Sholokhov himself said: “In it I want to show our people, our people, the sources of his heroism.” I believe that it is my duty, the duty of the Russian writer, to go on the hot trail of his people in his gigantic struggle against foreign domination and create a work of art of the same historical significance as the struggle itself. “
In the novel, the fate of three modest rank-and-file people – the miner Peter Lopakhin, the combine operator Ivan Zvyagintsev, the agronomist Nikolai Streltsov – is multifaceted. Very different in character, they are connected at the front by male friendship and unlimited devotion to the Motherland. Nikolai Streltsov is oppressed by the retreat of his regiment and personal grief: before the war the wife left, the children left the old mother. This does not prevent him from heroically fighting.
In battle, he was shell-shocked and deaf, but escapes from the hospital to the regiment, in which after the fighting there
were only twenty-seven people: “The blood from my ears ceased to go, the nausea almost stopped, what would I lie there for. And then, I’m just I could not stay there. “The regiment was in a very difficult situation, there was not much left for you, how could I not come? You can fight alongside your comrades with a deaf person, is not it Petya?”
Peter Lopakhin “.. I wanted to hug and kiss Streltsov, but my throat suddenly contracted a hot spasm.” Ivan Zvyagintsev, before the war, a combine operator, a hero, a simple-hearted man, seeks to console Streltsov, complaining to himself about his allegedly unsuccessful family life. Sholokhov describes this story with humor. The words of the commander of the division Marchenko – “let the enemy triumph temporarily, but the victory will be ours” – reflected the optimistic idea of the novel, its chapters, published in 1949.
Sholokhov’s meeting with General Lukin led to the appearance in the novel of a new hero – General Streltsov, brother Nikolai Streltsov. In 1936, Lukin was repressed, in
1941, released, restored in rank and sent to the army. The 19th Army of Lukin took on the attack of the 3rd Goth Tank Group and some of the divisions of the 9th Strauss Army west of Vyazma. Within a week Lukin’s army held back the Germans’ offensive. General Lukin was seriously wounded and taken prisoner during the battle. He courageously endured all the hardships of captivity.
In the novel, General Streltsov, who returned from “places not so distant” to his brother’s house, rests. Suddenly he was summoned to Moscow: “Georgy Zhukov remembered me! What, then, will serve the Motherland and our Communist Party!” Strong emotional impact is produced by all battle episodes. Here we see how “one hundred and seventeen fighters and commanders – the remnants of brutally battered in the last battles of the regiment – walked in a closed column”, as the soldiers retained the regimental banner.
Lopakhin is seriously worried about the death of the heroically battled lieutenant Goloshchekov. Sergeant-Major Popryschenko said at the grave of Goloshchekov: “Maybe you, too, Comrade Lieutenant, will still hear our gait.” With admiration, Lopakhin talks about Kochetygov: “How did he set the tank on fire?” The tank had already crushed him, he was half asleep, he crushed his chest all the way, he saw blood from his mouth, I saw it myself, and he got up in the trench, dead, rose on and threw a bottle, and lit it! “
Warm feelings are caused by the cook Lisichenko, who uses every opportunity to be on the front line. Lopakhin asks him: “where is the kitchen and what are we going to eat by your grace today?” Lisichenko explains that he made fueling of the boiler with soup and left two wounded for soup to look after. “I’ll fight you a little, I’ll support you, and it’s time to dine – I’ll crawl into the forest, and hot food will be delivered if possible!” Lopakhin during the battle hit a tank and shot down a heavy bomber. Streltsov at retreat is experiencing: “… how eyes escort us residents.” Lopakhin, too, is experiencing this, but replies: “They beat us?” So, they are hitting it for good, fight better, you sons of bitches! “
Combiner Zvyagintsev for the first time sees burning ripe bread in the steppe space. His soul “missed”. He says with a spike: “My dear, how you have gotten yourself into smoke!” It smells of you like smoke from a gypsy, that’s what the damned German, his stout soul, did with you. “
The descriptions of nature in the novel are tied to the military situation. For example, before the eyes of Streltsov stands a dead young gunner, who fell
Between the flowering sunflowers: “Maybe it was beautiful, but in the war, external beauty looks blasphemous.” It is appropriate to recall one meeting between Sholokhov and Stalin, held May 21, 1942, when Sholokhov came from the front to celebrate his birthday. Stalin invited Sholokhov to his place and advised him to create a novel in which “the soldiers and the brilliant generals, participants in the present terrible war,” depicted both heroes and heroes. ” In 1951, Sholokhov admits that “the image of the great commander does not work.”
According to the novel “They fought for their Motherland” S. Bondarchuk staged a film approved by Sholokhov himself. Talent Sholokhov fully manifested itself in this novel, which finds a wide readership demand and educates people in patriotism.