A magical land! There in the old years, Satire the brave lord, Fonvizin was blazing, a friend of freedom.
The bold master of satire, a great talent writer, a ruthless artist in his own right, Denis Ivanovich Fonvizin was the founder of Russian realism. “He started the most magnificent and, perhaps, the most socially fruitful line of Russian literature – a line of accusatory-realistic,” wrote Gorky. In his works Fonvizin masterfully exposed the vices of the ruling class, fought against the Russian autocracy, reflected the whole range of manners of the modern era, expressed a sharp rise in the national self-consciousness of people. His sharp observant glance marked all the unpleasant details of the surrounding reality: corruption and lawlessness of courts, the lowness of the moral image of the nobles, the favoritism favored by the higher authorities. All these vices of society were invariably subjected to his label of satire.
Even at the beginning of his
creative activity Fonvizin became friends with young progressive writers and publishers. The result of the dialogue with them was the poem “Message to my servants Shumilov, Vanka and Petrushka”, in which the foundations of the church doctrine and defenders of religion, preaching divine wisdom in the creation of peace and man, are derided. The author with open irony revealed the lies and hypocrisy of the statutes of official morality:
Priests try to deceive the people, Butler’s servants, gentlemen’s butlers, Friend of the Lord, and noble boyars Often, they want to deceive the Tsar; And everyone, to fill his pocket more tightly, For good, he decided to take up deception.
Fonvizin was interested not in demonstrating abstract vices, but in revealing the real life of representatives of the “noble class.” So, in the comedy “Brigadier” he shows the mental apathy and lack of spirituality prevailing in society, stupidity and cruelty, selfishness and debauchery. Behind the external decorum of the heroes lies the predatory shape of the owners, ready to gnaw each other’s
throats. Both the foreman and the counselor in the past were in the service. But the service was for them only a means to achieve a single goal – career growth, personal gain.
In the works of the satirist there is no artificial introduction of comic elements. Their object is real life, pure truth. The created images are typical, their language and behavior are fully consistent with the environment and the era. Bright picture of the wild
The deeds and arbitrariness of the local nobles are presented in the “Letters to Falalei.” According to the author’s opinion, the immoral behavior of heroes turns them into a kind of cattle, which is enhanced by blind passion for animals and along with this cruelty to serfs, whom they do not consider to be people.
Bewildering assessment of Catherine’s reign, exposing all his shortcomings, the writer also presents in the “Discourse on the indispensable state laws.” Here the author touches upon the question of the relationship between the people and the sovereign. He expresses his deep conviction that “he can not own others with glory, who can not control himself.”, Thereby making it clear that he does not approve of the policies and behavior of power. In his opinion, Catherine did not fulfill the main task of the ruler – she “did not introduce rules in the state,” without which there is no guarantee that she herself will not make her rule autocratic, tyrannical.
It is in thinking about the social and political life of the country that the idea of the main work of Fonvizin, the comedy “Nedorosl”, is born, the theme of which is the arbitrariness of landowners, approved by the highest authority, and the serfdom’s lack of rights. The author shows how slavery kills all human traits and dignity in peasants. At the same time, slavery corrupts the landlords themselves, who lose honor, humanity, become cruel executioners, tyrants and parasites.
However, the writer not only states the decline of the moral foundations of society – he is looking for the causes of this decline. “We see all the unfortunate consequences of bad education,” the author says in Starodum’s words and argues that only in the right education is the only source of society’s salvation from evil-spiritual degradation. Showing the pernicious consequences of slavery, the author convinces us of the need to combat cattle and simpletons in the name of saving society.
True son of his time, DI Fonvizin belonged to the number of advanced people of the XVIII century. Throughout his creative career, he asserted the high ideals of justice and humanism. In all his works, a manly protest against the injustice of autocracy, an angry denunciation of feudal abuse is sure to sound. And his daring and faithful weapon was a bold satire.