumably Gogol, i n f l i c t s punishment. "uiy" is a veiled and distorted expression of Gogol's anxiety to expose himself. Leitmotifs running through the story are: the howling of the wolves as foreshadowing disaster; the 'evil eye 1, the demonic look - a fear of being seen; and Khoma's realization L>6 of his loneliness - his fate. The element of erotic desire is both terrifying and sweet. As the image of the old-woman and the 'rusalka' merge, so do Khoma's feelings of ecstasy and destruction, obsession and temptation, bliss and terror of death. Khoma's partner, the old woman, witch - beauty and corpse, is an embodiment of demonism. A closer examination of the witch reveals that she is "... a concentration of the beauty of a l l the beautiful gir l s in Gogol's Ukrainian tales."3 If ue remember that the beauties are images of Gogol's mother, then the demonic element is understood. A sexual act committed uith the mother could not be anything else but caused by demonic pouers. Khoma is a representation of Gogol's anxiety. He has tuo attitudes to sexual desire. One is the purely animal desire; the satisfaction is like eating uhen hungry. The second is the demonic desire, rooted in the mysterious depths of human personality. Houever, Driessen notes that Gogol's unconscious desire is not only for his mother. Viy is a father image that comes to avenge the son's incest. Khoma fears the punishment, yet at the same time is draun to look at the avenger. Because Uiy is blind and covered by earth, Driessen suggests this uas Gogol's symbolic way of showing j earthy passions for his father. This explains for Driessen Gogol's i fear of exposure. He is afraid of exposing both his Oedipal and homo-erotic tendencies. The figure Uiy is in reality a 'terrible i revenge' for Gogol's unconscious g u i l t . The rest of the six stories analysed by Driessen are psychologically less developed. "The Fair at Sorochintsy" and "St. John's Eve" are on the same theme: the devil in the service of love, the devils property carrying disaster. The love-plots are secondary to the demonic element. "Ivan Fedorovich Shponka and his Aunt" is a grotesque, an open play uith anxiety. Shponka is afraid of being together uith a uoman, an anxiety that is more characteristic of uomen than men. In "Old-Ldorld Land- ' Ouners", Gogol presents his only completely lovable uoman in the character of Pulheria Ivanovna. The reason for her being lovable is that she is too old for any passionate feelings. In Gogol's uorks, passion uas aluays depicted as a: "... product of the e v i l s p i r i t uhich moves the uorld."*• In this story he chooses habit, as a preferable emotion to passion. In Driessen's last story to be analysed, "The Overcoat", he reaches an interesting conclusion. "The Overcoat" is not an apotheosis of anxiety, rather i t shous resistance to that force. AkakiiAkakievich, uith the acquisition of the overcoat, discovers himself, interest in uomen and interest in the uorld around him. The loss of the overcoat produces an aggressive action on his part, once auakened he uants to m aih t a i n his grip on the uorld. Driessen feels that i f Gogol had pursued the typifying of this kind of character, he uould have been successful in creating positive characters for his second part of Dead Souls. CHAPTER III GOGOL'S METHODS UF CHARACTERIZING THE UOMEN CHARACTERS INTRODUCTION Gogol's uomen characters can not be lumped into one homogeneous mass; rather, like his oun personal development, the uomen at different stages of his uriting exhibit different qualities. Gogol's early stage of uriting from 1828 to 1833 is marked by Romanticism and lyricism, consequently the uomen characters are fantastic beauties, comic peasant uomen and uitches. Evenings Near the V/illage of Dikanka and Mirgorod are f u l l of these fantastic uomen characters. From 1833 on, beginning uith Mirgorod and continuing in Arabesques and his plays, Gogol began a more serious examination of the uorld around him, uith the result that some of the characters become objects of subjective explorations uhile others become objects of caricature. As Gogol's literary career progressed, especially follouing 1836, he used uomen characters less and less and in some uorks, namely "The Overcoat" and "The Gambler", uomen characters are absent; in such instances, uomen are supplanted by objects. This t r a i t is carried into his last major literary uork, Dead Souls, uhere Chichikov's l i t t l e box takes on more character, than do the uomen characters of the novel. Houever, the unobtainable beauty aluays remains in Gogol's uork and is present in Dead Souls, alongside of a mass of caricatures. The later uomen caricatures tend to - L>B -49 depict moral faults that Gogol uas concerned uith in society. In Gogol's last published uork dated 1847, like his f i r s t dated 1831, he apotheosizes uomen. Whereas in "Woman" beauty is women's most redeeming asset, in Selected Passages from Correspondence uith  Friends, along uith beauty, purity of soul and moral upright behaviour are demanded of uomen. In order to simplify our analysis of Gogol's method of characterizing uomen, I propose to divide the characters according to different modes. Four attitudes to uomen can be distinguished in the development of Gogol's career. Accordingly an analysis u i l l be provided of the l y r i c a l , subjective, caricature and idealized modes. These four modes closely parallel the chronological order of Gogol's uorks. Exceptions are the stories "Ivan Fedorovich Shponka and his Aunt" from Evenings Near the Village of Dikanka and "•id-World Landouners" from Mirgorod, uhich chronologically should f a l l under the l y r i c a l mode, yet Gogol's portrayal of their uomen characters is more characteristic of the later caricature mode; therefore, they have been included uith the later group. The tuo uorks "Woman" and Selected Passages from Correspondence uith  Friends have been grouped together into the Idealized mode. The tuo works are separated by sixteen years and represent the starting i and finishing points in the f u l l c i r c l e circumscribed by Gogol. Gogol began and finished with a panegyric to women. Each of these i modes will be further divided into four sections. First, the 50 external and internal milieu of each character u i l l be looked at. Secondly, the character u i l l be studied: the significance of the name, the physical appearance and the language used by the character. Thirdly, the character's actions in the story u i l l be looked at to see uhat function the character performs. Here opinions of others, the author's comments and especially the male protagonist's relation to and opinion of the female character u i l l be examined. Fourthly and fi n a l l y , the consequences of the uoman character's actions u i l l be looked at to see uhat effect she exerts on man and uhat effect she has on the story. Not a l l of these categories can be applied to each character, as the author's stress varies. N Q attempt u i l l be made at this time to assess: the uomen characters; only the opinions of them held by characters in the stories and the narrator's comments u i l l be surveyed. CHAPTER III Part I THE LYRICAL MODE Gogol's f i r s t uomen characters are seen in a Ukrainian setting. It is not the Ukraine of the 1830's, but an era that has already passed, an era that abounded in s p i r i t , laughter, adventure and mystery. The devil and uitches are as much a part of l i f e as are "dumplings" ("galushki"). The creation of a mood and description of the era is as important as the story told, i . the story is only a vehicle for exposing the panorama. The milieu here makes the character stand out, but actually the character sets up the milieu. The immediate surroundings of the uoman characters are very sparsely sketched. They are found in "uarm cottage" ("teplaya khata") "thatched roof" ("razmalevannaya khata") or "cottage surrounded by cherry trees" ("khata ustavlennoy nevysokimi vishnevymi derev 1yami"). In the Cossack stories, "Taras Bulba", "A Terrible Revenge" and "Wiy", the description is extended some uhat tb include the interior of the houses. The follouing i s a i i description of Katerina's house in "A Terrible Revenge": ... there uere oak shelves running around the ualls at the top. Bouls and cooking pots uere piled upon them. Among them uere silver goblets and drinking cups mounted in gold, gifts of booty brought from uars. Louer doun hung costly 52 sabres, muskets, arquebuses, spears; ... at the bottom of the wall were smooth-planed oak benches; beside them, in front of the stove-couch the cradle hung on cords from a ring fixed in the ceiling.1 There is nothing feminine in the house, reflecting how l i t t l e influence women had on the Cossack way of l i f e . However, the houses do reflect the social status o f the g i r l s . Parashka, Pidorka, Hanna and Oksana are peasant girl s living in 'khatas 1. Katerina, Taras Qulba's wife and the Cossack's daughter in "Uiy" a l l live in rich Cossack homes. The epitome of a grandiose setting for a grandiose character is reached in Grandad's description of the Tsarina's palace in the story, "The Lost Letter":. ... they brought him to the palace, and i t was so high, that i f you were to set ten huts one on top Df another they would hardly be high enough; how he glanced into one room and she was not there, into another, a third and even a fourth, and s t i l l she was not there; but in the f i f t h there she was sitting in her gold crown ... 3 Not being able to exert too much of an impression on their surrounding, the women tend to adorn themselves. The young girl s dress up gaily, yet in good taste: j See how gracefully I step; my blouse is i embroidered with red s i l k . And the ribbons on my head! You wi l l never see richer braid. My father bought me a l l this for the finest young man in the ! world to marry me.** The girl s delight in red and blue ribbons, red necklaces and red boots (' krasnye sapogi •.) which the Tsarina wore. The rich 53' Cossack Katerina even possesses p e t t i c o a t s of blue s i l k and boots u i t h s i l v e r h e els. The older women of these s t o r i e s f i n d j u s t as much d e l i g h t i n t h e i r appearances. To compensate f o r the n a t u r a l beauty that has l e f t them, they make up u i t h a d d i t i o n a l adornment. Parashka's stepmother i s seen a l l dressed up f o r the f a i r : ... dressed i n a smart green u o o l l e n jacket adorned u i t h l i t t l e t a i l s , to i m i t a t e ermine, though they uere red i n c o l o u r , a gorgeous s k i r t checked l i k e a chess-board and a fl o u e r e d c h i n t z cap ...^ Solokha i s j u s t as imposing i n her church a t t i r e : ... dressed i n bright-checked s k i r t s u i t h a cotton apron, and above i t a dark blue o v e r s k i r t on the back of uhich gold f l o u r i s h e s uere embroidered The colour schemes of the young g i r l s are red, l i g h t blue and s i l v e r , u h i l e the older uomen pr e f e r red, dark blue or navy, green and gold. A. Bely* p o i n t s out that u h i t e , uhich ue u i l l see i s str o n g l y emphasized i n the p h y s i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n of the young g i r l s , blue and red i s a descending order of the colour spectrum from heaven to eart h , u h i l e y e l l o u , green, red, broun are earth c o l o u r s , again i n a descending order. From t h i s ue could deduce that the g i r l s are shoun as more c e l e s t i a l uhereas the uomen are more t e r r e s t r i a l . Houever the colour-scheme i n both d e s c r i p t i o n s i s bri g h t and v i v i d , i n contrast to Gogol's l a t e r stage of u r i t i n g uhere the importance of b r i g h t colours i s l o s t . Gogol i s a master at u t i l i z i n g names f o r s e t t i n g and character development. Pidor k a , Parashka, Hanna, Katerina and Oksana are a l l *See Footnotes 54 typical Ukrainian names, often found in songs or colloquial expressions. They are used in diminutive or hypocoristic forms, such as Parashka from Parakseviya or Galya from Hanna. The older women's names are used in a comical or s a t i r i c a l derogatory way. Khivrya is short for Khavronya Nikiforovna. A common Ukrainian insult is to say 'ty khavronya rastryapannaya' meaning 'you're a dirty son of a gun 1. Solakha could be a shortening of the Biblical name Solomiya. Both Solakha and Salome have power over the males, but Solakha is a very ridiculous image of the latter. Gogol's omission of names is an interesting aspect of his women portraits. The beautiful g i r l s a l l have names. Some common older women have names, but in other instances are simply referred to as 'baba*, 'supruga' or 'ved'ma'. In stories such as "The Lost Letter" or "A Place Bewitched" women have insignificant roles, so that omission of names is not strange. Taras Bulba's wife is also not named, but the omission here underlines her subservient position in the Cossack masculine world. Other women characters not given names are: the witch in "St. John's Eve", the drowned maiden and her stepmother in "A May IMight" and the Cossack's daughter - witch in "l/iy". Three of the women are witches, one a suicide. A l l are 'unclean' spirits which Gogol chose not to name since by giving them proper names, he would make them t e r r e s t r i a l . The physical description of the gi r l s is very impressionistic. Gogol combines other people's opinions, a few stark features and ^ 5 5 t h e i r s i m i l e s o r metaphors and ends up i n e v e r y s t o r y w i t h a beau ty the l i k e s o f u h i c h t h e u o r l d h a s n ' t s e e n . P i d o r k a i n " S t . J o h n ' s Eve" i s d e s c r i b e d t h u s : My g r a n d f a t h e r ' s aunt used t o say and uomen, yau know, u o u l d r a t h e r k i s s t h e d e v i l , s a v i n g your p r e s e n c e , t h a n c a l l any g i r l a b e a u t y - t h a t the g i r l ' s plum c h e e k s u e r e as f r e s h and b r i g h t as a poppy o f t h e most d e l i c a t e shade o f p i n k uhen i t g l o u s , uashed by G o d ' s d e u , u n f o l d s i t s l e a v e s and p r e e n s i t s e l f i n the r i s i n g s u n ; t h a t h e r e y e b r o w s , l i k e b l a c k s t r i n g s s u c h as our g i r l s buy nowadays f r o m t r a v e l l i n g M u s c o v i t e p e d l a r s t o hang c r o s s e s o r c o i n s o n , were e v e n l y a r c h e d and seemed t o gaze i n t Q h e r c l e a r e y e s ; t h a t h e r l i t t l e mouth , a t u h i c h t h e young men s t a r e d g r e e d i l y , l o o k e d as though i t had been c r e a t e d tD u t t e r t h e n o t e s o f a n i g h t i n g a l e ; t h a t h e r h a i r , b l a c k as the r a v e n ' s w i n g s , s o f t as young f l a x , f e l l i n r i c h c u r l s on h e r g o l d e m b r o i d e r e d j a c k e t ( i n t h o s e days ou r g i r l s d i d not do t h e i r h a i r i n p l a i t s and t w i n e them u i t h b r i g h t c o l o u r e d r i b b o n s ) . 