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Description of peasantry in the main works of Russian prose literature from the mid-nineteenth century to 1917 Rosovsky, Sophia


The purpose of this paper is to observe and discuss the description of peasantry in Russian prose literature from the second half of 1840's to 1917. In the introduction is given an outline of the peasant theme before the forties. For that purpose all material is sub-divided into chapters; each chapter discusses an individual writer, except the fourth chapter which considers the raznochintzy writers. The initial chapter discusses the first works of Grigorovich which are concerned with peasant life in the forties. Chapter Two deals with Turgenev's stories from A Sportsman's Sketches which show the spiritual and poetical side of the peasantry. The Third chapter discusses the works of Pisemsky of the fifties; here the realistic description of peasantry reaches its height. Chapter Four is a detailed analysis of the works of the raznochintzy writers of the sixties and seventies: Sleptzov, Levitov, Reshetnikov and mainly Gleb Uspensky. They are compared with their predecessors as well as compared among themselves. Chapter Five discusses the main works of Korolenko who acquaints the reader with the way of life of the Yakuts, Tartars, the Siberian and Russian peasants, and nomads. The Sixth chapter deals with the main works of Chekhov concerned with the peasantry. His works retain in themselves the sober truth of both the portrayal of the raznochintzy writers of the sixties and the artistic beauty of Turgenev. The Seventh chapter considers the works of Bunin where they are compared with those of Chekhov. With Bunin's works ends the period of critical realism before 1917. This is followed by a short conclusion, where some works of Tolstoy are discussed.

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