The emergence of the genre of the everyday story and its problems are closely connected with those changes that occurred in the Russian life of the XVII century: with the general rise of Russian culture, the desire for enlightenment, protest against the stagnant house-building life, interest in the human person. Household story captures the essential aspects of private and public life rights. For the first time the hero of the story is not a historical figure, but a fictitious person. The author shows great attention to the private life of an ordinary person.
Ancient Russian literature did not know an openly fictional hero. All the actors of the works of the 11th – early 17th c. – Historical or pretend to historicity. Writers are looking for their works of significant persons, significant events – not in a literary, but in a purely historical sense. They seek to write about real people, about events that took place in a specific historical and geographical situation, resort to a reference to the testimonies of contemporaries, to material traces of the activities of their heroes. If in ancient Russian works fictitious persons also meet, the Old Russian writer tries to assure his reader that these persons were nevertheless. Fiction – miracles, visions, coming true prophecies – the writer gives out for real facts and he himself believes in their reality.
In the XVII century the historical name of the hero became a clear obstacle in the development of literature, in its movement towards realistic fiction. Writers are trying to get rid of the historical name of the character, but to overcome the centuries-old belief that the literary work is interesting only genuine, really happened and historically significant, it was not so easy. It was even more difficult to enter the path of open fiction. Begins the search for a way out of the predicament, the quest, which eventually led to the creation of an imaginary hero of modern literature, a hero with a fictitious... name, with a fictional biography. This is an average, non-historical, “everyday” person, about whom you can write everything, obeying only the inner logic of the image itself, recreating this image in the most typical positions for it. As D. noted
One of the most significant transitional phenomena was the appearance of anonymous nameless characters. Heroes are nameless people – people who are simply called “well done” or “poor”, “rich”, “naked and poor people”, “brazier”, “peasant son”, “maiden”, “merchant certain”, “jealous husband “etc. The anonymity of the hero already in itself meant that there was a discovery of new, completely different ways of artistic generalization than before. But it should be noted that the unnamed character of the hero facilitated the path to fiction, the path to the creation of typical, not idealized heroes.
The means of typing life phenomena in this period is parody and the form of an “open lie” – a fiction. The emergence of parody is due to the fact that in the invention of the medieval reader scared the lie: everything that is not “historical”, which was not in reality, is deception, and deception is from the devil. But openly recognized fiction is not a lie, especially if this fiction is covered with a joke. In addition, the parody gave way to popular discontent – dissatisfaction not with individual historical figures, but with the social structure itself. It allowed for a broad generalization of life phenomena, which the representatives of the land and the peasantry particularly needed. The fiction, in turn, described as usual what was just unusual in life, and thereby stressed the abnormality of the ordinary state of things.
Among such novels of the 17th century, whose heroes were ordinary people, merchant and noble children, who manifested themselves differently in the conditions of patriarchal way of life, include “The Tale of Grief-Misfortune”, “The Story of Savva Grudtsyn,” “The Story of a Merchant” , “The Tale of Frol Skobeev,” “The Story of Karp Sutulov,” and others.