7 I f we choose t o i s o l a t e t h e p h y s i c a l f e a t u r e s Df t h e s e b e a u t i f u l g i r l s , ue end up u i t h a r a t h e r s k e t c h y p o r t r a i t ; a r o u n d , f a i r f a c e , b l a c k e y e b r o u s , eyes t h a t v a r y i n c o l o u r f rom p a l e b l u e , b roun t o b l a c k , p lum c h e e k s , t u r n e d up n o s e , f l u s h e d r o s y l i p s and mouth , and b l a c k h a i r . K a t e r i n a ' s s o u l i s d e s c r i b e d , but a g a i n u i t h a l l u s i o n s r a t h e r t h a n d e t a i l s . Dksana i s seen s l e e p i n g " i n b e w i t c h i n g n a k e d n e s s , w h i c h t h e d a r k n e s s c o n c e a l e d even f rom h e r s e l f . " 6 L i t t l e e l s e of t h e i r anatomy i s m e n t i o n e d . The image o f t h e s e b e a u t i e s i s c r e a t e d by G o g o l ' s use of similes and metaphors. The eyebrows are compared to German velvet or black strings, the eyes to stars, cheeks to poppies, lips to sky-dawn or nightingales and hair to raven's wings. The maids are repeatedly called "white maids", and their whiteness is compared to snow, sheets and moonlight. A l l the similes in reference to Parashka, Pidorka, Hanna, Oksana and Katerina have . a^poetic ( l y r i c a l , heightening) effect. In most of these there is some kind of positive value judgement."9 The description of the older women fallows a similar pattern as for the young g i r l s , except that where the former are extolled the latter are derided. •h, that tiresome woman!. But we are forgetting that she, too, was sitting on the top of the load dressed ... and a flowered chintz cap that gave a particularly majestic air to her red round face, which betrayed so unpleasant and savage a nature that everyone hastened to turn from i t to the liv e l y face of the daughter.10 The face is shown as red compared to the white faces of the maids The body takes on more form. Khavronya is called a "buxom beauty The sacristan is very much interested in Salokha's "plump bare arm", "neck" and, we assume, her bosom. Gogol uses similes very slightly for these women; instead, others simply refer to them as "bags" or "witches", or he shows their metamorphoses. There is no designated boundary between womanhood and witch-hood. Solakha in "Christmas Eve" is seen one minute in the sky^ "... she s l i d through the air, as though down an ice-slope, and straight into her chimney,"1'' where she resumes womanhood* The witch stealthily moved back the oven door tD see whether her son, Vakula, had invited visitors to the cottage; but seeing that there was no one, except the sacks that lay on the floor, she crept out of the oven, flung off her warm coat, set herself to rights, and no one could have told that she had been riding on a broom the minute before.12 The more sinister a witch i s , the more she is able to transform into another state. The stepmother in "A May Night" can change into a cat, and later disguises herself as a water nymph. The witch in "St. John's Eve" undergoes a change from witch to dog, to cat, to old woman. She is also physically the ugliest of the witches ... Where the cat had stood there now was an old woman, wrinkled like a baked apple and bent double, her nose and chin meeting like nutcrackers.13 The transformations and the similes are a l l downwards, giving a negative value. A synthesis of the beautiful g i r l and the ugly witch is developed in "Viy". The Cossack's daughter is a beauty similar to the other young g i r l s . She has f a i r skin, a lovely forehead, even brows, long eyelashes, ruby red l i p s , luxuriant tresses and a bare white arm. The similes remain poetic-lyrical in nature but their association becomes razor-sharp. Her forehead is "fair as snow, as silver", the brows are "dark as night in the midst of sunshine", lips are "rubies" but the rubies "looked like §8 blood surging from her mouth", and twice we hear that her eyelashes are as long "as arrows". An ominous effect is created not by description of features, but by associations and by Gogol's use of qualifying adjectives. The g i r l ' s beauty is described as "striking", "terrible" and "poignant". These adjectives do not appear to aid the reader in identifying the g i r l as the witch, because the transformation of old woman to young g i r l to witch is.; stated matter of fact by Gogol. As a witch she appears "blue" and her eyes "glow like coals". During the three nights the scary effect is created not so much by her terrifying appearance as by her actions,^ or the association of the adjectives used. In many instances, the g i r l is referred to as 'corpse', who even "turned l i v i d a l l over like one who has been dead for several days"."!4* She "opens her dead eyes", has a "quivering face", "menacing finger", "grinds" or "clacks" her teeth, and her "lips twitched convulsively". The colour red is associated with the g i r l several times. Foma last sees the corpse in a room where the "whole floor was covered with red cotton stuff." 15 Her lips are ruby red, but the redness is like blood. The tear that Foma sees oozing from her eyelid is "a drop of blood". Other colours included are "dark blue velvet adorned with gold fringe and tassles", and her eyes are seen as "dead green eyes". The language of the women of the l y r i c a l stage varies from one extreme to another. The young girl's* speech is usually gentle, 5 9 sometimes poetic and even in rhyme. Pidorka t e l l s her brother; Ivas my darling, run fast as an arrow from my bow, my golden l i t t l e one, to Petro, t e l l him everything.16 Katerina's speech is of an epic nature, long and f u l l of archaic terms and an indirect tone. No, I cannot bear i t , I cannot bear i t ! Perhaps the crimson blood is already flowing out of the white body; maybe by now my dear one is helpless and I am lying here!17 From the height of poetic speech, the descent to common speech is gradual. Dksana's speech is s t i l l gentle, but there is mockery and conceit in i t . ... Oh, yes, I am pretty. Ah, how pretty! It is marvellous. What a joy I shall be to the man who marries me! How my husband wil l admire me! He'll be wild with joy. He will kiss me to death.13 Although the tone is gentle, and the words are polite, the message conveyed is one of disdain and arrogance. Anything else you want? When there's honey he must have a spoonful! Go away, your hands are harder than iron, and you smell of smoke. I believe you have smeared me a l l over with your soot.15 Where the young gi r l s use polite language, the peasant women show no such restraint. 'So i t ' s you, you bitch!' said the sacristan's wife, stepping up to the weaver's wife. 'So i t ' s you, is i t , witch, who cast a spell over him and gave him a foul potion to make him come to you!120 They are not averse to using swear words, colloquial expressions and bringing down choice curses. 'A hundred?' the elderly charmer countered, 'You heathen! Go and wash your face, you worthless scamp! I've never seen your mother, but I know she's d i r t . And your father is d i r t . And your aunt is dirt ! A hundred, indeed! The snojtty-nosed pig!'21 In fact the language aids in setting up the mood and gives us an audial impression of the scene. A characteristic of the witches is that their speech is terse and to the point. The witch t e l l s Petro, "No, you will never see the gold t i l l you have shed human blood!"22 The baldness af the demand gives dramatic effect rather than any language peculiarities that a witch might use. Indeed, in "Uiy", we da not hear what the g i r l is saying, but we are told, "she began pronouncing terrible words with her dead li p s ; they gurgled hoarsely like the bubbling of bailing pitch."23 Later we hear that her "incantations" come forth in "wild shrieks." Abandonment of restraints is the most noted feature of their language. In their actions Gogol reveals the f u l l range of possibilities open to humans. The pendulum swings from the flighty young g i r l s to motherhood and womanliness epitomized, to wayward wives and uomen, to shreus and finally to cruel inhuman acts, perpetrated by uitches. The beautiful young g i r l s are modest in some instances, as Parashka, or conceited like Oksana. They love trinkets, ribbons and almost on the same level - men, or precisely - one man in each case. They a l l knou that they are physically attractive and use their charms uisely. Not that they uould do an immodest act, but they knou hou to get around men. Hanna in "A May Night" uses her feminine charm to get a story out of Levko. 'Tell me, t e l l me, my dear black-browed boy!' she said, pressing her face against his cheek and putting her arm around him.2it Their reason for loving the men is simple as expressed by Hanna:: I love you, my black-braued Cossack! I love you because you have broun eyes, and uhen you look at me i t seems as though there uere laughter in my heart, and i t is gay and happy; because you tuitch your black moustache so delightfully; because you ualk along the streets singing and playing the bandura, and i t ' s sueet to listen to you.25 They are quick to f a l l in lovej even the u i l f u l Oksana cannot escape the 'fever' of love. Once in love, they stay constant to their chosen ones:. Pidorka is ready to die rather than marry another. L i t t l e is mentioned of any spiritual feelings, other than pointing out the superstitious nature of the g i r l s . Pidorka, in an effort to help her Petro, resorts to the aid of quacks and even a uitch. Only uhen he is dead, does she turn to prayer, or "62 so we are led to believe. The one desire of each g i r l is to marry, "I want to try on a married woman's cap, even i f i t has to be my stepmother's, and see how i t suits me."26 Consequently they show consideration and affection to the men. We are led to believe that, once married, they would remain loving wives and mothers as Oksana is seen after marriage - a 'beautiful woman'. Yet juxtaposed to a l l these beauties in each story is an older woman, a stepmother, a peasant or a witch whose every action negates the former's. Where Parashka is modest and shy, Khivraya is bold, not afraid of man or devil. Solokha is so avaricious; that she would spoil her son's marriage plans to gratify her own wants. The wives have such a tight rein on their husbands, that they can make them turn away from their own daughters, or make them cringe in expectation of physical abuse. Here Cherevik realized that he had said too much and instantly put his hands over his head, doubtless expecting that his wrathful spouse would seize his hair in her wifely claws.27 Panas' wife in "Christmas Eve" is an example of the complete disintegration of the wifely state;- she never stays home or cleans i t , hides food from her husband or steals what he might have, blacks his eyes and even attacks him with a poker. Panas' wife is old, and the husband-wife relationship ends up in one of avoiding each other as much as possible. The middle-aged women, although sharp-tangued and avaricious, are s t i l l attractive to men. Khivraya is 6 3 unfaithful to her husband with the priest's son, and Solakha has a whole crowd of admirers. Physical attraction is indicated in both cases, the women using their bodies to attract the men. The greed, vanity, promiscuity, superficial virtuousness, and hypocrisy of the peasant women are a l l revealed through their actions. Badly as the peasant women behave, their actions are within the normal scope of human behaviour. The witches on the other hand are able to transgress the norm. A simple feat is to f l y through the a i r . Their ability to transform from one state of being to another causes men a great deal of confusion. Changing to a dog or a cat or a pig are generally comic actions, while the ability to change appearances from an old woman to a beautiful g i r l can create perilous situations. "The witches were as many as the snowflakes that f a l l sometimes at Christmas. They were a l l dressed up and painted like fine ladies at the fair."28 The boundary between the natural and supernatural is not constant as the witches can penetrate i t , and man is left a constant prey. It is precisely on man's weaknesses that the witches act. They do not have the power to force men into actions they are apposed to, but they can trick them. The witch cannot make Petro k i l l the boy, but she does place the temptation before his eyes, to which he succumbs. A l l of the Cossack girl-witch's actions do not break down Khoma's ci r c l e , yet she does c a l l on a higher power before which Khoma weakens. Although the witch cannot make a man k i l l against his u i l l , she can make him perform unnatural acts: The philosopher tried to push her back uith his hands, but to his surprise found that his arms uould not rise, his legs uould not move, and he perceived uith horror that even his voice uould not obey him; uords hovered on his lips uithout a sound. He heard nothing but the beating of his heart. He sau the old uoman approaching him. She folded his arms, bent his head doun, leapt uith the suiftness of a cat upon his back, and struck him uith a broom on the side; and he, prancing like a horse, carried her on his shoulders.29 The uitch in a similar manner beuitches Mikola to allou her to ride on his back. There is a definite sexual connotation in both these cases. Salokha also sexually attracts the men, uhile the drouned maiden's father marries a uitch. The sexual act seems to be one act that man can be easily tempted to, but uhich can lead him to misfortune. To conclude, the uitches have no scruples, they u i l l cheat,trick or coerce man, and themselves u i l l stop at no act, even k i l l i n g and drinking the blood of innocent children. Houever, Gogol does leave the road to redemption open to them. Solokha attends church and the Cossack girl-uitch asks her father to fetch the seminarist, Khoma; "Let him pray three nights for my soul. He knous ... i'^ O Whether this is a sincere plea for help, or a further trick is le f t to the reader to interpret. As an antidote to the grotesque actions of the peasant uomen and uitches, and the flighty young g i r l s , Gogol presents Katerina 65 in the story, "A Terrible Revenge". She uould be an ideal successor to the young g i r l s , yet ue see her in a separate story, in a different milieu and time. Katerina is an ideal uife. Besides having beauty, she is gentle, loving, obedient and respectful to her husband. Not only is she gentle uith her child, but she is concerned for his future and speaks up for his rights. Katerina is the only uoman character uhose soul is described. It is not a depiction of the spiritual qualities of the soul, but a. description of i t s physical manifestation:-But uhat uas she made of? Of air, surely? Why did she stand uithout touching the floor, not leaning on anything ... and hou she moved her transparent head; a soft light shone in her pale blue eyes; her hair curled and f e l l over her shoulders like a pale gray mist ...31 Yet the strength of character of the soul and the body are united in that they can oppose the father's incestuous demands. Haterina's only weakness is that she is too gentle. She shous compassion to her father, yet in the fight against ev i l her interfering acts become treacheries to her oun family. Katerina endures the death of her husband, but uith the murder of her child she goes mad. Her speech becomes incoherent, her "insane eyes are rol l i n g " , yet she is still!charming and Gogol retains the poetic simile: ! Her black tresses floated loose about her uhite neck.v Like a bird she fleu round uithout resting, ueaving her hands and nodding her head, and i t seemed as though she must either f a l l helpless to the ground or soar auay to the next uorld.32 66 She resists her father's incestuous intentions t i l l the very end, and dies in an attempt to k i l l the ev i l in him. Constancy and purity of soul are revealed in her speech;-... It is true that by your foul spells you have power to c a l l up and torture her soul; but only God can make her do what He wills. No, never shall Katerina, so long as I am living in her body, bring herself to so ungodly a deed ... Even i f you were not my father, you would never make me false to my faithful and beloved husband. Even i f my husband.were not true and dear to me, I would not betray him, for God loves not souls that are faithless and false to their vows.33 Regardless of age, the men are a l l drawn by the magnetism exuded by women. Both old and young men are captured by the physical beauty of the young g i r l s . The men are quick to f a l l in love. Yet love does not bring instantaneous peace and happiness, rather i t begins a string of consequences which he has to fallow. Gritsko in "The Fair at Sorochintsi" and Levko in "The Lost Letter" do not suffer unnecessarily as they are quick to act upon and solve the entanglements set before them. In "St. John's Eve" Petro's infatuation makes him act impetuously, disregarding caution, which results.in his expulsion from Korzh's house. Not being able to have his love, he sees death as the only future for him. Vakula in "Christmas Eve" similarly thinks death is better than suffering the pangs of love. Gogol is more explicit in describing the effect of love on Uakula. The strong blacksmith is made a weakling by his 67 love. Oksana rejects and taunts him and yet he can't forget her: 'I laugh at myself! I can't understand what's become of my senses! ... I must end this, really. It's time I gave up making a fool of myself!' But at the very time when the blacksmith was making up his mind to be firm, some evi l s p i r i t set floating before him the laughing image of Oksana as she said mockingly, 'Get me the Tsarina's slippers, blacksmith, and I wil l marry you!' Everything within him was stirred, and he could think of nothing but Oksana.3^ In action and words Vakula is unaware of things and sounds around him:: "This foolish love has turned me quite s i l l y . " 3 5 i n spite of their intention to k i l l themselves, both Petro and Vakula turn to drink and to the devil for assistance. Khoma in "Viy" reacts rather strangely to the sex act. During the act, Khoma experiences "an exhausting, unpleasant, and at the same time, voluptuous sensation assailing his heart." 3 6 As the act proceeds, he is aware of a "fiendishly voluptuous feeling, he f e l t a stabbing, exhaustingly terrible delight." 3 7 Qn completion, he "trembled like a leaf on a tree; he was overcome by pity and a strange emotion and timidity, feelings he could not himself explain." 