A young nobleman, Eugene Onegin, who was very well educated, leaving his father early without a father who “gave three balls every year and got lost at last”, leads a secular way of life, is successful with “decisive and strict judges” and ladies. His day passes in balls, theaters, dinners with friends in the best restaurants in St. Petersburg. Later, this way of life bothers him, he feels the emptiness of secular pastime, tries to plunge into reading and writing. But “as women, he left books” and “hard work was toughened to him, nothing came out of his pen.” Onegin falls into spleen, or rather, into a Russian melancholy. At this time he receives news of the uncle’s deadly illness, which he almost did not know, although he was his only heir. In sad thoughts about the “
Onegin begins to study in the village with some transformations, for example, “he replaced the old yoke with his old dowry with an old dowry, and the slave of his fate was blessed.”
Onegin’s innovations were greeted hostilely by neighbors who decided that he was “the most dangerous crank”, especially since he did not intend to support them with them. He became friends only with Lensky, a young landowner, a graduate of the University of GцTttingen. “Between them everything gave rise to controversy,” but, despite the differences in their worldview, they became friends. Lensky introduces Onegin to the Larins’ family, in which two sisters live, Olga, Lensky’s beloved, and Tatyana. Tatyana fell in love with Onegin and the first in a letter confessed to him in her feelings. Evaluating the spiritual world of Tatiana, the depth of her feelings, Onegin still did not dare to answer her reciprocity, as he cherished his freedom. There is an explanation in the garden in which he declares that “it is not created for bliss.”
At the ball at the Larins in honor of Tatyana’s name-day, a conflict arises between Onegin and Lensky, who was jealous of Olga. The conflict went so far as to end a duel between former friends. Progressively thinking Onegin could not resist the old noble traditions and secular etiquette, although he understood the senselessness of the duel – he accepted the challenge. Lensky was killed. Being in a state of spiritual crisis, Onegin goes on a journey. Tatiana visits the estate of Onegin, spends a lot of time in his office, gets acquainted with books and begins to understand his spiritual world.
At the insistence of her mother, she and her family go to Moscow, where she is married to a general, the hero of the Patriotic War of 1812.
Returning from the trip, on one of the St. Petersburg balls Eugene meets Tatiana. Now she is a secular beauty, surpassing both dresses and behavior, external and internal beauty of famous beauties, who for all dazzling could not outshine Tatiana. Onegin awakens a deep feeling for Tatiana and remorse that in previous years he did not accept her direct maiden love.
Now he is writing a love and at the same time a repentant message, asking for a date. Now the rebuke is heard from Tatiana. She is also sincere, she also loves Onegin, but she is faithful to her duty: to the person with whom she has connected her destiny. “But I’m given to another and I’ll be faithful to him” – so ends the meeting with Tatiana and Eugene, so the plot ends the novel.
Talking about Onegin, it is expedient to create his portrait-description or the history of his life. Solving this question, it must be remembered that Onegin at the beginning of the novel is different from how we see it in the end.
Let us dwell on the history of Onegin’s life and the evolution of his image. In the previous answers, the youth of the novel’s hero in Petersburg, his disillusionment in high society, his arrival in the village, his friendship with Lensky, his acquaintance with the Larins, Tatyana’s love for Onegin, the conflict that arose on Tatiana’s birthday party, and the duel with Lensky were discussed in detail. It was told about Onegin’s departure for the trip and return to Petersburg, for a new meeting with the heroine and the passionate love that had flared up to her. How does Onegin change throughout the entire novel created by the author for a whole decade? As the well-known researcher of Pushkin’s creative work GA Gukovsky states, Onegin’s evolution... passes through three stages and undergoes three main tests, in which his former image changes and his character develops in a new way. Onegin is freed from the influence of the light that has grown up and is moving towards a genuine human, and perhaps even civil, dignity. The researcher refers to such tests the crime, knowledge of the motherland and love. Pushkin rejects the duel as the fulfillment of the code of noble honor. Onegin himself condemns himself that he accepted Lensky’s challenge and recognizes himself as a “ball of prejudice,” but he still obeys the law of light and is afraid of gossip, whispering, laughing fools. Doubts are still being resolved in favor of these unwritten laws. Throughout the sixth chapter in Onegin, human traits are struggling with conventions adopted in a secular society. Here is how Pushkin assesses the act of the hero: “Having killed a friend in a duel…”, “A poet, a thoughtful dreamer, Killed by a friendly hand…”.
For Onegin, the duel was the beginning of a fracture in consciousness. His melancholy began to acquire a new meaning. He is haunted by the image of a murdered friend, his conscience torments, and this finally separates him from the “higher light” to which he belonged. Lensky was killed in order to preserve the traditions, norms and rules of conduct of the noble society.
In the eighth chapter, Onegin, having passed through new trials, received new impressions of the life of genuine Russia, returned to Petersburg, which became his stranger.
For all he seems a stranger,
Flashed faces in front of him,
Like a series of boring ghosts.
And if in the first chapter secular society is depicted as rather boring, causing disappointment of the thinking person, now it is depicted sharply satirically. This new tonality in the image and evaluation of light, the St. Petersburg nobility reflects the new content of Onegin’s Personality. In this regard, Gukovsky calls the eighth chapter “a pathetic civil curse to the world.” In this chapter, Onegin is no longer in contrast to Tatiana, he is close to her inner world, becoming one level with her in understanding the true values of life.
Drawing Onegin in the first chapter, Pushkin measured his emptiness by the fact that three elements were closed to him, three high passions – freedom, creativity and love. All these spheres of the spirit really opened up in Onegin in the eighth chapter. So, if attempts to read in the first chapter did not succeed, now “I read it again indiscriminately…”. With reading to him came the images of humanity, purity, Tatiana’s close folklore images. That’s what deeply excited Onegin:
They were secret devotions of the
Heart, dark antiquity, Unrelated
Threats, talk, predictions,
Or a long tale, a living look,
Or a letter of a young virgin.
Gukovsky pays special attention to the XXXVII stanza of the eighth chapter. “Onegin, as it were, looks at the whole path he has passed, and together with him Pushkin again, with amazing conciseness, repeats three stages of his upbringing and spiritual revival: murder, social renewal and love:
And gradually in the sleep
And the feelings and thoughts he falls,
And in front of him his imagination
His motley Pharaoh rushes.
Then he sees: in the thawed snow,
As if asleep at a lodging house, A
real man lays,
And he hears a voice: what? killed!
This is the first stage: remorse, forever leaving a wound in the heart of Onegin and a meaningful reminder of the soulless cry of Zaretsky, as a symbol of his former environment rejected by the rejuvenating Onegin and his spiritual laziness and devastation… “
Love appears on Onegin not as a brilliant princess, but in the image of a village girl from the third chapter of the novel, Onegin loves the former Tatyana, who remained the same in the St. Petersburg salons. Understanding it as it is is an essential sign of Yevgeny’s rebirth. Together with true love and deep spiritual life, he became accessible to the world of true poetry. Expressive Belinsky’s words about the new Onegin, which appears before the reader in the eighth chapter: “Onegin was not destined to die without tasting from the cup of life: the passion is strong and deep. Did not hesitate to excite the powers of his spirit dozing in the melancholy.”