In the 20-ies. Stendhal creates several works that testify to the rapid development of the writer’s realistic talent. Among them, the novel “Vanina Vanini”, written in 1829, occupies a special place. The hero of this novel was the conspirator-carbonar, one of those whom the writer has often met during his stay in Italy. This is a passionate story about love and death, about duty and personal happiness.
The son of a village doctor, Pietro Missirilli, is a fighter for the liberation of his homeland from foreign invaders. It is an integral, pure, uncompromising and heroic personality.
Vanina Vanini is a girl from a rich aristocratic family, educated and possessing a strong character. She is bold, energetic, willful and intelligent.
Stendhal has always attracted strong and integral characters. Exclusivity Pietro and Vanina, their obsession and passion externally bring together the heroes of the writer with the heroes of works of romantics. Also extraordinary and romantic are the circumstances under which the characters of Stendhal meet. Vanina selflessly takes care of the wounded Pietro, who escaped from confinement in women’s clothes. Young people fall in love with each other, and Vanina believes that no one and nothing can hinder their happiness. Vanina is not able to appreciate the greatness of the victims, which Pietro can go for the liberation of his homeland. She is quite perceptive and well aware of the doom of the Carbonari struggle.
The emerging psychological and political collisions are the most dramatic moments in the story of Stendhal. However, unlike romantics, the writer focuses readers’ attention on the decisive significance of the environment in which his heroes grew up. Stendhal shows what an insurmountable wall arises between them on the basis of different social origins and different social perceptions of duty, honor and homeland. Authentic psychological details clearly determine the behavior of the characters. Hoping to return the beloved, taken away from her conspiracy patriots and deliberately doomed to death, Vanin did not hesitate, without a trace of embarrassment goes on betrayal in the name of love. And he suffers a moral defeat. Pietro’s love for Vanina turns into burning hatred.
Compositionally clear, fascinating plot sharpness, tragically heroic novella of Stendhal “Vanina Vanini” is one of the recognized peaks of French novelism of the XIX century.