3 8 H J . s reaction is to set off "running, f u l l speed". Khoma seems to have found the act unpleasant, yet on other occasions with the baker's wife or the widow he is not averse to sex. It seems that a purely sexual encounter as occurs with the witch is unpleasant, while an affair based on more than the physical act are enjoyed by Khoma. Mikita also f a l l s prey to the witch's charms , particularly her "plump bare leg" which sends him 68 c r a z i l y galloping. The result of his love and sex act i s that he withered up l i k e a chip of wood; and one day when they went into the stable, instead of him they found a heap of ashes lying there and an empty p a i l ; he had burnt up of himself.39 Other men do not 'burn up' but a l l seem to suffer i n one way or another. The young men suffer the pangs Df love, while the older men s u f f e r the pangs of abuse from t h e i r spouses or women f r i e n d s . Regardless of age, the men s t i l l l u s t for women, consequently they are 'led by the nose' or eas i l y fooled by the women. Each of Solokha's s u i t o r s thinks he i s the only one a v a i l i n g himself of her charms. Generally as the men age, t h e i r opinion of women deteriorates. Grandad i n "The Lost Letter" on leaving to do an important errand "kissed his wife and his two s u c k i n g - p i g s . A n old Cossack expresses the general attitude of the menr "When a woman's old, she's a witchJ'^l Where the women physically abuse the "men, the men r e t a l i a t e by rude, d i s r e s p e c t f u l speech which creates a humorous effects " ... He just plastered your ugly face with dung, that's a l l j " i s Cherevik's r e t o r t i n the family argument. He follows the remark with the lament: " ... Merciful God, why didst Thou send such a plague on us poor sinners? With so many nasty things in the world, Thou must needs go and create women!"kZ In spite of a l l the remarks about the old women, the men s t i l l are attracted to the young g i r l s , seeing them as di f f e r e n t e n t i t i e s having no a f f i n i t y to the old hags. Only the reader can see that a t r a n s i t i o n from one state to the next i s i n e v i t a b l e . We assume that 69 the narrator is also auare of the p o s s i b i l i t y . Yet this knowledge is never stated outright. The narrator w i l l juxtapose characters such as Parashka and Khivraja in a story. Parashka before marriage tr ies on her step-mother's cap, an act linking her future state to the step-mother. Dksana's beauty is described in a hyperbole, in a gentle mocking tone . In the same story, the narrator uses a similar gentle mocking tone to describe Pana s 'wife, a shrew. The link between old women and witches is perpetuated by the narrator, usually through the speech of the old men, or by the narrator's indifferent use of the terms 'woman' and 'witch*. A peculiar interjection by the author is found in "A Terrible Revenge". Among the dangers in the forest are: Maidens who have lost their souls /anH7 rise up one after the other from the depths of the Dnieper; their green tresses stream over their shoulders, the water drips sonorously to the ground from their long hair; and a maiden shines through the water as through a v e i l of crystal ; her l ips smile mysteriously, her cheeks glow, her eyes bewitch the soul , as though she might burn with love, as though she might kiss one to death. Flee, Christian! Her l i p s are ice , her bed -cold water; she w i l l t i ckle you to death and drag you into the r i v e r . ^ The maidens are unrelated to the story, only the inexplicable power that they have links them to the women characters. The plot in each of the stories of the Lyrical stage is linked to women. The men smitten by love are forced into service for women. A l l have to contend with the e v i l power to retain their 70! being. G r i t s k o use :syhis u i t s i n dea l i n g u i t h the d e v i l and i s no uorse f o r h i s contact. Levko i s able to detect the e v i l pouer to i d e n t i f y the u i t c h and i s reuarded. The old grandfather i n dealing u i t h the u i t c h e s makes the s i g n of the cross to u i n at-cards. Vakula a l s o subjugates the d e v i l by making the sign of the cr o s s . Khoma i s able to uard o f f the e v i l pouers by prayer and the sign of the c r o s s , yet he i s not strong enough to r e s i s t h i s oun d e v i l , the c u r i o s i t y uhich leads him to h i s doom. Petro i s the only one uho makes no e f f o r t at C h r i s t i a n redemption; he does t r y to k i l l the e v i l pouer, but perishes himself and the only t h i n g l e f t i s "a heap of ashes from uhich smoke uas s t i l l rising."44 D a n i l o , l i k e the rest of the men, i s caught up i n a s e r i e s of circumstances uhich leads to h i s death. He loves h i s u i f e and stays u i t h her to the end, but had he knaun that h i s love uould have l i n k e d him u i t h a n t i - C h r i s t , he uould "not have married." CHAPTER I I I P a r t I I THE S U B J E C T I V E MODE The h e r o i n e s from the s t o r i e s "Taras B u l b a " and "IMevsky P r o s p e c t " u i l l be examined under t h e h e a d i n g o f S u b j e c t i v e E x a m i n a t i o n . The tuo s t o r i e s a r e u n r e l a t e d i n r e f e r e n c e t o g e n r e , tone or c o n t e n t . Houever the s u b s t a n c e o f both s t o r i e s i s the d e t a i l e d e x a m i n a t i o n o f a p r o t a g o n i s t ' s i n f a t u a t i o n , c a p t u r e and complete d e d i c a t i o n o f l i f e t o a uoman. The s u b j e c t i v e e x a m i n a t i o n does not c o n s i s t o f a deeper probe i n t o t h e psyche o f uomen, r a t h e r , i t i s a p e r s o n a l grope o f the a u t h o r i n e x a m i n i n g the c o m p u l s i o n s o f a man i n l o v e . The t u o male c h a r a c t e r s a r e a t t r a c t e d by d i f f e r e n t a t t r i b u t e s , one i s a t t r a c t e d by t h e sensuousness o f the g i r l ' s b e a u t y , u h i l e t h e l a t t e r i s a t t r a c t e d by the a e s t h e t i c q u a l i t y o f the g i r l ' s b e a u t y . To emphasize t he f e a t u r e s t h a t t h e men f i n d a t t r a c t i v e , G ogol's method o f c h a r a c t e r i s i n g the uomen i s someuhat changed. C o n c r e t e p h y s i c a l f e a t u r e s a r e l e s s emphasized, r a t h e r the g i r l s a r e d e s c r i b e d i n a b s t r a c t t e r m s . F o r the most p a r t ue see them as t h e men see them, t h r o u g h t h e i r eyes and e m o t i o n s . The f e u g l i m p s e s t h a t a r e d i r e c t d e s c r i p t i o n s of the g i r l s a r e p l a c e d as c o n t r a s t s t o the men's i d e a l u i t h t h e r e s u l t t h a t they do not a i d t h e r e a d e r i n u n d e r s t a n d i n g the uomen c h a r a c t e r s . 72: The milieu of the Polish g i r l and the prostitute are inessential in the development of character analysis, yet they are important in the plots of the story. The settings of the girls are contrasted to those of the males; the Polish g i r l is of a different nationality and faith from Andrey; while the prostitute is in a different moral environment from Piskarev . The g i r l s in their respective settings act according to their station; they do not try to change their environment in physical acts (e.g. the prostitute does not try to hang up curtains in the drab f l a t ) . Nor do they try to change the people around them morally; the Polish g i r l does not beg Andrey to leave his Cossack way of l i f e , instead she laments at destiny's placing her in such a situation. The girl s simply exist and adapt themselves to thexT surroundings. As the girl s are generally seen through the eyes of the males, the emphasis on clothes is lessened. Andrey only sees the "costly ear-ring",, "silk handkerchief", and "transparent muslin chemisette with ruffles embroidered in gold."1 The articles simply add to the description of her station in l i f e . The prostitute is seen in various outfits, yet each is an extension of her social position at the time. As a prostitute, she wears an 80-ruble brightly coloured cloak; as seen in the f i r s t dream, a society belle, she wears creations made in Paris, "woven of air"; and in the dream as a country maiden her dress is completely described in abstract terms; " ... her dress was the simplicity in which the poet's thought is clothed." 2 An important aspect of describing the tuo uomen is that Gogol does not give them names. The result of this omission is that, f i r s t , i t a l l i e s them to the other unnamed uomen characters; -the unclean s p i r i t s , and secondly, i t makes them less human, less tangible. To alienate them further, Gogol changes his method of presentation. The uomen are shoun only as seen through the one man's vision. The gir l s are physically the same type of beauties as encountered during the l y r i c a l stage , but different aspects of their beauty are stressed. The Polish g i r l has the black eyes and uhite skin of previous beauties, but Andrey sees much more than that: ... this uas not she, not the lady he had knoun before; nothing in her uas the same, but nou she uas tuice as beautiful and marvellous as before; then there had been something unfinished, incomplete in her, nou she uas the perfect picture to uhich the artist has given the finishing touch. That had been a charming, frivolous g i r l ; this uas a lovely uoman in a l l the perfection of her beauty. Every depth of feeling uas expressed in her l i f t e d eyes, not traces, not hints of feeling, but i t s fullest intensity. The tears, not yet dry upon them, veiled them uith a b r i l l i a n t mist uhich pierced the heart; her bosom, neck and shoulders had the lovely lines of perfectly developed beauty; her hair, uhich had floated before in light curls about her face, uas nou a thick luxuriant mass, part of uhich uas done up and part hung loose over the f u l l length of her arm, and in delicate, long, beautifully curling tresses f e l l over her bosom.3 "Gleaming bosom", "bare arm", "uhite hand" are parts of the>body mentioned instead of the uhole. Andrey's physical reactions to 74. t h e t o u c h o f h e r hand - " t h e t o u c h o f i t s e n t t h r i l l s o f f i r e r a c i n g t h r o u g h h i s v e i n s " 4 o n l y e m p h a s i z e s t h e s e n s u o u s n e s s and v o l u p t u o u s n e s s t h a t he p e r c e i v e s i n h e r b e a u t y . The p r o s t i t u t e i s j u s t as b e a u t i f u l and j u s t as s e n s u o u s as the P o l i s h g i r l ; Good God, uhat d i v i n e f e a t u r e s ! The d a z z l i n g u h i t e n e s s o f the e x q u i s i t e b r o u uas c r o u n e d by h a i r l o v e l y as an a g a t e . They c u r l e d , t h o s e m a r v e l l o u s t r e s s e s , and some o f them s t r a y e d b e l o u the hat and c a r e s s e d t h e c h e e k , f l u s h e d by t h e c h i l l o f e v e n i n g u i t h a d e l i c a t e f r e s h c o l o u r . A suarm o f e x q u i s i t e v i s i o n s h o v e r e d about h e r l i p s . A l l t h e memories of c h i l d h o o d , a l l t h e v i s i o n s t h a t r i s e f r om d reaming and q u i e t i n s p i r a t i o n i n t h e l a m p l i g h t - a l l seemed t o be b l e n d e d , m i n g l e d , a n d r e f l e c t e d on h e r d e l i g h t f u l l i p s . 5 P i s k a r e v , a l t h o u g h a t t r a c t e d by h e r b e a u t y , i s b l i n d t o i t s sensuous q u a l i t i e s and i n s t e a d d u e l l s on i t s a e s t h e t i c q u a l i t i e s . Words used i n r e f e r e n c e t o h e r r e v e a l t h i s a t t i t u d e : " d i v i n e b e i n g " , " f l o u e r f r om h e a v e n " , " o n a " o r " m y s t e r i o u s d i v i n i t y " . G o g o l r e t a i n s t h e use o f p o s i t i v e v a l u e s i m i l e s i n t h e d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e g i r l s . The s i m i l e s a r e l e s s i n number t h a n a r e found d u r i n g t h e L y r i c a l s t a g e . They a l s o t e n d t o change i n c h a r a c t e r , r e f e r e n c e s a r e nou s t y l i s t i c l y more e l e v a t e d ; " B i a n c a o f P e r u g i n o " , " p e t r i f i e d s t a t u e " o r " d i v i n i t y " . Wh i te c o l o u r i s used t h r o u g h o u t t h e d e s c r i p t i o n s . We c o n s t a n t l y r e a d " s k i n , u h i t e as s n o u " , " s n o u - u h i t e arms" or " t h e u h i t e n e s s o f f a c e o r b r o u " . O t h e r c o l o u r s r e f e r r e d t o a r e : b l a c k ( o f h a i r and e y e s ) , f l u s h e d cheeks and a l i l a c d r e s s . The p r o s t i t u t e ' s c l o a k i s a c o n t r a s t t o t h e r e s t , b e i n g " p y o s t r y y " ( m o t l e y ) . However , t h e u h i t e n e s s i s no t 75. a neutral colour here, as its qualifying adjectives are "dazzling white" or "gleaming whiteness", expressing intensity. The qualifying adjectives in reference to the gi r l s are a l l strong: "gleaming bosom", "powerful limbs", "dazzling beauty", "proud body", "dazzling whiteness of exquisite brow", "ravishing eyes" etc. As mentioned previously, they are mostly abstract in nature. A few connotative words are also scattered.; "piercingly bright eyes", "enchanting brow" or "bewitching" beauty. Both g i r l s also have lashes "long as arrows". The culminative effect is that the gi r l s are as beautiful as the young gi r l s of the Lyrical stage, yet their beauty is more abstract and there is a connotation of power in i t . The g i r l s appear much more human in their actions than in their physical description. However, the action is described externally; the motivating forces are not delved into. The Polish gi r l ' s behaviour is viewed through i t s various developing stages. As a g i r l she can laugh, tease and amuse herself at someone's expense. Later, as a woman, she is shown as capable of suffering, heroism and passion. Her actions are true to nature as she reacts to the situation at hand, but nowhere does Gogol try to give us a glimpse of the inner world of her being. The prostitute's actions, although not as noble as the former's,are nevertheless true to the character of a woman of her position. She is at a l l times friendly to Piskarev in spite of his strange behaviour. Relying on her beauty, she entices the men with a glance. Her wonder and scorn at Piskarev's 76 o f f e r of redemption are not s u r p r i s i n g i f ue remember she i s only 17 and only beginning i n her trade. Age and b i t t e r experience might teach her, but at the present her actions simply reveal her lack of education and lou moral standards. Only in Piskarev's dreams are her actions not true to nature. Piskarev sees her as a bored, languid s o c i e t y - b e l l e ; a modest repentant country mistress; or as a hard-working f a i t h f u l a r t i s t ' s u i f e . In t h i s case, Piskarev i s struggling with the moral implications of the g i r l ' s actions, and i s trying to j u s t i f y her actions, kle must note here that the author only sketches the exterior actions uhich appear r e a l i s t i c , uhile a character of the story t r i e s to bring in moral j u s t i f i c a t i o n . The r e s u l t of Piskarev's conjectures i s that his envisaged damsel can only exist i n a dream. The language used by the g i r l s further delineates t h e i r s o c i a l p o s i t i o n s . The Polish g i r l ' s speech i s long, flowered, at times i n d i r e c t - features c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the epic. The p r o s t i t u t e ' s , on the other hand, are short, d i r e c t and vulgar. The length of the farmer's speeches connotes emotional and s p i r i t u a l depth of character. She expresses her s u f f e r i n g . The p r o s t i t u t e , by her terse r e p l i e s , shows a lack of any emotional depth. The g i r l s ' attitudes to the men shou the same d i v e r s i t y . Both g i r l s knou that they have the pouer to a t t r a c t and tease men, but here the s i m i l a r i t y ends. The P a l i s h g i r l sees love for a male as an i n t e g r a l part of her l i f e , and she e a s i l y allous herself to be 77 taken care of by the male. The pro s t i t u t e u i l l use men, but she spurns Piskarev's o f f e r of protection. She retains her indi v i d u a l i t y . . Her actions substantiate Piskarev's vieu of prostitut e s : ... Where uoman, the beauty of the uorld, the croun of creation, i s transformed into a strange, equivocal creature, uhere she loses uith her purity of heart a l l that i s uomanly, re v o l t i n g l y adapts the suagger and impudence of men, and ceases to be the d e l i c a t e , the lovely creature so d i f f e r e n t from us. As mentioned previously, both these s t o r i e s subjectively delve into the man's reaction to the uoman. As t h i s i s not an