Summary “Last Bow” by Astafiev

Summary “Last Bow” by Astafiev

The theme of the village, like the theme of the war, Astafyev devoted a lot of his works, and “The Last Bow” is one of them. It is written in the form of a great story, composed of separate stories, which have a biographical character, where Astafiev Victor Petrovich described his childhood and life. These memories are not built in a consistent chain, they are imprinted in separate episodes. However, this book and a collection of stories is difficult to name, since everything there is united by one theme.

Victor Astafiev “The last bow” dedicates to the Motherland in his own understanding. This is his village and native land with wild nature, a harsh climate, a powerful Yenisei, beautiful mountains and thick taiga. And he describes all this very original and

touching, in fact, about this and the book. Astafiev “The Last Bow” was created as an epoch-making work, which touches upon the problems of ordinary people of not one generation in very difficult turning-points.


The protagonist Vitya Potylitsyn is an orphan boy raised by his grandmother. His father drank and drank a lot, eventually abandoned his family and went to the city. And Vitya’s mother drowned in the Yenisei. The life of the boy, in principle, did not differ from the life of other village children. He helped the elders in the household, went about mushrooms and berries, went fishing, and was amused, like all peers. So you can start a short summary. “Last Bow” Astafiev, I must say, embodied in Catherine Petrovna a collective image of Russian grandmothers, in which everything is originally native, hereditary, forever given. The author does not embellish anything in it, he makes her a little formidable, grouchy, with a constant desire to know everything first and to dispose of everything on her own. In a word, “the general in a skirt”. She loves everyone, cares for everyone, everybody wants to be useful.

She is constantly worried and tormented for children and grandchildren, because of this, anger and tears break out alternately. But if the grandmother begins to

talk about life, it turns out, and there was no misfortune for her at all. Children were always in joy. Even when sick, she skillfully treated them with different broths and roots. And none of them died, is not this happiness? One day she plucked her arm in the plowland and immediately straightened it, but she could remain a spinster, but she did not, and this is also a joy.

This is the common feature of Russian grandmothers. And there lives in this image something gracious for life, native, lullaby and life-giving.

Turn in destiny

Then it’s not so much fun as it first describes the village life of the main character, a short summary. “Last bow” Astafiev continues that in Vitka suddenly comes a bad band in life. Since there was no school in the village, he was sent to the city to his father and stepmother. And then Astafiev Viktor Petrovich remembers his torment, exile, hunger, orphanhood and homelessness.

How could Vitka Potylitsyn then be aware of something or blame someone for his misfortunes? He lived as he could to escape death, and even managed to be happy at some point. The author here pities not only himself, but all the young generation of the time, who was forced to survive in suffering.

Vitka later realized that he got out of all this only thanks to the saving prayers of his grandmother, who at a distance felt with all his heart his pain and loneliness. She also softened his soul, having taught patience, forgiveness and the ability to discern in the black mist even a small grain of good and be thankful for it.

Survival School

In the post-revolutionary period, Siberian villages were subjected to dekulakization. All around was ruin. Thousands of families turned out to be homeless, many were taken to penal servitude. Having moved to his father and stepmother, who lived on casual incomes and drank a lot, Vitka immediately understands that no one needs. Soon he experiences conflicts in school, father’s betrayal and oblivion of relatives. This is the summary. “Last nod,” Astafiev tells us further that after the village and grandmother’s house, where, perhaps, there was no prosperity, but there was always comfort and love, the boy finds himself in a world of loneliness and heartlessness. He becomes rude, and his actions are cruel, but nevertheless grandmother’s upbringing and love of books will later bear fruit.

For now, an orphanage is waiting for him, and this only briefly describes the summary. Astafiev’s “last nod” very fully illustrates all the burdens of the life of a poor teenager, including his studies at a factory factory course, going to war and, finally, returning.


After the war, Victor immediately went to the village to his grandmother. He really wanted to meet her, because she became his only and most dear person in the whole world. He walked through the kitchen gardens, clinging to his rapids, his heart sank violently in his chest with excitement. Victor made his way to the bathhouse, on which the roof had already fallen, everything had long been without owner’s attention, and then he saw under the kitchen window a small pile of firewood. This indicated that someone lives in the house.

Before entering the hut, he suddenly stopped. Victor’s throat is dry. Gathering in the spirit, the guy quietly, timidly, literally tiptoed into his hut and saw how his grandmother, just like in the old days, was sitting on a bench near the window and winding the threads into a ball.

Minutes of oblivion

The protagonist thought to himself that during this time the storm flew over the whole world, millions of human lives were messed up, there was a deadly fight with the hatred of fascism, new states were formed, and then everything was as if time had passed. The same cotton curtain is in speckles, a neat wooden wall cupboard, cast-iron stoves, etc. Only it did not smell the usual cow swill, boiled potatoes and sauerkraut.

Grandmother Ekaterina Petrovna, seeing the long-awaited grandson, was very happy and asked him to come closer to embrace and cross. Her voice remained as kind and gentle as if her grandson had returned from the war, but from fishing or from the forest, where he could stay with his grandfather.

Long-awaited meeting

The soldier returning from the war thought that perhaps his grandmother might not recognize him, but it was not there. Seeing him, the old woman wanted to stand up sharply, but her weak legs prevented her from doing this, and she began to stick her hands to the table.

My grandmother had grown old. However, she was very happy to see her beloved grandson. And I was glad that, at last, I waited. She looked at him for a long time and did not believe in her eyes. And then she said that she prayed for him day and night, and for the sake of meeting her beloved granddaughter, she also lived. Only now, waiting for him, my grandmother could die peacefully. She was already 86 years old, so she asked her grandson to come to her funeral.

Depressing melancholy

That’s all the summary. “Last bow” Astafiev ends with the fact that Victor went to work in the Urals. The hero received a telegram about the death of his grandmother, but he was not released from work, referring to the charter of the enterprise. At that time they let go only to the funeral of their father or mother. Management and know did not want that the grandmother was replacing him both parents. So Victor Petrovich did not go to the funeral, which he then very much regretted all his life. He thought that if this happened now, he would simply have fled or crept crawly from the Urals to Siberia, only to close her eyes. So all the time and lived in him this wine, quiet, oppressive, eternal. However, he understood that his grandmother forgave him, because she loved her grandson very much.

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Summary “Last Bow” by Astafiev