Gogol’s story “Taras Bulba” is a part of the “Myrhorod” cycle. There are two versions – 1835, and 1842. Gogol was against the publication of the second version without agreeing with him certain points. However, the story was nevertheless published without copyright.
Events in the book “Taras Bulba” unfold around the XVII century. It is interesting that the author himself often mentions the 15th century, thus emphasizing the fantasy of the story. In the work, we can conditionally distinguish two narrative plans: one plan describes the life of Zaporozhye Cossacks and their march to Poland, and on the other – the dramatic story of the glorious Cossack Taras Bulba and his two sons.
For a deeper understanding of the story “Taras Bulba”, a brief summary of the chapters is given below.
Taras Bulba is the main character. Dear Cossack, a good warrior. The main values for him are the Christian faith and the Fatherland.
Ostap is Bulyba’s eldest son, graduated from the seminary. In battles proved to be a calculating and brave Cossack, who can analyze the situation and make the right decisions. A worthy son of his father.
Andriy is the youngest son of Bulba. He delicately feels the surrounding world and nature, is able to see beauty in minor details, nevertheless in battles was distinguished by courage and non-standard approach.
Yankel is a Jew, he is looking for everything in everything. Taras Bulba appealed to him for help.
Pannochka is the daughter of the Polish Pan, Andria’s lover.
Tatarka – a servant of the pannock, who told Andriy about the underground passage in Dubno and about the terrible famine in the city.
Bulba meets his sons – Ostap and Andriy, who returned from Kiev, graduating from the seminary. Father kindly jokes about their appearance, but Ostap does not like it. Instead of greeting, a small scuffle begins between the father and son, which ended as suddenly as it began.
Taras decides to send his sons to the Sich, so that they become real young men and brave Cossacks, while studying at the academy, books and maternal care will only dilute and pamper them. Mother disagrees with this decision, but what remains for her, except how resignedly to agree. This is her share – to wait for her husband and for months to wait for him with hikes. On the occasion of arrival, Ostap and Andriy Bulba called all the centurions who approved the idea of sending their sons to the Sich. Inspired by strength and excitement from the upcoming trip, Taras decides to go along with his sons.
The old mother did not sleep – she hugged her sons, only dreaming that the night would not end. It was very difficult for her to part with them. Until then, she hoped that her husband would change his mind or decide to leave a week later. But Taras Bulba was stubborn and unyielding.
When the sons left, the mother rushed to them with ease and speed, not typical of her years. She could not stop her relatives-she was twice taken away by the Cossacks.
The horsemen rode in silence. Taras thought of his youth, which was full of adventures, about fellow Cossacks, about how to boast to them with their sons. Ostap and Andrii were occupied with other thoughts. When they were twelve years old, they were sent to study at the Kiev Academy. Ostap tried several times to run, buried his letter-book, but each time he was returned back and bought a new book, until finally his father threatened to send him to the monastery for disobedience. From that moment, Ostap became much more diligent, and soon became one of the best students.
Andrius studied more readily, without making any special effort. He was more inventive and often was the instigator of some kind of adventure. He was able to escape punishment through the flexibility of the mind. Andrius’ soul was open to other feelings. Once he saw a beautiful Polish woman and fell in love at first sight. Andrii was fascinated by her beauty and femininity. The next night the young man decided to make his way to her quarters. At first the pannock was frightened, but later laughed gaily, putting on Andria various decorations. Tatarka, a servant of the Polish panna, helped Andrii get out of the house as soon as a knock came on the door.
Travelers galloped along the boundless expanses of the steppe, which became more and more beautiful. Everything here seemed to breathe freedom. Soon they arrived on the island of Khortytsya. Ostap and Andriy drove to Sich with some kind of fear and pleasure. On the island, life went on as usual: the Cossacks were walking, dancing, mending their clothes, and organizing fights.
Sich was a “continuous feast.” There were craftsmen, merchants and merchants, but most of them walked from morning till night. On Khortitsa there were also those who never studied or dropped the academy, but there were also Cossack scientists, there were runaway officers and partisans. All these people were united by faith in Christ and love for their native land.
Ostap and Andriy quickly became imbued with the atmosphere reigning there and merged into that Wednesday. My father did not like it-he wanted his sons to be hardened in battles, so he thought about raising Sich to such an event. This leads to a quarrel with the koshev who does not want to start a war. Taras Bulba was not used to what was not what he wanted: he intended to take revenge on the koshevs. He persuades his comrades to give the others drink so that they overthrow the koshevs. The plan of Bulba is triggered – Kirdjaga is elected as the new kosher, an old but wise Cossack, a comrade of Taras Bulba.
Taras Bulba communicates with the new koshev about the military campaign. However, being a reasonable person, he says: “Let the people gather, but only with my own will, I will not coerce anyone.” But in fact, under such a resolution, there is a desire to relieve themselves of responsibility for the violation of peace between states. On the island comes a ferry with Cossacks, who managed to escape. They bring disappointing news: the priests ride on carriages, harnessing the Christians in them, Jews from priestly garments sew their own outfits, and people are not allowed to celebrate Christian holidays without the approval of Jews. Such lawlessness angered the Cossacks – no one had the right to insult their faith and people! Both old and young are ready to defend their homeland, fight with the Poles for shaming the faith and gain booty from captured villages.