examination of men characters, ue s h a l l not delve into the character development of men, but u i l l concentrate on the reaction of the men to the uomen. Both men are overcome by the beauty of the uomen. They are "overuhelmed", "disconcerted" and shou t i m i d i t y and reverence to the beauty. The beauty captures. "his eyes, his thoughts, and his feelings"7 (i.e. of Piskarev). Both men f e e l that they are belou the uomen, unuorthy of t h e i r attention. They are inspired by valour. He uas conscious of no earthy thought; he uas not aflame uith earthy passion. No, atthe moment he uas pure and chaste as a v i r g i n a l youth burning uith the vague s p i r i t u a l craving for love. And uhat uould have auakened base thoughts in a dissolute man, in him made them s t i l l h o l i e r . This confidence, shoun him by a ueak and lovely creature, l a i d upon him the sacred duty of chivalrous a u s t e r i t y , the sacred duty to carry out a l l her commands. A l l that he desired uas that those commands should be as d i f f i c u l t , as hard to carry out as possible, so that more e f f o r t be required to overcome a l l obstacles ... he f e l t in himself enough strength and resolution for anything,0 78 I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note, th a t i n both cases t h e r e i s a r e f e r e n c e to the v i r g i n i t y of a man's f e e l i n g s . In t h e i r deeds, they perform the a c t of v a l o u r ; Andrey goes over to the P o l e s and P i s k a r e v u i l l marry a p r o s t i t u t e . Even death has no f e a r f o r the men. Love f u l f i l l s a man's s o u l . Andrey renounces e v e r y t h i n g ; And uhat are f a t h e r , comrades, and country to me? ... I f t h a t i s i t , then l e t me t e l l you I have no one! IMo one, no onet ... Who says t h a t my country i s the Ukraine? Who gave i t to me f o r my country? Our country i s uhat our s o u l seeks, uhat i s most p r e c i o u s of a l l t h i n g s t o i t . My country i s you! Here i s my country! And I s h a l l bear i t i n my h e a r t , I s h a l l bear i t i n my heart to the day of my death, and ue s h a l l see, l e t any Cossack t e a r i t from me!: And I u i l l g i v e you e v e r y t h i n g i n the u o r l d , renounce a l l , and p e r i s h f o r t h i s c o u n t r y l 9 At the same time as l o v e f u l f i l l s a man's s o u l , i t d e s t r o y s a p a r t of him, namely h i s male i n s t i n c t s of s u r v i v a l . Andrey i s j u s t as brave i n combat, yet h i s thoughts are on the " g i f t t i e d around h i s arm" 10 and h i s former i n s t i n c t s are dimmed. He i s e a s i l y l e d t o ambush and k i l l e d . Andrey stands b e f o r e h i s f a t h e r as a "schoolboy".. He dies:: L i k e a s t a l k of uheat cut by a s i c k l e , l i k e a young lamb u i t h the deadly s t e e l at i t s heart ...H P i s k a r e v l o s e s touch u i t h r e a l i t y , as Andrey l o s e s h i s g r i p on the u o r l d . A look from the p r o s t i t u t e makes P i s k a r e v f o r g e t e v e r y t h i n g . The dreams, uhere he i s u i t h her, become more r e a l to him than r e a l i t y : At l a s t , dreaming became h i s l i f e and from tha t time h i s l i f e uas s t r a n g e l y turned upside doun; he might be s a i d t o s l e e p uhen he uas auake and to come to l i f e uhen he 79 uas asleep. Anyone seeing him sitting dumbly before his empty table or ualking along the street uould certainly have taken him for a lunatic or a man deranged by drink; his eyes had aperfectly vacant look, his natural absent-mindedness increased and drove every sign of feeling and emotion out of his face.12 He turns to opium to enable him to dream more, but at the same time he is ruining his l i f e : The opium inflamed his thoughts more than ever, and i f there ever uas a man passionately, terribly, and ruinously in love to the utmost pitch of madness, he uas that luckless man.13 Finally, unable to reconcile the dream and the real uorld, he commits suicide. This act of suicide not only brings an end to the real uorld but i t damns, his soul for the next uorld. The narrator of the stories seems to be objective. His tone is dispassionate in tellin g us of Piskarev's death: So perished the victim of a frantic passion. Poor Piskarev, the gentle, timid, modest, childishly simple-hearted artist uhose spark of talent might uith time have gloued into the f u l l bright flame of genius.1*+ Houever, the intention of the passage,? is that Piskarev uould have been better off had he not succumbed to the passion of his love. In much the same uay, the narrator laments Andrey's commitment to his love: And ruined is the Cossack!. He is lost for a l l the chivalry of the Cossacks! He u i l l see the camp no mare; nor his father's farms, nor the Church of God. The Ukraine u i l l see no more of the bravest of the sons uho undertook to defend her. Old Taras u i l l tear the gray hair from his head and curse the day and hour uhen he begot such a son to shame him.15 Interestingly enough, the author does not express the same sentiment for the uomen. He expresses pity for the situation, but not for the individual uoman. 80 Nothing, indeed,moves us to such pity as the sight of a beauty touched by the putrid breath of vice. Ugliness may go with i t , but beauty, tender beauty ... In our thoughts i t blends with nothing but purity and innocence.16 She should have been the "priceless pearl" of a devoted husband, a "star" of some family circle or a "divinity" of a crowded ballroom, but instead she is a prostitute: ... but alas! by some terrible machination of the fiendish s p i r i t , eager to destroy the harmony Df l i f e , she had been flung with satanic laughter into this horrible swamp.I7 The women characters play an important part in the stories, yet have l i t t l e action on the world around them. Andrey f a l l s in love with the g i r l , he is killed and nothing is mentioned of the fate of the g i r l . The Cossacks keep on fighting the Poles in the same way, as though the Polish g i r l and Andrey had not existed. In much the same way, Piskarev's death and the prostitute's l i f e have l i t t l e effect on the l i f e of Petersburg. No-one wept for him; no one was seen beside his dead body except the police inspector and the indifferent face of the town doctor. His coffin was taken to Okhta quickly, without even religious rites; only a soldier who followed i t wept, and that only because he had had a glass too many of vodka. Even Lieutenant Pirogov did not come ... but my annoyance is mingled with sadness when I see a cart dragging the red uncovered coffin of some poor fellow and only some old beggar woman who has met i t at the crossways follows i t weeping because she has nothing else to do.1 3 The aloneness Df man is evident. Love briefly f u l f i l l s Andrey's l i f e , but because of i t he has an early death. Piskarev cannot control his passions and is also a victim. Once again, as in the l y r i c a l stories, the men because of women have to contend with an unknown power. The unknown power here, is something inherent in their character which they try to f u l f i l , but which destroys them as men. 81 CHAPTER III Part III THE CARICATURE MODE FollDuing Gogol's attempt at understanding man's infatuation uith uomen, he turned to a more practical look at his uomen characters. He s t i l l retains the ideal image of a uoman uhich is briefly encountered, but far the mast part he concentrates on presenting the uomen as they must have appeared in the Russian society af his time. Gogol sau many faults in their upbringing, education, appearance and decorum. Gentle humour, satire and the use of grotesque caricatures are a l l employed in the exposition of these foibles. It must be noted that uomen take on a much less significant role in the development of the stories. Consequently the milieu, name, physical appearance and dress of the uomen characters'are of minor importance. The milieu is only important in that i t establishes the location to be exposed. The aristocratic lady from "The Portrait", Schiller's uife in"Nevsky Prospect' ar Agafia Tikhonovna in"Marriage"' - b y t h e i r actions, reveal the l i f e pattern of the city; Anna Andreyevna and her daughter in "The Inspector General"and the ladies of Dead Souls shou the boorishness of provincial l i f e ; uhile Pulheria Ivanovna in "Old-uorld Landowner^ Uasilisa Hashporovna in "Ivan ;'f e;dorovich Shponka and his Auntj' and Nastasya Petrovna Korobochka in Dead Souls display the vegetation l i f e of the country. The milieu of the last group of these ladies, the country mistresses is more described. The ladies are a l l D i d , and to emphasize the oppressiveness of their years, a l l their belongings are mentioned as part of them: Chichikov cast a couple of glances around him: ... the room uas hung with rather old stripped wallpaper; pictures Df some kind of birds; betueen the uindous uere small old-fashioned looking-glasses in dark frames in the shape of curled leaves; behind each looking-glass uas stuffed either a letter or an old pack of cards or a stocking; there uas a clock on the wall uith flouers painted on i t s face -Chichikov uas too tired to notice anything else.1 Pulheria Ivanovna is also surrounded by chests, boxes, sacks of flouers, vegetables, melon seeds, etc. Houever, her bedroom displays another aspect - hotness and stuffiness: The room in uhich Afanasy Ivanovich and Pulheria Ivanovna slept uas so hot that not many people could have stayed in i t for several hours:- but Afanasy Ivanovich in order to be even hotter used to sleep on the platform of the stave, though the intense heat made him get up several times in the night and walk about the room.2 Gogol continued to use names as a tool of expressing character. The sound of Pulheria Ivanovna Tolstogubiria. suggests 'pukh1 -feather, and 'tolsta - gub' - fat l i p s , and connotes someone pleasantly fat and Df peasant social class, a l l characteristic, of Pulheria Ivanovna. In other instances he uses contrasting names for humour, e.g. Vasilisa hashparovna. Vasilisa is a name a s s o c i a t e d u i t h f a i r y t a l e p r i n c e s s e s , u h i l e Kashparovna suggests 'kasha' - p o r r i d g e . Gogol a l s o uses simple uomen's names such as Anna Andreyevna, Sophia or A g a f i a Tikhonovna. Houever i n A g a f i a Tikhonovna's surname Gogol again r e v e r t s to s o c i a l c a s t i n g by use of name - K u p e r d i a g i n a - from 'kupets' - merchant. Where uomen are not important to the development of the s t o r y , they are simply r e f e r r e d to as 'the l o c k s m i t h ' s u i f e ' , 'Luka L u k i c h ' s u i f e ' or 'the a r i s t o c r a t i c l a d y 1 . Gogol i n h i s l a t e r uorks became a great master of the use of synecdoche f o r h i s male and female c h a r a c t e r s . The people on "IMevsky P r o s p e c t " are shown i n t h i s manner: Thousands of v a r i e t i e s of h a t s , d r e s s e s , and k e r c h i e f s , f l i m s y and b r i g h t - c o l o u r e d , f o r which t h e i r owners f e e l sometimes an a d o r a t i o n t h a t l a s t s two whole days, d a z z l e everyone on IMevsky P r o s p e c t . A whole sea of b u t t e r f l i e s seem to have flown up from t h e i r f l o w e r s t a l k s and tD be f l o a t i n g i n a g l i t t e r i n g c l o u d above the b e e t l e s of the male sex. Here you meet w a i s t s a s l i m d e l i c a c y beyond dreams of elegance, no t h i c k e r than the neck of a b a t t l e , and r e s p e c t f u l l y s t ep a s i d e f o r f e a r af a c a r e l e s s nudge with a d i s c o u r t e o u s elbow; your h e a r t beats with apprehension l e s t an i n c a u t i o u s b r e a t h snaps i n two the e x q u i s i t e products of a r t and n a t u r e . And the l a d i e s ' s l e e v e s t h a t you meet on IMevsky P r o s p e c t . Ah how e x q u i s i t e ! They are l i k e two b a l l o o n s and the lady might suddenly f l o a t up i n t o the a i r , were she not j h e l d down by the gentleman accompanying her; f o r i t would be as easy and agreeable f o r a lady t o be l i f t e d i n t o the a i r as f o r a g l a s s of champagne to be l i f t e d to the l i p s . ^ The tone i s one of g e n t l e s a t i r e , yet the metaphors and s i m i l e s f o r the l a d i e s remain of p o s i t i v e v a l u e . Sophia, i n "Diary of a Madman", although shown from Poprishkin 1 s view of her, retains the gleaming eyes and eyebrows, the sugary l i p s , the white skin and dress of 'ethereal gossamer' of former beauties. Contrasted to this ideal vision of her by Poprishkin, is the view of her by her dog. The dog does not contradict the beauty of the g i r l , but reveals the hidden aspects, the anger at getting dressed, the paleness and exhaustion caused by balls and not eating. In the"Portraif we see two views of the 18-year-old daughter of the aristocratic lady. The author f i r s t presents to us the actuality and then t e l l s us how the artist sees the same: If he had been an authority on human nature he might at once have seen in i t the f i r s t traces of a childish passion for balls, the dawning -of unhappiness and misery during the long waiting periods before and after dinner, of a desire to promenade new clothes, the heavy traces of uninspired application to various • arts which her mother . insisted upon so that her soul and her sensitivity could be uplifted. But the only thing the artist saw was this tender face, so alluring a subject for his brush; a body of porcelain transparency, a charming barely visible languor, a delicate white neck and an aristocratically slender figure.'* The mode of description does not change but Gogol imparts an additional dimension of social comment. Uith the importance of social criticism ascending, the physical description diminishes in importance. Synecdoche or grotesque caricatures are a quicker method of presenting the author's message. 85 Gogol retains the use of colour and images in his descriptions. The ideal ladies as Sophia in "Diary of a Madman" or Madame Chertokutskaia in "The Coach" or the slim lady from "The Nose" that Kovalev encounters in church are a l l seen in 'white' clothes. Again they are compared to 'swans', 'sunshine', 'springflower' etc. Next to the ideal ladies, are the young g i r l s . Both the city and the provincial maidens are barely mentioned. This is a l l we hear of the urban g i r l s : The widows of government clerks, in receipt of a pension, are the most substantial inhabitants of the quarter. They behave with great propriety, keep their rooms fa i r l y clean, and talk to their female neighbours and friends of the high price of beef and cabbage. They not infrequently have a young daughter, a silent creature who has nothing to say for herself, though sometimes rather nice-looking; they have also a disgusting l i t t l e dog and an old-fashioned clock with a dismally ticking pendulum.5 The rural g i r l Mashenka from "Ivan Fedorovich Shponka and his Aunt" has ' l i t t l e freckles' a l l over her face, while Maria Antonovna (also Mashenka) from "The Inspector General" chooses a rainbow coloured dress over a blue one. This is the extent of their appearance that we are given. Their mothers are somewhat more colourful. Anna Andreyevna from "The Inspector General" is seen in four different outfits. She adamantly chooses a primrose dress to show off her dark loveliness, in spite of the daughter's suggestion that she is more like the Queen of Hearts. Fekla in "Marriage" describes Agafia Tikhonovna as "like sugar candy, pink I 88 and uhite like milk and roses."6 Houever, Kochkarev, peeking into her room can't distinguish uhat he sees: "...And there's no making out uhat that uhite thing is - a uoman or a pillow."