Summary of Leo Tolstoy’s story “Childhood”
August 12, 18 ** ten years old Nikolenka Irtenev wakes up on the third day after her birthday at seven o’clock in the morning. After the morning toilet, the teacher Karl Ivanych leads Nicholas and his brother Volodya to greet the mother who pours tea in the living room, and with her father giving economic instructions to the clerk in his office. Nicholas has a clear and clear love for her parents, he admires them, making for himself accurate observations: “… in one smile is what is called the beauty of the face: if the smile adds charm to the person, it is fine, if it does not change him, then the face is ordinary, if it spoils it, then it is bad. ” For Nicholas the mother’s face is beautiful, angelic. The father, in view of his seriousness and severity, seems to the child a mysterious but indisputably beautiful person who ” Everybody likes it without exception. “The father announces to the boys about his decision – tomorrow he takes them
The next day at twelve o’clock the carriage and brichka stand at the entrance. Everyone is busy preparing for the road, and Nikolenka is especially keenly aware of the inconsequence of the importance of the last minutes before parting and the general fuss that reigns in the house. The whole family gathers in the living room around the round table. Nicholas embraces her mother, cries and does not think about anything, except her grief. Having left on the big road, Nikolenka waves his mother with a handkerchief, continues to cry and notices how tears give him “pleasure and joy.” He thinks of his mother, and all the memories of Nikolenka are imbued with love for her.
For a month my father and his children live in Moscow, in his grandmother’s house. Although Karl Ivanovich is also taken to Moscow, the children are taught by new teachers. On the birthday of her grandmother, Nikolenka writes her first poems, which are read in public, and Nikolenka is especially worried about this moment. He meets new people: Princess Kornakova, Prince Ivan Ivanych, relatives of Ivin – three boys, almost the same age as Nikolenka. When communicating with these people, Nicholas develops its main qualities: a natural subtle observation, a contradiction in one’s own feelings. Nicholas often looks in the mirror and can not imagine that someone can love him. Before bedtime, Nikolenka shares her feelings with her brother Volodya, admits that he loves Sonechka Walakhin, and in his words all the childish genuine passion of his nature is manifested. He admits: “…
Six months later, the father receives from the village a letter from her mother about the fact that she had caught a bad cold during the walk, has fallen ill, and her strength is melting every day. She asks to come and bring Volodya and Nikolenka. Without delay, the father and his sons leave Moscow. The most terrible forebodings are confirmed – the last six days the mother is no longer up. She can not even say good-bye to the children – her open eyes do not see anything anymore… Mama dies the same day in terrible suffering, having only asked for blessings for the children: “Mother of God, do not leave them!”
The next day, Nikolenka sees her mother in the coffin and can not be reconciled to the idea that this yellow and waxy face belongs to the one whom he loved most in life. A peasant girl who is brought to the deceased, terribly screams in horror, screams and runs out of the room Nicholas, struck with bitter truth and despair at the inscrutability of death.
Three days after the funeral, the whole house moved to Moscow, and with the death of his mother for Nikolenka the happy time of childhood ends. Coming to the village later, he always comes to the grave of my mother, near which they buried Natalya Savishna, faithful to their last days, to their house.