The Zaporozhtsi roared and shouted: “We must outweigh the whole Jew! Let the Jewesses of a priest’s garment do not sew a skirt for themselves!” These words had a huge impact on the crowd, which immediately rushed to catch the Jews. But one of them, Yankel, says that he knew the late brother of Taras Bulba. Bulba preserves Yankel’s life allowing him to go with the Cossacks to Poland.
The earth is full of rumors about the military glory of the Cossacks and their new conquests. Cossacks moved at night, and during the day they rested. Taras Bulba with pride looks at the sons who matured in the battles. Ostap, it seemed, was written to be a warrior. He showed himself as a brave warrior with an analytical mind. Andria also attracted more of the romantic side of the journey: knightly feats and battles with the sword. He acted at the behest of the heart, without resorting to special reflections, and at times he managed to accomplish what no experienced Cossack could do!
The army came to the city of Dubno. Zaporozhets climbed on the rampart, but from there stones, arrows, barrels, sandbags and pots of boiling water sprinkled on them. Zaporozhets quickly realized that the siege was not their forte, and they decided to take the town by the sea. They trampled down all the fields on the horses, destroyed the crops in the kitchen gardens, and then settled down in kurens. Ostap and Andriya do not like this kind of life, but their father encourages them: “tolerate the Cossack – you’ll become an ataman!”
Esaul brings Ostap and Andria icons and a blessing from the old mother. Andrii misses her, but does not want to return, although he feels the tightening heart of stuffiness. At night, he admires the sky and the stars.
The warriors tired of the day fell asleep. All but Andriy. He wandered around the kuren looking at the rich nature. Suddenly he accidentally notices a certain figure. A stranger is a woman in whom Andrii recognizes a Tatar who serves that soma pannochka, in which he was in love. Tatarka tells the young man about the terrible famine, about the pannochka, who has not eaten for many days. It turns out that pannochka saw Andrii among the soldiers and immediately remembered him. She told the servant to find Andria and ask him to transfer some bread, and if he does not agree, then let him come... just like that. Andriy immediately begins to search for stocks, but the Cossacks ate even cooked with a surplus porridge. Then the young Cossack neatly pulls out a bag of food from under Ostap, on which he slept. Ostap wakes up just for a moment and immediately falls asleep again.
Andrija is called by the father, warning, then the women will not finish it to the good. Kozak was neither dead nor alive, afraid to stumble, but Bulba quickly fell asleep.
Andrii goes along the underground passage, gets to the Catholic monastery, finding the priests for prayer. Zaporozhets is struck by the beauty and decoration of the cathedral, he is fascinated by the play of light in stained glass. He was particularly impressed by the music.
Kozak with the Tatar enter the city. Begins to grow light. Andrii sees a woman with a child who died in hunger torment. On the street appears a man crazy with hunger, praying to give him bread. Andrii fulfills the request, but the man, having swallowed a piece, dies – his stomach has not received food for too long. Tatarka admits that all the living things in the city have already been eaten, but the governor ordered not to surrender – not today, two Polish regiments arrive tomorrow.
The maid and Andrii enter the house. Where the young man sees the beloved. Pannochka became another: “she was a lovely, windy girl, this one – a beauty… in all her developed beauty”. Andriy and the Polish woman can not look at each other, the young man wanted to pronounce everything that was in his soul, but he could not. Meanwhile, the Tartar sliced bread and brought it – the panna started to eat, but Andriy warned her that it is better to eat in parts, otherwise you can die. And neither the words nor the pen of the painter could express the way the Polish woman looked at the Cossack. The feelings that took possession of the young man at that moment were so strong that Andrii renounced both his father and his faith, and from his country, he would do everything to serve the young panne.
In the room there is a Tatar with joyful news: the Poles entered the city and take Zaporozhye prisoners. Andrii kisses the pannock.
Zaporozhets decide to attack Dubno, avenge the captured comrades. Yankel tells Taras Bulba that he saw Andrii in the city. Kozak changed his outfit, gave him a good horse, and he himself shines like a coin. Taras Bulba was dumbfounded by what he heard, but still can not believe it. Then Yankel reports about the upcoming wedding of Andrius with his daughter Pan, when Andriy with the Polish army will drive the Cossacks from Dubno. Bulba is angry with a Jew, suspecting him of lying.
The next morning it turns out that many Zaporozhians were killed when they slept; a few dozen soldiers were taken prisoner from the Pereyaslav Kuren. The battle between the Cossacks and the Polish army begins. Zaporozhets try to break the enemy’s regiment into parts – so it will be easier to win.