? As the uomen get older, Gogol uses an increasing number of comic images. Mashenka's mother in "Ivan E,ev/daravich Shponka and his Aunt" is shoun as: "At the same time a short old lady, a. regular coffee-pot in a cap ..."8, uhile her neighbour, Vasilisa Hashparovna, is seen in^the follouing terms:: ... She uas of almost gigantic stature and her corpulence and strength uere fully in proportion. It seemed as though nature had made an unpardonable mistake in condemning her to uear a dark brown gown uith l i t t l e flounces on ueek-days and a red cashmere shawl on Easter Sunday and on her name-day though a dragoon's moustaches and top-boots would have suited her better than anything.9 The old women wear dark clothes, brown, gray or non-descript with only spatters of colour for special occasions. To show drabness of l i f e , Gogol often refers to old womenv as beggars or dregs of society:: Old uomen uho say their prayers, old women who get drunk, old women who both get drunk and say their prayers; old women who live from hand to mouth by means that pass a l l under-standing, who like ants drag old rags and linen from Kalinkin Bridge to the flea market, to s e l l them for fifteen kopeks - in fact a l l the p i t i f u l and luckless dregs of humanity whose lot not even a benevolent economist could improve.10 Whereas the physical descriptions of the women characters diminish in importance, their actions become the centre of S7. interest. Women are placed in situations where they demonstrate their social graces and express their ideas. However, Gogol saw l i t t l e that he admired, consequently the situations became s a t i r i c a l , with the women revealing the lack of social graces and the lack of any ideas of their own. Interlaced with this exposition are the author's constant comments blankly pointing out their faults. The aristocratic lady in "The Portrait" possesses many traits that Gogol admired. She is well educated wi1h a knowledge of art and the world. She has good taste and can recognize and admire a good painting. She also has the abi l i t y to charm Chertkov, to make him feel important as a human being: The aristocratic lady had totally charmed him. Before this time he had conceived of such people as being completely unapproachable, as people whQ were born only to ride in wondrous carriages with footmen dressed in livery and stylish coachmen, and to be uninterested in the poor man with the cheap coat, trudging along on foot, and now, suddenly, one of these beings had been in his room, he was painting her portrait, he had received an invitation to dine in an aristocratic house.11 By wanting Chertkov to paint Lise very simply, we are led to understand that she realizes the shams of her world and is searching for truth. However the narrator immediately inserts his own observation: Alas i t could be clearly seen from the faces of the mother and daughter that they had so exerted themselves dancing at balls that they were now like wax figures.12 88 We are further disillusioned in the aristocratic lady's character when we observe her interference in the a r t i s t i c process. The aristocratic lady has every possibility of being a genuine, sincere person, yet her actions reveal that she has only a superficial acquired knowledge. Basically she is egotistical, self-centred and a limited woman. The rest of the society women are just as ignorant of the finer aspirations of mankind, instead they are only conscious of themselves, or rather of how they appear to others: The ladies insisted that mind and character should be the chief qualities represented in their portraits, and that nothing else was important; that a l l angles should be rounded and that everything uneven should be smoothed away and, i f possible, even completely removed. In a word, they demanded that their face should cause viewers to stare and should provoke admiration, indeed, i f not cause them to f a l l in love with i t immediately.13 To aid the artist in capturing their essence, they assume a number of grotesque poses. Besides love for themselves, the ladies of Petersburg love shopping, going to balls and gossiping. Their range of conversation is very limited as Gogol describes s a t i r i c a l l y in "IMevsky Prospect": A couple of pale daughters, as colourless as Petersburg, some of them already gone to seed, the tea table, the piano, the impromptu dance, are a l l inseparable from the gay epaulet which gleams in the lamplight between the virtuous young lady and the black coat of her brother or of some old friend of the family. It is extremely d i f f i c u l t to arouse and divert these phlegmatic misses. To do so requires a great 89 deal of s k i l l , or rather perhaps the absence of a l l s k i l l . One has to say uhat is not too clever or too amusing and to talk of the t r i v i a l i t i e s that uomen love ... Exclamations, smothered in laughter, of "Oh, do stop!: Aren't you ashamed to be so absurd!" are often their highest reuard.14 In "The Diary of a Madman" Sophia's range of topics are limited to uho did uhat at the ball ; uhat they wore; and ridicule of other peoples' vanities. The ladies of Petersburg are seen as occupied uith f r i v o l i t i e s , uhile the rest of the city is immersed in human misery and drudgery. Ue have already seen the actions of the prostitute, uho chooses easy money over uork. The barber's uife in "The Nose" displays avarice and urathfulness in her dealings uith her husband. The more common the uoman is seen, the more her actions appear grotesque. Agafi'a Tikhonovna, not a lady, nor a shreu, exposes the social aspirations of uomen of the middle class in the play "Marriage". Although she belongs to the merchant class, she u i l l marry only a 'gentleman' no matter uhat he looks l i k e . She is not motivated by any feelings of love, but rather by the convention of marriage and a desire to improve her social standing. She has the desire to be married, but has no knouledge of hou tD get a man. Even uhen the men are brought to her, she is incapable of making up her mind as touhich one she should choose. She is easily persuaded to choose Podkolesyn. Her f i r s t 'love chat' uith Podkolesyn I 90. reveals to us her narrow-mindedness and the dullness of her existence. They jump from one subject to another with long pauses in between. This is Gogol's favourite device for showing the intellectual limitations that the characters possess, especially the women, "to give comprehensible expression to their incipient ideas or their feelings ... The power of speech is given to Agafia Tikhonovna and other heroines only to demonstrate their complete lack of ideas."15 Agafia's statement after their dull talk, "What an excellent man!: Only now I've come to know him thoroughly", further reveals her utter incapability of realizing the difference between their meaningless conversation and the possible higher instincts of mankind. The provincial women are shown as poorly educated-yet pretentious characters who are ignorant of the necessity to cultivate the higher elements of their nature. Gogol describes women's education in Dead Souls: And, as we a l l know, a good education is to be obtained in young ladies' boarding schools, and, as we a l l know, in young ladies' boarding schools three principal subjects constitute the foundation of a l l human virtues; the French language, indispensable for the happiness of family l i f e , the pianoforte to provide agreeable .moments for husbands, and, fin a l l y , domestic science proper, such as the knitting of purses and other surprises.16 Thus i t is that Mrs. Manilov is very amiable, pronounces her r's a l i t t l e in the Parisian fashion, plans surprises and exchanges prolonged kisses with her husband. However, the narrator immediately points out that she is a poor housekeeper, incapable of keeping the serfs in check or having decent food prepared. The other provincial lady, Anna Andreyevna from "The Inspector General" is a more lively person. However, her liveliness is not a virtue; i t consists of being too talkative, too curious, too excitable and too much of a bossy person. She shows no maternal love for her daughter and in fact considers her more of a r i v a l . Mother and daughter argue over petty matters with the mother putting down the daughter. Their day is f i l l e d with changing clothes, playing cards and gossiping. Anna Andreyevna is a great coquette yet she feels inferior to the Petersburg ladies. She admires 'society' and 'culture' above a l l . However she is ignorant of both as shown in her acceptance of Khlestakov as a man of society and her display of ignorance of literature. Her boorishness is displayed in her easy rejection of friends. It must be noticed, that in spite of the character faults that the women display, they are s t i l l very feminine. Mrs. Manilov is very loving to her husband. Chertokutsky's wife loves her husband and desires him physically: The j o l t made by her husband f a l l i n g upon the bed awakened her. Stretching, l i f t i n g her eyelashes, and three times rapidly blinking her eyes, she opened them with a half-angry smile, but seeing that he absolutely declined on this occasion to show any interest in her, she turned over on the other side in vexation, and laying her fresh l i t t l e cheek on her arm, soon afterward f e l l asleep.17 Anna Andreyevna, although she hen-pecks her husband, is s t i l l conscious of her attractiveness to men. The young g i r l s , the daughters, do not possess this charisma. Gogol shows them more as buds which haven't bloomed. The rural ladies differ from the provincial matrons. They have l i t t l e aspiration for higher society, instead concentrating a l l their energies on the management of their estates. Shponka on meeting Grigory Grigorievich's mother observes: ... She was good-natured simplicity i t s e l f , though she looked as though she would like to ask Ivan Fedorovich: "How many cucumbers has your aunt pickled for the winter?."1S Food, pickling, making vodka and rugs are the rural women's sole interest. However, they are not a l l satisfied with what they have and, like Korobochka, are always on the look out for means of increasing their estates. Their relationships with men are interesting. Vasilisa Kashporovna, herself a virgin, is adamant in her desire for Shponka to marry. Pulheria Ivanovna in "Old-world Landowners" smothers her husband with food. Instead of sex she offers him food. The relationship appears more as one of mother and child, than husband and wife. In Dead Souls Korobochka a widow, is too cheap to feed Chichikov, yet is very anxious to rub his back or tickle his feet as she used to do to her husband. Though the actions are a l l grotesque, the feeling conveyed is that even the older women have sexual drives. The men characters react in a number of ways. Like Piskarev 93 "IMevsky Prospect", Poprishkin in "Diary of a Madman" is enamoured by the ideal beauty. Not being able to attain her, he goes mad. However Gogol does not illustrate here a personal struggle but shows the injustice of social categories. Poprishkin desires: ... to become a general myself, not in order to receive her hand and a l l the rest of i t ; no, I should like to be a general only to see how they would wriggle and display a l l their court manners and Equivoques and then to say to them:: "I spit on you both".''9 By showing Poprishkin as gone mad, Gogol can put in his speech a l l the negative thoughts about women. Oh woman is a treacherous creature! I have discovered now what women are. So far no one has found out with whom Woman is in love; I have been the f i r s t to discover i t . Woman is in love with the devil. Yes, joking apart. Scientific men write nonsense, saying that she is this or that - she cares for nothing but the devil. ... and she will marry him, she will marry him.20 Poprishkin's thoughts whittle to nonsense, yet he has expressed the loathing of women that is in him. Mad as he i s , Poprishkin calls out for help from his mother. Is i t my mother sitting before the window? Mother, save your poor son! Drop a tear on his sick head! See how they torment him! Press your poor orphan to your bosom!: There is nowhere in the world for him! He is persecuted! Mother, have pity on your sick child ! 2 1 This is a poignant c a l l , not only in reference to Poprishkin, but is a c a l l of mankind, for help or deliverance. It is interesting that the c a l l is addressed to mother, not God or father. By showing 9k Poprishkin as mad, Gogol can reveal the extremes of feeling of a man for a woman, namely: love, hate and need. Though the rest of the men characters of the caricature stage reveal some aspects of the above mentioned feelings, yet for the most part they are used to illustrate social and moral attitudes of Gogol's contemporary l i f e . Pirogov, Kovalevv, Chartkov, and Khlestakov are self-satisfied, smug gentlemen who are always on the lookout for conquests of females. Pirogov in "IMevsky Prospect" is confident that no beauty can resist him, and to satisfy himself does not care what sacred bonds of marriage or f i d e l i t y he destroys. Chartkov in "The Portrait" illustrates the vanities of men to please women:: ... he ... changed his costume several times a day, allowed his hair to be waved, concerned himself greatly with improving his manners.22 A l l these things are done to win the attention of the women. Khlestakov in "The Inspector General" does not even care which woman he conquers, the mother or the daughter, but he is wise enough to presume that the mother is an easier target. To other men, marriage is the target, as explored in the play "Marriage". However, marriage is not regarded as a sacred bond uniting two people who love each other. Rather, marriage is a means of satisfying the man's innate desires. Some like Baltazar Baltazarovich Zhevakin like to marry to satisfy their sensual desires, others like Ivan Pavlovich Yaichitsa marry for money and 95 property, while s t i l l others as Nikanor Ivanovich Anuchkin like a wife to he well educated and to speak French so that she can add to their social prestige. Chichikov in Dead Souls is concerned with his progeny. Once married, the men are confronted with the women. For the most part, the woman is stronger in character and i t is the men who have to learn to adjust themselves to the situation. Kochkarev in the play "Marriage" curses Fekla for finding him a wife, saying he could have "done well without her."23 However he is very eager to land his friend in a similar situation. The Mayor in "The Inspector General" expresses the f u t i l i t y of reasoning with a woman - "What's the use of talking to them! "24 His admonition of his wife for f l i r t i n g is useless. In general, he simply follows his wife's wishes, causing as l i t t l e confrontation as possible. The barber in "The Nose" in a similar way dares only ask his wife fur either bread or coffee, knowing that i f he asked for both he would bring on the wrath of Praskovia Osipovna. Schiller in "Nevsky Prospect" does not cower before his wife, but he does employ self discipline in his relationship. His exactitude was such that he made i t ! his rule to kiss his wife twice in twenty-| four hours but no more, and that he might not exceed the number he never put more than one small teaspoonful of pepper in his soup.25 Only when drunk does he relax his discipline. Afanasy Ivanovich in "Old-World Landowners" appears to be the master of his estate. 96 He even has the power to frighten Pulheria with tales of adventure. Yet on the death of Pulheria Ivanovna we are shown what a devastating effect his years of marriage and Pulheria Ivanovna's attention to him has produced. He can not manage the estate, can not dress himself or even feed himself. Any sexual desires that he had had were channelled into other areas, namely food, and with Pulheria's death even this ceased. Apathy, grief, dull vacant eyes are a l l that are l e f t . Afanasy Ivanovich allowed his wife to treat and pamper him as a child. Uith the years, his manhood regressed with the result that on the death of Pulheria, he was no longer a man but a child, and could not readjust to a new way of l i f e . Gogol does not show us a happy marriage. Chertokutsky is about as happily married as any man, yet Gogol points out that he "lived like a gentleman, as the expression goes in the provinces."26 Therefore, i t is not strange that Gogol shows us men who avoided marriage. Ivan Fedorovich Shponka and Ivan Kuzmich Podkolesyn are not afraid of women yet they are frightened by the state of marriage. Shponka likes Maria Grigorevna. Podkolesyn even shows passion, kissing and fondling Agafia's hand. However when faced with marriage they panic. Shponka is faced with the situation that he doesn't know what to do with a wife. He also has a fear of loss of individuality. His dreams reveal his fears: f i r s t he is caught; secondly he is physically outnumbered seven to one; thirdly he loses 97 i d e n t i t y by b e i n g e m o t i o n a l l y s u b j u g a t e d ; a n d f i n a l l y he i s t h r u s t i n t o s o c i e t y a n d i t s s o c i a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s . S h p o n k a ' s d i l e m m a i s l e f t u n s o l v e d w h i l e P o d k o l e s y n t a k e s a c t i o n by j u m p i n g o u t t h e w i n d o w . P r i o r t o j u m p i n g he s u r v e y s h i s l i f e ; he f i n d s t h a t i t h a s b e e n v e r y r o u t i n e a n d t h a t w i t h m a r r i a g e he w i l l : . . . t a s t e b l i s s s u c h a s i s o n l y t o be f o u n d i n f a i r y t a l e s , w h i c h t h e r e ' s no e x p r e s s i n g , n o r f i n d i n g w o r d s t o e x p r e s s . 