The end of the 10s-20s of the last century is often called the “Pushkin era”. This is the time of the heyday of that noble culture, the symbol of which in our history became Pushkin. Traditional values are replaced by the influence of European enlightenment, but can not win. And life continues in the amazing plexus and confrontation between the old and the new. The rise of free thought – and the ritual of secular life, the dream of “becoming with the century on an equal footing” – and the patriarchal way of life of the Russian province, the poetry of life and its prose… Duality. The combination of bad and good in the peculiarities of noble life is a characteristic feature of the “Pushkin era.”
In the novel “Eugene Onegin”
Before us is the era seen by the eyes of the poet, through the eyes of a man of high culture, high demands on life. Therefore, the pictures of Russian reality are imbued with sympathy and dislike, warmth and estrangement. The author created the author’s image of the epoch, Pushkin’s Russia. There are traits in it, infinitely dear to Pushkin, and traits that are hostile to his understanding of the true values of life.
Petersburg, Moscow and the province – three different faces of the Pushkin era in the novel. The main thing that creates the individuality and originality of each of these worlds is the way of life. It seems that even time flows in Russia in different ways: in Petersburg – quickly, and in Moscow – slower, in the province and at all leisurely. The higher light of Petersburg, the noble society of Moscow, the provincial landowner’s “nests” live as if apart from each other. Of course, the way of life of the “hinterland”
Petersburg life appears to us brilliant and diverse. And her pictures are not limited in the novel by criticism of secular ritual, secured and meaningless existence. In the metropolitan life there is also poetry, the noise and brilliance of “restless youth,” the “boiling of passions,” the flight of inspiration… All this is created by the author’s presence, his special sense of peace. Love and friendship are the main values of the “Petersburg” youth of the author, the time, which he recalls in the novel. “Moscow… how much in this sound for the Russian heart has merged!”
These famous Pushkin lines, probably better than all critical articles, can convey the spirit of the ancient capital, the special warmth of its image in Eugene Onegin. Instead of the St. Petersburg classical lines, the splendor of white nights, strict embankments and luxurious palaces – the world of churches, the floor of country estates and gardens. Of course, the life of Moscow’s society is no less monotonous than the life of St. Petersburg’s light, moreover, it lacks the shine of the northern capital. But in the Moscow customs there are those domestic, patriarchal, primordially Russian features that soften the impression of “living rooms”. For the author, Moscow and the city, not submissive to Napoleon, a symbol of Russian glory. In this city, a national feeling involuntarily awakens in a person, the feeling of being part of a national destiny.
And what about the province? I live there and not at all in Europe. The life of the Larin family is a classic example of provincial simplicity. Life consists of ordinary sorrows and ordinary joys: economy, holidays, mutual visits. Tatyana’s name days from peasant namesakes differ, probably, only by a treat and character of dances. Of course, even in the province, monotony can “take prisoner” a person, turn life into existence. An example is the uncle of the protagonist. But still, how much in rural simplicity is the attraction, how fascinating! Solitude, peace, nature… It is no accident that the author begins to dream about “old times”, about new literature devoted to unpretentious, natural human feelings.
The Pushkin era is now remembered as the “golden age” of Russian culture. Complex, dramatic features of the “Alexander” time seem almost imperceptible, recede before the magic of Pushkin’s novel.