One of the Kurat Atamans is killed in battle. Ostap takes revenge for the Cossack killed in battle. For showing bravery Cossacks choose him at the atamans. And immediately Ostap is given an opportunity to consolidate the glory of a wise leader: as soon as he ordered to retreat from the walls of the city, to keep from them as far as possible, all sorts of objects fell from there, and many got lost.
The battle is over. Zaporozhets Cossacks were buried, and the lyakhs’ bodies were tied to wild horses, so that the dead were dragged along the ground, along bumps, ditches and ravines. Taras Bulba wondered why among the soldiers there was not his youngest son. He is ready to cruelly take revenge on the pannock, because of which Andrii renounced everything that was dear to him. But what does Taras Bulba prepare for a new day?
From Sich comes disappointing news: during the absence of Cossacks Khortitsa attacked the Tatars. Koshevoy summons the council, referring to the Cossacks not as a boss, but as a comrade. Everyone approved the decision to follow the Tatars, to return the stolen goods. All except Taras Bulba. He pronounces a monologue in which he speaks of comradeship as the main Cossack value: one can not go after Tatars while their comrades are in Polish dungeons. And the cossacks agree with the cat, and Bulba. The oldest and most respected Cossack, Kasyan Bovdyug, came to the Council. He offered to share: who wants to take revenge on the Tatars, let him go with the koshev, and who wants to release the comrades from the Polish prison, let him stay with Taras Bulba.
Cossacks say goodbye to each other, raise toasts for faith and Sich. To the enemy did not see the loss in the Cossack army, it was decided to attack at night.
Because of incorrect calculations in the city again there is not enough food. Before the military leader, rumors about the Cossacks, who set out to take revenge on the Tatars, are getting ready for the battle.
The Poles admire the fighting skills of the Cossacks, but the Cossacks still suffer heavy losses – guns have been turned against them. Cossacks do not surrender, Bulba encourages them with the words “there is still gunpowder in the flasks.” Bulba sees her youngest son: Andriy rides on a black Argentoan as part of a Polish mounted regiment. Bulba was mad with anger, seeing how Andriy was chopping everybody – his own, and the strangers. Bulba catches up with a young man who, at the sight of his father, loses his fighting spirit. Andry dismounted from his horse. Before his death, the Cossack pronounced not the name of his mother or fatherland, but the name of his beloved Polish girl. The father kills his son with a shot, pronouncing the phrase, which became famous: “I gave birth to you, I will kill you!”.
The eldest son of Taras Bulba becomes an involuntary witness of the murder, but there is no time to grieve or understand: Ostap is attacked by Polish soldiers. Broken, but still alive, Ostap is captured by the lords.
Cossack army is greatly thinning, Taras Bulba falls from the horse.
Bulba is alive, he is being taken by the Cossack Tovkach to Zaporozhskaya Sich. In a month and a half Bulba was able to recover from his wounds. Everything is new in the Sich, the former Cossacks are no more, and those who went to war with the Tatars did not return. Surov, Taras Bulba was indifferent, did not participate in parties and general fun, he was burdened by the thoughts of his eldest son. Bulba asks Yankel to take him to Warsaw, despite the fact that Bulba’s head was given a reward of two thousand red coins. Taking the reward for the service, Yankel hides the Cossack at the bottom of the cart, laying the top with a brick.
Bulba asks the Jews to release their son from the dungeon – but it’s too late, because the next day appointed execution. You can only see him at dawn. Taras agrees. Yankel dresses the Cossack in foreign clothes, both enter the prison, where Yankel flatteres the guards. But Taras Bulba, touched by a replica of one of them, reveals his incognito.
Bulba demands to take him to the place of the execution of his son.
Zaporozhets went to execution with “quiet pride”, ahead was Ostap Bulbenko. Before his death, devoid of any hope of an answer, Ostap shouts to the crowd: “Father, where are you now: Do you hear me?”. And they answered him: “I hear!”
All the Sich gathered under the leadership of Taras Bulba, go Cossacks to Poland. Bulba became more cruel, and hatred of the Lamas only increased. With his Cossacks, he reached Krakow, leaving behind 18 burnt cities. Hetman Pototsky was instructed to seize Taras Bulba, which led to a bloody battle that lasted 4 days. The victory was close, but Taras Bulba was seized when he was looking for a lost cradle in the grass. He was burned at the stake.
Kozaks managed to escape, swimming on boats, they spoke and praised their ataman – the irreplaceable Taras Bulba.
The themes and problems raised in the work “Taras Bulba” will be relevant at all times. The story itself is fantastic, and the images are collective. Gogol successfully combines an easy language of writing, colorful characters, adventure plot with subtly written psychology. His characters are remembered and remain forever in memory. Reading “Taras Bulba” in the abbreviation, you can get information about the plot and the plot, but stunningly beautiful descriptions of nature, monologues, impregnated with the spirit of freedom and Cossack valor, will only be in the original work. In general, the story was warmly received by critics, although some moments were condemned.
Despite the above brief review of Taras Bulba by Gogol, we strongly recommend that you read the full text of the work.