2 7 Y e t t h e t h o u g h t o f r e a l i t y , o f b e i n g b o u n d f o r l i f e t o one p e r s o n , o f n o t b e i n g a b l e t o g e t a w a y , s o f r i g h t e n s P o d k o l e s y n t h a t he f o r g e t s p r o p r i e t y a n d f l e e s . I t h a s a l r e a d y b e e n p o i n t e d o u t t o w h a t e x t e n t G o g o l i n t e r j e c t s h i s own o p i n i o n s i n t h e l a t e r s t o r i e s . He i s q u i c k t o p o i n t o u t t h e d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n w h a t i s a n d w h a t t h e c h a r a c t e r s e n v i s a g e . He w i l l s h o w b e a u t y , b u t a l s o w i l l n o t h i d e i t s o t h e r a s p e c t s . Ue h a v e a l r e a d y h a d t h e n a r r a t o r ' s own r e a c t i o n t o s e e i n g b e a u t y a n d v i c e c o m b i n e d i n t h e b e i n g o f t h e p r o s t i t u t e . W h e r e a s b e a u t y a n d v i c e a r e i n c o m p a t i b l e t o G o g o l , b e a u t y a n d s t u p i d i t y a r e g e n t l y m o c k e d a t , y e t a c c e p t e d . S t u p i d i t y , h o w e v e r , a d d s a s p e c i a l c h a r m t o a p r e t t y w i f e . I h a v e known s e v e r a l h u s b a n d s , a n y w a y , who w e r e e n r a p t u r e d by t h e s t u p i d i t y o f t h e i r w i v e s a n d saw i n i t e v i d e n c e o f c h i l d -l i k e i n n o c e n c e . B e a u t y w o r k s p e r f e c t m i r a c l e s . A l l s p i r i t u a l d e f e c t s i n a b e a u t y , f a r f r o m e x c i t i n g r e v u l s i o n , become somehow w o n d e r f u l l y a t t r a c t i v e ; e v e n v i c e a d d s a n a u r a o f c h a r m t o t h e b e a u t i f u l ; b u t when b e a u t y d i s a p p e a r s , a woman n e e d s t o be t w e n t y t i m e s a s i n t e l l i g e n t a s a man m e r e l y t o i n s p i r e r e s p e c t , t o s a y n o t h i n g o f l o v e . 2 8 Gogol is also quick at illustrating the difference between real beauty and vanity. Lie have already had examples of Gogol's use of synecdoche,and of behaviour to illustrate the women characters' vanities. A different technique is used in Dead Souls. The narrator at f i r s t pleads shyness, then highly praises the ladies' appearance and decorum, and follows with examples of dress and actions which completely undermine his praises. He follows the same pattern in describing their morals and use of language. The result is that the ladies of IM are shown as having l i t t l e manners or compassion, no moral standards and are not able to express themselves in the Russian language. Gogol stresses the inability of ladies to reason logically; however^ men are also shown as guilty of this. Having exposed a l l the sordid l i t t l e actions of the ladies, Gogol concludes with: If we were to look a l i t t l e more deeply many other things would of course be discovered; but i t is highly dangerous to look too deeply into the hearts of ladies.29 In "IMevsky Prospect" he expresses his own attitude to women as seen superficially on the streets:. ... Everything is a cheat, everything is a dream, everything is other than i t seems! ... You imagine those ladies ... but ladies are least of a l l to be trusted. Do not look into the shop windows; the t r i f l e s exhibited in them are delightful but they have an odour of money about them. But God save you from peeping under the ladies' hats! However attractively in the evening a fa i r lady's cloak may flutter in the distance, nothing would induce me to follow her and try to get a closer view.3D 99 Gogol's l a t e r s t o r i e s show the s t r u g g l e of man's adjustment to the u o r l d . Man i s s t r i v i n g f o r or loo k i n g f o r some niche of h i s oun or some meaning. Women are the abject of the search at times. Yet the capture of a uoman does not bring the s a t i s f a c t i o n that one had looked foruard t o . The uomen of the c a r i c a t u r e stage are shoun as s h a l l o u , v a i n beings that do not add to the joy of l i f e . They are caught up i n meaningless s o c i a l r i t u a l s and petty passions. Once man gets tangled up u i t h uomen, he cannot but be drawn i n t o the same net of s o c i a l and emotional upheavals that the women are i n . Any c r e a t i v e p u r s u i t s or peace of mind that the man possessed are l o s t . CHAPTER III Part IV INTRODUCTION TO THE IDEALIZED MODE Gogol's f i r s t uork, "Woman", published in 1831, and his l a s t > Selected Passages from Correspondence with Friends, published in MSUl, u i l l be grouped under the above heading. These tuo uorks are similar in that they both reveal Gogol's positive attitude to uomen; in fact, they extol uoman. Houever, a definite progression is evident. "Woman" reveals Gogol's youthful enthusiasm and fascination uith female beauty. Alcinoe is the epitome of triumphant beauty. The uork is an attempt at immortalizing uoman1s natural beauty. From the f i r s t vision of the ideal uoman, Gogol pursued the examination of many types of uomen characters as ue have seen in the l y r i c a l , subjective and caricature modes. Although uoman's behaviour is severely cri t i c i z e d and ridiculed, Gogol's last uork is also in praise of uoman. Gogol sees uoman's behaviour as being amendable. It is uith this in mind that Gogol prescribes a course of action for uomen to follou. The mature author, Gogol, s t i l l admires uoman's 'natural beauty. As a mature man, as a teacher and a prophet, Gogol asks the uoman to drau on her natural beauty to give her strength and self-contentedness uhich u i l l lead to maturity. A uoman by becoming happy uith herself, can make her domestic setting more pleasurable, and can even exert a positive influence on society. - 100 -1Q1 T h e s e t u o w o r k s a r e b r o u g h t t o g e t h e r t o i l l u s t r a t e G o g o l ' s p r o g r e s s i o n f r o m t h e y o u t h ' s d r e a m s t o h i s l a t e r m a t u r i t y . Woman i s s e e n a s a n a t u r a l f o r c e w h i c h , o n c e s h o w n how t o c o n t r o l h e r b e h a v i o u r , c a n be a g r e a t i n s p i r a t i o n t o m a n . CHAPTER III Part IV THE IDEALIZED MODE Basically "Woman" is a tri-perspective view of an object. Three men - a young man called Telekles, Plato and the narrator express their views of uomen. Telekles reveals man's emotional reaction to uomen, Plato tries to interpret these emotions, to give meaning and depth to them. The narrator presents the actuality, Alcinoe, as she appears. Houever, the narrator's description has l i t t l e actual information. The use of abstract terms, allusions and metaphors is so strong that the narrator's presentation becomes only a further vieu of a. woman. Physically, Alcinoe is shown more completely than any of Gogol's other women characters. Her hair, eyes, brow, hand, foot and high chest are a l l mentioned. The passage describing her is one of Gogol's richest descriptive passages. The image presented is complete, yet the parts of the body singled out have erotic implications. Great detail is involved in describing the enticing foot: - 102 -103 . . . w e l l - p r o p o r t i o n e d , w i t h s c a r l e t r i b b o n s i n t e r t w i n i n g a r o u n d t h e c a l f , t h e l e g , n a k e d , w i t h a b l i n d i n g b r i l l i a n c e , h a v i n g t h r o w n o f f t h e p o s s e s s i v e s h o e , s t e p p e d f o r w a r d a n d i t s e e m e d d i d n o t t o u c h t h e c o n t e m p t i b l e e a r t h . . . ^ P u s h k i n a n d o t h e r w r i t e r s p u r s u e d f o o t f e t i s h i s m w h i c h was t h e v o g u e d u r i n g t h i s t i m e i n R u s s i a n h i s t o r y . The n a r r a t o r i s e v e n more e n a m o u r e d w i t h A l c i n o e ' s b o s o m a n d w h o l e b e i n g : . . . t h e e l e v a t e d , d i v i n e b o s o m p a l p i t a t e d w i t h t h e s i g h s o f a l a r m a n d h a l f - c o v e r i n g t w o t r a n s p a r e n t c l o u d s o f b r e a s t , t h e d r e s s q u i v e r e d a n d c a s c a d e d i n l u x u r i o u s p i c t u r e s q u e l i n e s o n t o t h e p l a t f o r m . I t s e e m e d , a l i g h t t r a n s p a r e n t e t h e r , t h e k i n d t h a t t h o s e who l i v e i n h e a v e n b a t h i n , a l o n g w h i c h r a c e s a p i n k a n d b l u e f l a m e , f l o w i n g a n d o v e r - f l o w i n g i n u n c o u n t e d r a y s , w h i c h do n o t e v e n h a v e a name on e a r t h , i n w h i c h q u i v e r s an a r o m a t i c s e a o f i n e x p l i c a b l e m u s i c - i t s e e m e d , t h i s e t h e r a s s u m e d t h e a p p e a r a n c e i n t h e b e i n g a n d s t o o d b e f o r e t h e m , h a v i n g c o n s e c r a t e d a n d i d o l i z e d t h e b e a u t i f u l f o r m o f m a n . 2 I n b o t h q u o t a t i o n s we s h o u l d n o t e G o g o l ' s m e t h o d o f u s i n g w a r d s . B i n d i n g s ( " p o n o z h i y a " ) , b r e a s t ( " p e r s i " ) o r b r o w ( " c h e l o " ) a r e a r c h a i s m s s u g g e s t i n g d i g n i t y a n d n o b i l i t y . A l c i n o e ' s f o o t d o e s n o t seem t o t o u c h t h e g r o u n d , h e r c h e s t i s d i v i n e ( " b o z h e n s t v e n n y y " ) , w h i l e h e r w h o l e b e i n g i s a s e t h e r ( " e f i r " ) w h i c h e x i s t s among t h e g a d s . H e r h a n d i s l i k e m a r b l e ( " m r a m o r " ) w i t h h e a v e n l y a m b r o s i a ( " n e b e s n a y a a m b r o z i y a " ) f l o w i n g i n t h e v e i n s i n s t e a d o f b l o o d . The m e t h o d e m p l o y e d e l e v a t e s A l c i n o e i n t o a d i v i n i t y . S h e i s e v e n more b e a u t i f u l t h a n t h e Queen o f L o v e ( " T s a r i t s a L y u b v i " ) . Some d e h u m a n i z a t i o n o c c u r s t h r o u g h e l e v a t i n g A l c i n o e f r o m a human IDs-to a divinity. Alcinoe appears mare as a statue than a real uoman. Houever, Gogol makes discreet use of uords of colour, sound and motion uhich impart a sensuousness to her uhich is far greater than any mortal possesses. Blue ("goluboy"), scarlet ("alyy") or pink ("rozovoe") are definite colours, uhile others are indefinite blinding brilliance ("oslepitel'nyy blesk"), transparent cloud ("prozrachnoe oblako"), lily-white brau ("lileynoe chelo") or br i l l i a n t shoulders ("blistatel'nyye plecha"). Words of sound and motion are combined to form poetic cascades: "ether ... flouing and overflowing in uncountable ways" ("efir ... razlivayas' i perelivayas 1 v bezchislennykh luchakh") or "the dress quivered and cascaded in luxurious picturesque lines onto the floor" ("odezhda trepetala i padala roskoshnymi, zhivopisnymi lineyami na pomost'") or "the breast trembled with the sighs of alarm" ("grud1 kolebalas 1 vstrevozhennymi vzdokhami"). Alcinoe, as presented by the narrator is a beautiful sensuous woman of high nobility whose beauty raises her to the level of gods above mortals. Telekles, deceived by Alcinoe, sees women as poison, Zeus' curse on man. Zeus became envious of man's simple happiness and rather than see man eternally happy he created woman. However, i t i I is not the woman's but man's insidious demands of the heart that i i cause man to suffer. Telekles does not see this, but Plato points this out to him: 105 I know y o u w a n t t o s p e a k o f A l c i n o e ' s b e t r a y a l . Y o u r e y e s u e r e t h e m s e l v e s w i t n e s s e s . . . b u t d i d t h e y w i t n e s s y o u r o u n p a s s i o n a t e m o v e m e n t s , o c c u r r i n g a t t h a t t i m e i n t h e d e p t h s o f y o u r s o u l ? H a v e y o u o b s e r v e d y o u r s e l f f i r s t ? ^ T e l e k l e s i s t o t a l l y s m i t t e n by l o v e . He i s n o t a h a p p y m a n , b u t a man i n whom p a s s i o n r a g e s t o a d e v a s t a t i n g p o i n t : . . . when i n my v e i n s s e e t h e s n o t b l o o d , b u t a f i e r c e f l a m e , u h e n a l l my f e e l i n g s , a l l t h o u g h t s a r e t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o s o u n d s ; u h e n t h e s e s o u n d s b u r n a n d t h e s o u l r e s o u n d s w i t h t h e one l o v e , when my w o r d s a r e a s t o r m , my b r e a t h - f i r e He i s u n a b l e t o c o n t r o l h i s e m o t i o n s a n d a s k s P l a t o t o s h o w h i m who h a s b e e n a b l e t o c o n t r o l t h e s e e m o t i o n s . P l a t o d i s m i s s e s t h e p a i n f e l t by T e l e k l e s a t t h e m o m e n t , i n s t e a d , h e r e m i n d s h i m o f w h a t he h a s g a i n e d by k n o w i n g A l c i n o e . What u e r e y o u f o r m e r l y a n d u h a t h a v e y o u b e c o m e n o w , s i n c e t h e t i m e t h a t y o u h a v e r e a d e t e r n i t y i n A l c i n o e ' s d i v i n e f e a t u r e s ; how many new s e c r e t s , how many new r e v e l a t i o n s h a s y o u r e t e r n a l s o u l p e r c e i v e d a n d u n r a v e l l e d , a n d how much c l o s e r h a v e y o u moved up t o t h e s u p r e m e g o o d ! 5 Man o n l y g r o w s a n d p e r f e c t s h i m s e l f when he f u l l y u n d e r s t a n d s women . P l a t o d o e s n o t s e e woman a s a p h y s i c a l b e i n g . R a t h e r s h e i s a n a b s t r a c t i d e a , a p a r t o f man t h a t he h i m s e l f d o e s n o t k n o w , a p a r t t h a t o n c e he d i s c o v e r s i t w i l l r e v e a l h i s a f f i n i t y t o God a n d t o t h e r e s t o f m a n k i n d . Woman i s t h e l a n g u a g e o f G o d s ( " y a z y k b o g o v " ) , p o e t r y ( " p o e z i y a " ) , t h o u g h t ( " m y s l " 1 ) . To P l a t o , l o v e i s n o t p a s s i o n a t e r a g e , r a t h e r i t i s p e a c e , i t i s m a n ' s r e t r e a t i n t o t h e p a s t , i n t o h i s i n n o c e n t c h i l d h o o d , h i s n a t i v e l a n d . L o v e u n i t e s 106 a man and a uoman into a uhole being, into uhat man must have been like in Paradise before he lost his innocence: ... And uhen the soul sinks into the ethereal bosom of a feminine soul, uhen i t finds in i t its father - the eternal God, i t s brothers - feelings and visions so far inexpressible for the earth - uhat happens to i t then? It then repeats previous sounds in i t s e l f , a previous l i f e in paradise at God's bosom, and develops i t into infinity.6 Plato's uords affect both Telekles and Alcinoe. Telekles, although s t i l l in a passionate state, nevertheless does turn to Alcinoe uith reverence. At least he has learned to respect uomen. Alcinoe silently listens t D Plato's uords. Only her breathing reveals the emotion she is undergoing. At the end, a burning tear ( "zharkaya sleza;") f a l l s onto the youth's cheek. Whether the tear i s for repentance, self-pity or reneued passion is l e f t unanswered. The Last Cycle Gogol's last published uork, Selected Passages from  Correspondence uith Friends is a collection of convictions he uished to share. 3esse Zeldin in his introduction to Selected Passages carefully ueighs the diverse opinions regarding the uork. His opinion, uith uhich I agree, is that Gogol expressed a sincere desire to help man. 1D7 Gogol sau man as surrounded by t r i v i a l i t i e s , dishonesty and vulgarity, yet uith an innate desire to become better. Gogol's uork is meant as a practical book of conduct to aid man in his quest for the good. Zeldin observes: "Gogol uas giving his advice, however, not so that things might remain as they were, but so that they might be made different." 