The questions of morality, the struggle between good and evil, are eternal. In any literature, we will find works in which they are somehow affected. Even after decades and centuries, we again and again refer to the images of Don Quixote, Hamlet, Faust and other heroes of world literature.
The problems of morality and spirituality, good and evil also excited the Russian writers. It was necessary to be a very brave person to speak as an unknown author of the “Lay of Igor’s Host” did; as did one of the first Russian preachers of Kiev-Pechersk Hegumen Theodosius, for which he brought upon himself princely anger. In later times, advanced Russian writers continued to realize themselves independent of the will of princes and kings. They understood their responsibility to the people and national history, felt themselves to be higher in their vocation than the powerful of this world. It is worth remembering Radishchev, Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Leo Tolstoy, Dostoevsky,
many other names of Russian writers of modern times.
At the present time, when we have just entered the twenty-first century, when in everyday life we literally have to deal with immorality and lack of spirituality at every step, we need, as never before, to address with all responsibility the lessons of morality.
In the books of the remarkable writer Ch. Aitmatov, the characters always look for their place in life. They are able “to ascend day by day to the radiant perfection of the spirit.” For example, in the novel “Scaffolding” the writer tried to “reflect the entire complexity of the world so that the reader along with him passed through spiritual spaces and rose to a higher level.”
The protagonist of the work is the son of priest Avdiy Kallistratov. According to the spiritual guides of the seminary, he is a heretic. Obadiah wants to bring kindness and justice to a world full of cruelty and indifference. He believes that he can influence the youths who gather anasha, cleanse their souls of callousness and indifference towards themselves and those who
are next to them. Obadiah tends to love and righteousness and does not at all guess which abyss of immorality, cruelty and hatred will open before him.
The meeting of the hero with the collectors of the anasha becomes a kind of test of strength and capabilities. Obadiah can try to convey to them the fair ideas of justice. But these ideas can not understand neither the leader of the “anashists” Grishan, nor his partners. They collect cannabis for money, and the rest is not important to them. They regard Obadiah as a crazy “priest-pop”, a stranger in their circle.
Obadiah naively believes that the main weapon in the struggle for human souls, for morality in relations between people is the word. But it gradually turns out that the “Anashists” and Ober-Kandalov speak with him in different languages. As a result, the Anashists throw him out of the train car, and the Ober-Kandalovs crucify on saxaul. With a naive faith in the possibility of purifying the world of evil and immorality with a sincere soulful word, Obadiah ascended to his block.
What makes a person turn off the right path? What are the reasons for the changes taking place with him? To my great regret, literature can not give an unambiguous answer to such questions. Literary work only represents typical manifestations of moral diseases of time. The main choice remains for us – real people living in real time.
Moral problems are a kind of second turn of the key in V. Bykov’s stories, which opens the door to the work, with the “first turn” being a minor military episode. Most of all the writer is interested in the circumstances in which a person should be guided not by a direct order, but exclusively by his moral principles. Ivanovsky (“To live until dawn”), Frost (“Obelisk”), Sotnikov (“Sotnikov”), Stepanida and Petrok (“Badge of Trouble”) – this is not a complete list of heroes Bykov, who are in a situation of moral choice and they come out of it with honor. Fades Ales Frost. But before his death, he “did more than if he killed a hundred Germans.” Sotnikov’s death turns out to be more honorable than the life bought by Rybak. Stepanida and Petroc die,
“The true indicator of civilization is not the level of wealth and education, not the size of cities, not the abundance of crops, but the appearance of man,” said R. Emerson. When we improve ourselves, we thereby improve the world around us. And it seems to me that only through moral development human society can reach the heights of perfection.