The portrait of the main character – Eugene Onegin, his brief biography, a description of habits and inclinations is given. Briefly shows his usual pastime. The author outlines the customs of the “high society” and tells how Onegin, not finding himself in the hectic life of St. Petersburg, fell ill with one of the “diseases” of aristocratic society – moping. After the death of his father, Eugene loses his inheritance, which goes to pay tribute debts. And at this time a young man comes to news of the severe illness of the uncle who lives in the village. Onegin hurries to his uncle, but on arrival he learns of his death. Burying the old man, Eugene decides to live in the village.
The author reports on how the secluded life of Onegin took shape in the village. Eugene finds here only one friend – the young poet Vladimir Lensky. Despite the difference in the years and the dissimilarity of the characters, young philosophers find the society of each other pleasant: Onegin is pleased with the conversations with Lensky, to the fervor of which Onegin is condescending. The author acquaints the reader with Lensky’s passion – Olga Larina, and along with her sister – the main heroine of the novel, “dear Tatyana.”
Having become interested in the object of Lensky’s passion, Onegin asks him to acquaint him with the Larin family closer. After spending the evening at the Larins’, Eugene finds that his friend made the wrong choice: he would prefer Tatyana if he were a poet. Meanwhile, the Larins and their neighbors began to “Tatiana to procure a fiancé”, as Eugenia had chosen. Partly under the influence of these conversations, partly influenced by the impressions of the manner of the new “Child-Harold” Tatiana falls in love with Onegin and writes him a letter with a confession. In one of Lensky’s regular visits to Olga, Eugene comes to Larin to see Tatyana.
Meeting Onegin and Larina in the garden. Eugene inspires Tatiana with the idea that her love is a mistake. Meanwhile, Olga’s and Lensky’s novel is successfully developing, and in the village there have been long talk about the upcoming wedding. The author gives new details about the village life of Onegin, intermingling them with beautiful pictures of rural nature in the autumn season. During the
next visit of Lensky to Onegin, a friend tells Eugene about the forthcoming marriage in two weeks and, incidentally, about the invitation from the Larins to Tatiana’s birthday.
The author gives new details about the nature and habits of Tatiana, about how she indulged in folk amusements with the advent of winter. After the fortune, the girl dreams a terrible dream, in which Onegin kills Lensky. The meaning of this dream remains a mystery to Tatyana. Further events distract the girl from heavy thoughts: in the morning the Larins’ house is full of guests, by the evening there will be a ball. When Onegin appears Tatyana miraculously remains calm, than angers him, waiting for “girlish fainting, tears.” The annoying Eugene swore in revenge to enrage Lensky. To this end, he several times in a row invites Olga to dance and flirts with her. Vladimir decides to shoot with Eugene.
Eugene receives a challenge to the duel, which he accepts, in the shower remaining dissatisfied with himself. Lenski himself is annoyed at the haste of his decision, as Olga’s behavior proves that “he is still in love.” But former friends do not abandon their plans. Lensky anticipates his own demise and is not mistaken: in a duel Onegin shoots first and kills a young poet. The author interrupts the narrative and regrets the fate of Lensky.
After the murder of Lensky, Onegin leaves the village. Olga quickly forgot her grief by marrying an ulan. Tatiana wants to see the house where her lover lived. Her visits to this house become frequent. The girl reads the books that Onegin read, and gradually begins to understand “for whom she sighs condemned by the fate of the imperious.” Tatiana’s mother, in the meantime, tries to attach her daughter and receives from her neighbor a council to take the girl “to Moscow, to the bride’s fair.” Upon arrival in Moscow, the Larins go round all distant relatives, they help to bring Tatyana into the light. At one of the balls the girl was noticed by the general, and Tatiana’s fate was decided.
The author begins the chapter with a story about his museum – how she first visited him, how she changed with the course of time and, finally, how she, in the image of dear Tatyana, went to a secular party. Here Eugene unexpectedly returned from a long voyage. He notices Tatiana, but at first refuses to recognize in this socialite lady that simple girl whom she saw in the village. In the heart of Eugene awakens a feeling for Tatiana. He begins to look for meetings with her, sends her notes. Finally, Onegin manages to catch Tatiana alone. She confesses that she still loves him, but adds: “… I am given to another, I will be faithful to him.” The author says goodbye to Onegin and the reader.