7 The change had to be total, involving a change of activity, and a change of morality. He thought of the moral activity as the practical result of realizing love for one's fellow man within oneself, on the one hand, and as conducive to the arousal of such love in those to whom the love was displayed, on the other. The moral activity i s both born in the s p i r i t and leads back to it.8 Gogol assigned a major role to women in the moral trans-figuration of man. Gogol explicitly states: ... women among us will regain consciousness before men, nobly wil l they chastise us, nobly lash and drive us with the lash of shame and conscience, like a stupid flock of sheep, before any of us has time to look a t himself and feel that he should long ago have broken into a run instead of waiting for the lash.9 Gogol even states:: "Uomen are much better than us men." 10 Uomen are more generous, and have more courage for everything noble. He proceeded t D sketch out the lofty career that the world expects of woman: 108 ... her Heavenly career to be the source uhich propels us to everything that is right, noble, and honest, t D summon man to noble aspirations, that some uoman uhom he esteems frivolous u i l l suddenly blaze up, u i l l look at herself, at the abandoned duties, u i l l advance to everything honest, u i l l push her husband to the honest fulfilment of his duty and, tossing her rags aside, u i l l convert everyone ta action. Gogol sau that most people have a desire to do good; people dream of being in a situation uhere they can unselfishly sacrifice themselves in helping others. Yet the situations are aluays far removed from the dreamer. This is the moral slump, a fatigue that the Russians uere caught up in during Gogol's time. Gogol sau that one did not have to search far to find situations uhere one could be useful. Men uere taking bribes at uork and provoking injustices. Superficiality in dress, manners and language had overshadowed any true feelings. The uhirlpoal of social conventions had caught man in such a uay that he had last touch uith his real s e l f . Man uas no longer master of himself uith the result that he had last his unique character and strength of u i l l . Having lost control D f his self, man could not communicate with God either. To Gogol, women had the power to aid man out of this moral slump. iDomen were already caught up in a situation in which they could help their husbands, brothers, neighbours in every kind of uay. Gogol sau three innate characteristics in uomen that made them natural talismans. They had "... beauty; second, a spotless 109 name above scandal; third, the pouer of a pure soul."''2 jQ Gogol, beauty uas a gift of God to man: Not for nothing did God decree that some uomen be beautiful; not for nothing uas i t determined that beauty should startle us a l l equally - even those uho are insensitive to everything and incapable of anything.^ This is an impersonal vieu of an inborn characteristic of uomen uhich feu uomen are auare of. Gogol is speaking of natural beauty that men find such satisfaction in observing, not the superficial beauty of social dress or style. Secondly, uomen possess the sublime beauty of innocence. Men can carouse and use vulgar language, yet a uoman by her grace and presence can command respect from men. By respecting the innocence of uomen, by not using coarse language in her presence, man takes a f i r s t step to becoming better. Finally, Gogol sees uomen as having the"pouer of a pure soul." Uomen have an insatiable thirst for doing good, a "celestial unease" that uon't let them enjoy their oun happiness as long as there are people suffering in the uorld. Although uomen possess the innate ability to be man's-preserving talisman, yet uomen have lost or not made use of their female characteristics. Gogol chastises them for the abandonment of their duties. Gogol's metaphor is that the uorld is like a hospital, and women's rale is not to diagnose the sicknesses but to give confidence, inspiration and emotional security to the sufferers. Uomen can do this simply with a smile and a soft voice. 110 Gogol's instructions of conduct to the women are tendentious: women's aim is to help man to save his soul. The course of action is service. Rather than dwelling on her own feelings of trouble, anger, disillusionment, vanity or pride, she has to disentangle herself from these inner feelings and observe what is beside and around her. Uomen can shape "the beauty of the Russian land and bring i t eternal good However, this service must be done si l e n t l y . But there is one who is far above a l l others, one whom I do not know by sight, and about whom only vague accounts have reached me. I did not think that a like perfection could exist on earth. To realize i t as she knew how to do; to do i t so as to divert any suspicion of her part in i t and to attribute a l l the merit to others, in such a way that these were their own, in the complete conviction that they did i t . So intelligently to consider haw to escape renown, since the thing i t s e l f of necessity must cry out and reveal her! To succeed in that and remain unknown! No, I have never yet met a like wisdom in our brothers of the masculine sex.^ Pride, renown, fame or gli t t e r are not the marks of success to Gogol, rather to succeed and remain unknown is the greatest goad. Gogol gives specific advice to women in two of the essays. In the essay "Uhat a Uife Can do for Her Husband in Simple Domestic Maters, as Things Now are in Russia", Gogol stresses the fact that women have to be the f i r s t to gain inner self-control. The means to gain this self-control far women is by s t r i c t l y fallowing Gogol's advice. Gogol proposes a financial guideline which is to 111 be s t r i c t l y adhered to for one year. Money is to be divided beforehand into seven categories: for quarters, food, transportation, clothes, pocket money, extraordinary expenses and money for God and the poor. Regardless of emergencies, money is not to be diverted from one category to another, rather other means of dealing uith the emergencies u i l l have to be found. Gogol foresees many beneficial results i f this advice i s folloued. The uomen are really buying a firm character. They uon't buy unnecessary things on impulse. They u i l l learn to distribute their time uisely. Uomen are t D take the responsibility of the care of the house and property uhile their husbands are to be sent off to uork for the State. At dinner, they u i l l be able to share their experiences, to bring neu ideas and accomplishments forth. If a uife is interested in her husband's job, she can help him. Her main duty is to listen to him. Only uith experience gained by performing her oun duties u i l l she eventually be able to give him counsel. But she should aluays encourage him i f he encounters unpleasantness. Her acquired strength u i l l be an aid in compelling him to endure spiritual troubles. By follouing Gogol's advice, uomen should grou in strength, become immutable. i i Order in material matters u i l l follou uith order in spiritual i matters. A uife uho gains self-control herself can give confidence, inspiration and backing to her husband. Gogol sees i freedom as "not arbitrarily saying 'yes' to one's desires, but in 112 knowing how to say 'No' to them."lb Gogol gives woman the role of the controller: Let a feeble woman remind him of this!. Everything has now become so wonderful that the wife must command the husband, so that he may be her head and sovereign. '7 The second essay, "What the Wife of a Provincial Governor Is", deals with a woman's potential influence in her community. Gogol stresses that a woman can have a great moral influence not only on her husband, but on every stratum of society. The Governor's wife is the f i r s t lady of the town, therefore she should set an example for the rest to follow. Again Gogol stresses simplicity in dress. By banishing luxury, Gogol foresees a disappearance of the source of bribery and injustice. Again Gogol compares the town people to sick lepers whom the Governor's wife should help. This time, however, Gogol advises the wife to seek help from a higher source, namely himself. Gogol places himself as one who is in communication with God, therefore any advice that he proffers wi l l be useful to her. The means of establishing communication between Gogol and the Governor's wife is for her to write him everything: names of important people, the function of their jobs, the women of the town and any unusual incidents. By talking and listening to the various classes of people in the town, the Governor's wife can learn much herself and at the same time she can make the people aware of the importance of the jobs they hold. By these actions she can make the Bishop aware of the problems of the people; she 113 can recall the priests to their duties and through them can have an effect on the louer classes; the merchants and lower middle class people can be befriended; also the best people of the toun can be involved in social action. Gogol stresses that action does not consist of bustle and precipitate rushing, of creating neui charitable institutions uith mounds of excess paper work. No, action consists of getting to knou yourself, your neighbours and friends, better. Action consists of improving your oun job. The Governor's uife is advised to praise honesty, to acknouledge i t to the uorld so that everyone u i l l knou that that is the goal to strive for. The concluding paragraph of the essay stands out from the rest. In the main part of the essay, Gogol gave instructions to be followed. The last paragraph is a description of Gogol's oun process of self-realization uhich ue conclude uas a result of a similar process of questioning and getting to knou people and himself.- Like Marshal McLuhan, Gogol observes that the medium is the message; It is sufficient to observe the present more attentively, the future u i l l take care of i t s e l f . He is a fool uho thinks of the future and passes by the present.18 People have fears and get depressed uith present conditions, therefore they look to the future uhere they hope better things u i l l come. Houever, the roads to the future are hidden in the "dark and tangled present uhich no one uants to knou."19 114 To Gogol, the present is very tangible. Bring me at least a knouledge of the present. Do not be troubled by abominations, serve every abomination up to me! I find nothing unusual in abomination: I have enough abomination of my oun. So long as I uas not myself sunk in abominations, each abomination troubled me, and I uas overcome uith melancholy at the great number of them, and I uas ter r i f i e d for Russia-; since then, as I began to observe abomination more closely, my soul became more lucid; ends, means, and uays uere revealed to me and I venerated Providence s t i l l more.20 The fi n a l outcome of his self-analysis is that he has learned to love man more. "And i f I have f i n a l l y acquired a love for people, substantial rather than dreamlike, i t is aluays and in the end for the same reason - that I have observed every kind of abomination more."21 /The tone of the passage suggests Gogol uas bordering on egomania, yet i f ue disregard the means of expression, the message makes senseT7 Gogol advised the Governor's uife to concern herself uith the present. Thus she u i l l be a better person; she u i l l get to knou herself better and in this uay u i l l be able to love people irrespective of their faults and ueaknesses. CHAPTER IV CONCLUSION So far ue have looked at the various modes in the evaluation of Gogol's uoman portrayals. Throughout the uork, certain types of characters have appeared: the ideal uoman, the aggressive middle-aged uoman, the old uoman and the uitch. These can further be subsumed under tuo groups: the positive and the negative types of uomen characters. The division into positive and negative characters does not necessarily imply that they are seen by Gogol as either good or e v i l . The criterion for this choice l i e s outside the uoman portrayals.. It is the male characters uho in their interaction uith the uomen characters discover uhether the uoman's influence on them is good or e v i l . An evaluation of the sum total of the positive and negative traits as seen from his portrayals gives us a very good idea of Gogol's oun vieu of uomen. Throughout the study, ue can observe that the uomen do very l i t t l e to change their physical surroundings. Rather their mere physical presence radiates enough chiaroscuro to f i l l the scenes during the l y r i c a l mode. In other stories, the backgrounds are merely congruous to the social type of character portrayed. Gogol places much more importance on the clothes uorn by his uomen. Ue have already referred to Bely's essay on the colour range used by Gogol. It need only be mentioned that during the course of Gogol's - 1 1 5 -116 literary career, the importance of colour dwindled. Whereas the ly r i c a l stage abounds in colour, Dead Souls is almost colourless, with gray the predominant shade. However, the ideal woman -* n Dead Souls, the governor's daughter - is s t i l l visualized in white tones, only the intensity has been changed from the "dazzling whiteness" characteristic of the l y r i c a l mode to "pale" white. A purely sensuous impression created by women was deemed enough for Gogol's early stage of writing. Only in his later works, after having observed to what an extent women disfigure their natural beauty by inappropriate dress, did Gogol see clothes., as a means of exerting sociological influence. The self-decorating instinct in women taken to the point of extravagance motivates the men as a whole to become acquisitive, materialistic, and makes the whole culture commercial and competititve. Gogol, in contrast, wanted the men to be spiritual in the sense of self-contented. A woman by choosing simplicity in dress and l i f e - s t y l e can aid men in finding self-contentment. There are two images of women presented by Gogol:, the idealized and the comic women. The idealized image is f i r s t presented in the work "Woman" as Alcinoe, the epitome of triumphant beauty. Evenings Near the Village of Dikanka has many of these idealized beauties, while in the later works they are met at rare intervals, yet they never disappear. Even in Gogol's unfinished works, "Rome" and the second part of Dead Souls, Gogol was s t i l l interested in presenting his image of the ideal woman. 117 A question arises: hou does his ideal image of a woman differ from any other depiction of a woman character? To answer this a. closer look at his prototype of the ideal woman, Alcinoe, or any young g i r l from Evenings Near the Village of Dikanka is necessary. Alcinoe has the magnificent features common to a l l of Gogol's beauties: the proud brow, the striking eyes, long luxuriant hair, high breast and exquisite feet. The features in themselves are not unique; i t is Gogol's use of qualifying adjectives, metaphors and similes that imparts a new dimension. Ue have noted that the metaphors and similes in reference to the idealized women are a l l of positive value, giving a heightening effect. However a closer look at the type of vehicle used gives us a new perspective of the ideal image. Pidorka's cheeks are compared to poppies. Ue are not told that her cheeks feel like the softness of the petals, nor that they exude a smell like the poppies, rather her cheeks looked like "fresh and bright poppies". In a similar manner, her eyebrows are like "black strings" not because they feel like black string, but because they look like "strings such as our girls buy nowadays from travelling Muscovite pedlars tD hang crosses or coins on." Most of the comparisons arise from a visual association. The result is that the idealized woman appears rather cold, like a statue. In fact, Gogol actually uses the images "marble arm" or "petrified statue" in the i descriptions of the g i r l s . 118 Critics like Setchkarev regard this type of depiction as stock or "stereotyped epithets". There is no doubt that Gogol's uomen characters are similar to those found in the German Romantic uriters:- Friedrich Schiller, Luduig Tieck, Ernst T. A . Hoffmann, Heinrich Heine and others, as indicated by Setchkarev and Erlic h . The interjection found in "Terrible Revenge", uhere the author uarns the reader of the dangers of being caught by the drouned uater nymphs, seems to be simply an extension of Hoffmann's Undine, the soulless s p i r i t that personified the fascination of the uatery deep, or Lorelei, the beautiful siren uho sat on a rock jutting out into the Rhine and lured men to their destruction. Yet to say that Gogol's uomen characters are simply reproductions of prototypes of other uriters is to misread Gogol. The coincidence of the image discovered by more than one mind is to be seen as confirmation of the truth of that image, rather than repetition or imitation. Gogol believed in his discovery of the ideal image. The fact that his image f i t s into the basic archetypal trends uhich are universally seen by creative minds only exalts Gogol as a good uriter. The second group of uomen portrayals can be classified as Eomic, varying from gentle mocking to s a t i r i c or grotesque representations. There is l i t t l e physical description of this second group of characters. Where comparisons are made, they are for comic effect, usually dounuard. The comparisons, as for the 1 1 9 ideal image, are based on visual association. The witch in "St. John's Eve" is seen "wrinkled as an old apple." Whereas, the idealized women assert their presence simply by being, the comic women do so by their actions. Pride, avarice, stupidity, poor education, self-centredness are a l l revealed in their actions. That the women are per se evil is no more than a hypothesis implied by their apparent negative qualities. The witch in "St. John's Eve" demands that Petro k i l l Ivas, and later drinks the blood. The witch in "Uiy" is said to have killed Sheptun's wife and child, yet this is only gossip. Actual acts committed by the witches are: metamorphoses; sexual seduction of men; temptation of men by means of riches; to which we may add the performance of unpleasant acts such as drinking human blood. None of these acts are in themselves e v i l , although some of them are unusual. It is the characters of the stories that surmise that these a b i l i t i e s are given to the women by the devil and that, therefore, the women are witches and e v i l . Poprishkin's statement "Woman is in love with the devil" is nothing more than an expression D f rage at the world where he cannot get what he wants and is unhappy with what he has. It is not that the woman herself is evaluated by the author as being good or bad, but that such moral judgement is passed by the male characters. The beautiful girl-witch of "Uiy" is a synthesis of the idealized and the comic images. Her beauty is such as to give 120 pleasure to her father. Yet her actions in seducing Khoma and Mikita uould suggest that she is e v i l . But is she? Both men are draun by an ir r e s i s t i b l e force, yet is this force from uithin them or not? The g i r l doesn't k i l l them, they succumb to their oun passions. The g i r l is only an intermediate link betueen the rational man and the man obsessed by passion. The ability to change from one state to another is not an evil act, yet i t causes disaster for the men characters. Extended to the St. Petersburg scene, i t becomes: the transformation of a beauty into a prostitute; the transformation of a young g i r l into a shreu. It is uith this in mind, that Gogol says "But God save you from peeping under the ladies' hats!" for on Nevsky Prospect everything is a deceit. Uomen are at fault for presenting this false image, yet they do i t out of ignorance rather than intending to do e v i l . In Selected Passages from  Correspondence uith Friends Gogol shous faith in uomen, acknouledging that they u i l l realize their mistakes and u i l l act to rectify them. Houever, until that time i t is up to the men not to succumb to temptations. The male characters of the stories are very much affected i by the uomen characters. As mentioned, both the young and the old men are draun to the young beauties. The older uomen, although beauty has le f t them, nevertheless attract the men, primarily by sex appeal. Houever, the attainment of a union uith the uoman 121 characters never brings everlasting happiness. The young men in Evenings Near the Village of Dikanka a l l have to perform some deed to get the g i r l . Usually they have to contend uith an evil force which l i e s outside of them. In the story "Taras 3ulba", love briefly f u l f i l l s Andrey's l i f e , but, because of i t , he has an early death. The seeds of destruction, as seen in the portrayal of Andrey, are now shown as an integral part of man. Taras Bulba knew that his younger son was predisposed to an attachment to women. Giving oneself up to the passions of sexual intercourse or merely giving oneself up to the passion of dreaming of the beautiful g i r l w i l l both result in disaster for the men. It is not being able to control their inner passions that makes men place the blame on outside sources. The supreme e v i l force does not l i e outside man, but is inherent in him. Gogol did not have this opinion from the beginning of his works, but the formulation of the idea can be traced by following the reactions of the male characters to women. So long as men think that they can find happiness from without, they wil l be unhappy. Gogol's later stories are a l l concerned with man's adjustment to the world. Having examined a series of attempts to find happiness from sexual love and concluding that i t is not a solution, Gogol pursues the disclosure of other passions that torment man. Ue should point out that Gogol dismisses sexual love not because of the sexual act, but on the basis that i f one allows one passion to dominate 122 i t cannot but lead to disaster. The diminishing role of uomen is understandable i f ue regard Gogol's uorks as man's search for adjustment in this uorld. A uoman, as is argued in Selected  Passages from Correspondence uith Friends, can aid man to lead a meaningful l i f e , yet she should never allou man to become dependent on her. Man has to find meaning uithin himself. But uoman can aluays remain a joy to behold, like the sun, a source of pleasure to man. Man and uoman can exchange fullness uithout being dependent. Up to this point, ue have looked at the textual material to substantiate the idea that Gogol had a high regard for uomen. It i s interesting to relate his a r t i s t i c uork to his l i f e . In Chapter One ue sau that in his behaviour Gogol uas aluays respectful to uomen. Ue have noted hou l i t t l e contact he had uith uomen in his early l i f e and in the early stages of his career. This fact partly explains Gogol's method of characterising uomen. Having l i t t l e physical or sexual contact uith uomen, Gogol could only describe their external appearance. He avoided reference to sense-perceptions that uould presuppose closer physical contact. His recourse uas to depict them as he sau, heard or imagined them. Interestingly enough, in his imagination he compared uomen to man's noblest achievements, namely to uorks of literature, paintings or statues. The result is that the uomen appear cold, yet Gogol's purpose uas to present them in the best light that he could. 123 Kant defines aesthetic judgement in The Critique af Judgement in the fallowing way: ... we da not refer the representation ... to the object by means of understanding, with a view to cognition, but by means of imagination (acting perhaps in conjunction with understanding) we refer the represen-tation ta the subject and i t s feeling of pleasure or displeasure.1 Gogol's women characters are the representation, the reader and the author are the subjects. The criterion far judging a work of art is whether i t gives us pleasure or displeasure. UJe base our opinion on how the representation sti r s our imagination and not simply on understanding or cognition of the object represented. Gogol's women characters do not aid us in understanding the psyche of women; they do enliven the stories by their mere presence. Envisaging them must have given Gogol great pleasure. It is up to the reader to decide whether he can derive comparable pleasure from Gogol's a r t i s t i c representation of women. 124 FOOTNOTES: CHAPTER I 1. Janko Lavrin, Nikolai Gogol (New York: Sylvan Press, 1951), p. 22. 2. Ibid., p. 22. 3. Ibid. , p. 23 k. Lavrin, in particular. 5. Letters of Nikolai Gogol, translated by Carl R. Proffer, (Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Press, 1967), p. 45. 6. Ibid., p. k5 7. Ibid., p. 23 8; Ibid., p. 23 9. In 1839 Gogol returned to Moscow briefly from Rome. At this time he dated his letters to his mother from Trieste and Vienna, wanting to handle his sister's affairs alone. 10. Nikolai Gogol, Letters of Nikolai Gogol, translated by Carl R. Proffer, (Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Press, 1967), p. 25 11. Victor Erlich, Gogol, (New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1969), p. 14. 12. Ibid., p. 13. 13. Ibid., p. 13. 14. Nikolai Gogol, Letters of Nikolai Gogol, translated by Carl R. Proffer, (Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Press, 1967), pp. 32-33. 15. V. Nabokov and V. Setchkarev. 16. Nikolai Gogol, Letters of Nikolai Gogol, translated by Carl R. Proffer, (Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Press, 1967), p. 33. 125 FOOTNOTES: CHAPTER I 17. Nikolai Gogol, Letters of Nikolai Gonol. translated by Carl R. Proffer, (Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Press, 1967), p. 33. 18. Ibid., p. 42. 19. Ibid., p. 42. 20. Ibid., p. 41. '21. Sir Bernard Pares, A History of Russia, (Jonathan Cape, London, 1958), p. 377. 22. Nikolai Gogol, Letters of Nikolai Gogol, translated by Carl R. Proffer, (Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Press, 1967), p. 33. i 23. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. Selected Passages from Correspondence with Friends although compiled from personal letters, nevertheless is s t i l l considered an a r t i s t i c uork by Gogol. 30. Nikolai Gogol, Selected Passages from Correspondence with  Friends, translated by Jesse Zeldin, (V/anderbill University Press, Nashville, 1969), p. 133. Ibid., P- 33. Ibid., P. 43. Ibid., P. 46 Ibid., P. 36 Ibid., P. 35 Ibid., P. 56 31. Vsevolod Setchkarev, Gogol: His Life and Works, (Neu York University Press, 1965), p. 84 126 FOOTNOTES•• CHAPTER I 32. Nikolai Gogol, Letters of Nikolai Gogol, translated by Carl R. Proffer, (Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Press, 1967), p. 196. 33. Nikolai Gogol, Selected Passages from Correspondence  uith Friends, translated by Jesse Zeldin, (V/anderbill University Press, Nashville, 1969), p. 16. 1 2 7 FOOTNOTES: CHAPTER II - PART I 1 . Vsevolod Setchkarev, Gogol: His Life and Works, translated by Robert Kramer, (Neu York University Press, 1 9 6 5 ) , p. 7 . 2 . Ibid., P. 3 8 . 3 . Ibid., P. 1 1 6 . 4 . Ibid., P. 1 2 3 . 5 . Ibid., P. 1 4 2 . 6 . Ibid., P- 1 0 7 . 7 . Ibid., P. 1 1 3 . a . Ibid., P- 1 5 7 . 9 . Ibid., P. 1 7 1 . 1 0 . Ibid., P. 1 7 5 . 1 1 . Ibid., P. 1 8 8 . 1 2 . Ibid., P. 2 0 5 . PART II 1 . Victor Erlich, Gogol, (Neu Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1 9 6 9 ) , p. 6 . 2 . Ibid., p. 2 1 3 . 3 . j Ibid., p. 1 0 . 4 . ! Ibid., p. 1 9 . - Gippius, though fullyauare of Gogol's potential for mystification , cautions the reader against discounting automatically any statement of motives or intentions. 5 . Victor Erlich, Gogol, (Neu Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1 9 6 9 ) , p. 2 0 . 1Z8 FOOTNOTES: CHAPTER II - PART II 6. Victor Erlich, Gogol, (Neu Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1969,), p. 44. 7. Ibid., P - 26. 8. Ibid., P. 64. 9. Ibid., P . 65. 10. Ibid., P. 67. 11. Ibid., P . 79. 12. Ibid., P . 79. 13. Ibid., P - 82. 14. Ibid., P . 94. 15. Ibid., P« 84. 16. Ibid., P - 84. 17. Ibid., P . 143. PART III 1. Hugh McLean, "Gogol's Retreat from Love: Toward an Interpretation of Mirgorod'. American Contributions to the Fourth  International Congress of Slavists- (Mouton & Co., Slavistic Printings and Reprintings, 1958), p.- 225. 2. Ibid., P. 231. 3. Ibid., P . 231. 4. Ibid., P . 232. 5. Ibid., p. 234. 6. Ibid., P . 236. 129 FOOTNOTES: CHAPTER II - PART III 7. Hugh McLean, "Gogol's Retreat from Love: Toward an Interpretation of Mirgorod", American Contributions to the  Fourth International Congress of Slavists (Mouton & Co., Slavistic Printings and Reprintings, 1958), p. 236. 8. Ibid. , p. 237. 9. Ibid., p. 242. 10. Ibid., p. 229. PART IU 1. F. C. Driessen, Gogol as a Short-Story Writer, Translated by Ian F. Finlay, (Mouton & Co., The Hague, 1965), p. 36. 2. Ibid., p. 106. 3. Ibid. , p. 158 4. Ibid., p. 128. FOOTNOTES: CHAPTER I I I - PART I 130 1. N i k o l a i Gogol, Evenings Near the V i l l a g e of Dikanka, (Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1 9 5 7 ) , p. 1 9 2 . 2. N i k o l a i Gogol, Mirgorod, (London, Chatto S LJindus, 1928), p. 113. 3. N i k o l a i Gogol, Evenings Near the V i l l a g e of Dikonka, (Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1957), p. 120. 4. Ib i d . , p. 136. 5. Ibid., 6. Ibi d . , * Note: A. Bely, Masterstvo Gogolya, P. 119. 7. N i k o l a i Gogol, Evenings Near the V i l l a g e of Dikanka, (Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1957), p. 55. 8. Ib i d . , p. 179 9. Carl R. P r o f f e r , The Simile and Gogol's Dead Souls, (Mouton, The Hague, 1967), p. 51. 10. N i k o l a i Gogol, Evenings Near the V i l l a g e of Dikanka, (Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1957), p. 20. 11. Ibid., p. 139. 12. Ibid., p. 139 13. I b i d . , p. 59 14. N i k o l a i Gogol, Mirgorod, (London, Chatto & LJindus, 1928), p. 255. 15. Ib i d . , p. 241 16. N i k o l a i Gogol, Evenings Near the V i l l a g e of Dikanka, (Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1957), p. 56. 17. Ibid., p. 194 131 FOOTNOTES: CHAPTER III - PART I 18. Nikolai Gogol, Evenings Naar the Village of Dikanka, (Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1 9 5 7 ) , p. 1 3 5 . 19. I b i d . , p. 137 20. I b i d . , p. 178 21. I b i d . , p . 21 22. I b i d . , p. 60 23. Nikolai Gogol, Mirgorod, (London, Chatto & Ldindus, 1928), p. 258. 24. Nikolai Gogol, Evenings Near the Uillage of Dikanka, (Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1957), p. 73. 25. I b i d . , P« 71 26. I b i d . , P- 46 27. I b i d . , P. 28 28. I b i d . , P- 115 29. Nikolai Gogol, Mirgorod, (London, Chatto & Windus, 1928), p. 224 30. I b i d . , p. 239 31. Nikolai Gogol, Evenings Near the Village of Dikanka, (Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1957), p. 203. 32. I b i d . , p. 223 33. ; I b i d . , p. 204 34. ' I b i d . , p. 147 35. I b i d . , p . 151 36. Nikolai Gogol, Mirgorod, (London, Chatto & Windus, 1928), p. 225. 37. I b i d . , p. 226 FOOTNOTES: CHAPTER I I I - PART I 38. N i k o l a i G o g o l , M i r g o r o d , (London, C h a t t o & U i n d u s , 19280, p. 227. 39. I b i d . , p. 248. 40. N i k o l a i G o g o l , E v e n i n g s Near the V i l l a g e o f D i k a n k a ( F o r e i g n Languages P u b l i s h i n g House, Moscow, 1957), p. 108. 41. N i k o l a i G o g o l , M i r g o r o d , (London, C h a t t o & LJindus, 1928), p. 246. 42. N i k o l a i G o g o l , E v e n i n g s Near t h e V i l l a g e o f D i k a n k a ( F o r e i g n Languages P u b l i s h i n g House, Moscow, 1957), p. 28 43. I b i d . , p. 224. 44. I b i d . , p. 66. 45. I b i d . , p. 206. FOOTNOTES: CHAPTER III - PART II 1. Nikolai Gogol, Mirgorod, (London, Chatto S Windus 1928), p. 57. 2. Nikolai Gogol, The Collected Tales and Plays of  Nikolai Gogol, Edited by L. J. Kent, (The Modern Library, New York, 1969), p. 438. 3. Nikolai Gogol, Mirgorod, (London, Chatto & Windus 1928), p. 115. 4. Ibid., p. 119. 5. Nikolai Gogol, The Collected Tales and Plays of  Nikolai Gogol, Edited by L. J. Kent, (The Modern Library, New York, 1969), P. 429. 6. Ibid., P. 431. 7. Ibid . , P. 482. a. Ibid., P. 430. 9. Ibid., p. 282. 10. Ibid., P. 313. 1 1 . Ibid., P. 314. 12. Ibid., P- 437. 13. Ibi d . , P« 439. 14. Ibid., P. 441. 15. Ibi d . , P. 283. 16. Ibid., P- 432. 17. Ibid., P. 432. 18. Ibi d . , P. 442. 134 FOOTNOTES: CHAPTER III - PART III 1. N i k o l a i Gogol, Dead Souls, Translated by David Magarshack, (Penguin Books Ltd.,Harmondsworth, Middlesex, 1961), p. 54. 2. N i k o l a i Gogol, Mirgorod, (London, Chatto & Uindus, 1928), p. 14. 3. N i k o l a i Gogol, The Collected Tales and Plays of  Ni k o l a i Gogol, Edited by L. 3. Kent, (The Modern L i b r a r y , New York, 1969), p. 424. 4. Ib i d . , p. 530. 5. Ib i d . , p. 546. 6. Ibid.., p. 696. ' 7 * Ibid., p. 697. 8. N i k o l a i Gogol, Evenings Near the V i l l a g e of Dikanka, (Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1957), p. 253. 9 . I b i d . , p. 248. 10. N i k o l a i Gogol, The Collected Tales and Plays of  Ni k o l a i Gogol, Edited by L. J . Kent, (The Modern Library, New York, 1969), p. 547. 11. Ibi d . , p. 532. 12. Ibi d . , p. 531. 13. Ibid., p. 535. 14. Ibi d . , p. 442. 15. Vsevolad Setchkarev, (New York University Press, 1965), p. 177. 16. N i k o l a i Gogol, Dead Souls, Translated by David Magarshack, (Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, Middlesex, 1961), p. 36. 17. N i k o l a i Gogol, The Collected Tales and Plays of  Ni k o l a i Gogol, Edited by L. J . Kent, (The Modern Li b r a r y , New York, 1969), P. 505. 135 FOOTNOTES: CHAPTER I I I - PART III 18. N i k o l a i Gogol, The Collected Tales and Plays of New York, 1969), P. 188. 19. Ibi d . , P. 465. 20. Ibid., P- 468. 21. Ibid., p. 473. 22. Ibid., P. 536. 23. I b i d . , P. 682. 24. Ibid., P. 637. 25. I b i d . , P. 449. 26. Ibid., P. 501. 27. Ibi d . , P. 727. 28. Ibid., P. 448. 29. N i k o l a i Gogol, 136 FOOTNOTES: CHAPTER III - PART IV/ 1 . Nikolai Gogol, Selected Works, Moskva: Knigoizdatel'stvo A.S., Panafidinoy, 1 9 0 9 , p. 567. (The translation is my oun, S.W.) 2 . Ibid., p. 5 6 7 . 3 . Ibid., p. 5 6 6 . 4 . Ibid. , p. 5 6 6 . 5 . Ibid. , p. 5 6 6 . 6 . F. C. Driessen, Gogol as a Short-Story Writer, (Mouton & Co. The Hague, 1 9 6 5 ) , p. 3 4 . 7 . Nikolai Gogol, Selected Passages from Correspondence uith  Friends, Translated by Jesse Zeldin, (Uanderbilt University Press, Nashville, 1 9 6 9 ) , p. xxi. 8 . Ibid., P . xxi. 9 . Ibid., P« 1 3 6 . 1 0 . Ibid., P- 1 3 3 . 1 1 . Ibid., P . 1 3 3 . 1 2 . Ibid., P . 1 6 . 1 3 . Ibid., P . 1 6 . 1 4 . Ibid., P . 1 6 9 . 1 5 . Ibid., P - 1 7 0 . 1 6 . Ibid., P . 1 6 2 . 1 7 . Ibid., P . 1 6 2 . 1 8 . Ibid., P . 1 3 4 . 1 9 . Ibid., P . 1 3 5 . 2 0 . Ibid., P . 1 3 5 . 2 1 . Ibid., P . 1 3 5 . CHAPTER IV 1 . Encyclopaedia of Literature, Edited by Joseph T. 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