The great Russian poet M. Yu. Lermontov can rightfully be called a poet of the past and the present. The historical theme, the theme of the generation change,
The manners, traditions, foundations are one of the most important in his work. And if in the representatives of the past generations he saw a role model, an example of strength, courage, patriotism, great ideas and an active striving for the goal, then contemporary, and furthermore future generations, he has doubts and sadness.
To the historical themes of Lermontov lead frequent and disappointing thoughts about the fate of his generation. The poet is called and beckons “the ages of the leaking giants,” since in his contemporary life he does not see either strong people or decisive actions:
Not that the present tribe:
Bogatyri – not you!
But the author does not blame the young generation for passivity, apathy, pessimism. It’s not the fault, it’s the tragedy of the generation, who had to live in a difficult, unstable time. After the defeat of the Decembrists, virtually all activities became impossible. In this regard, people appear a natural desire to close themselves, to escape from real life in a world of dreams and fantasies. M. Yu. Lermontov himself refers to this generation, therefore his works are most often not the arguments of an outside observer, but the revelations of a person who is experiencing all the contradictions and difficulties of the time. Young people, Lermontov’s contemporaries are basically clever, educated, talented people, who have an ardent heart, a desire for freedom and happiness. But in the poem “Monologue” the poet writes,
Why deep knowledge, the thirst for glory, Talent and the passionate love of freedom,
When we can not use them?
Like the winter sun on a gray sky,
So our life is cloudy. So not for long Her monotonous flow…
And it feels stifling in the homeland,
And my heart is heavy, and my heart yearns…
Not knowing neither love, nor friendship sweet,
Among the storms of the empty our youth languishes,
And the venom of her poison darkens quickly,
And to us the bitter cold life is a cup;
And there is nothing to cheer the soul.
The image of those whose youth languished “in the midst of storms of the empty,” whose short, monotonous and cloudy life is similar to “the winter sun on the gray horizon,” serves as a reproach not only to the generation of the poet’s contemporaries, but to the existing reality that kills any high aspirations and dreams.
One of the most brilliant works of Lermontov, devoted to reflections on the fate of his generation, is the Duma, written in 1838. In this poem I feel pain and resentment of the author for young people, deprived of the opportunity not only to act, but also to feel:
Sadly I look at our generation!
His future – il is empty, il dark,
Meanwhile, under the burden of knowing and doubting,
In inaction, it will grow old.
Even the best representatives of the youth of the 1830s did not know how and where to put their efforts. As a result, many of them became indifferent to everything, indifferent and passive:
And life is already tormenting us, as an even path without a goal,
As a feast on the holiday of someone else’s.
Young people “wither without struggle”, while “fire boils in the blood” – the desire for active life. Thus, the author shows an irreconcilable contradiction between reason and passion:
And reigns in the soul of some cold secret, When the fire is boiling in the blood.
Accusing passive environment and time, Lermontov does not justify his generation. He condemns his inactivity and emptiness in an age when the struggle is most needed. The poet is upset that many of his contemporaries live “by the errors of the fathers and their late mind.” The author expresses confidence that freedom does not come by itself: it is necessary to fight for it, for it it is not terrible even to go to hard labor or die. He can not resign himself to the fact that the people of his generation live without any purpose, submissively bow their heads to the dark forces of reaction:
To good and evil are shamefully indifferent,
At the beginning of the field, we fade without struggle,
Before the danger shamefully cowardly And before the authorities – despicable slaves.
Inactivity and passivity of these people ruin both the mind, and knowledge, and the ability to appreciate and understand the beautiful. Idle, joyless life deprives the soul of any feelings, so the poet’s contemporaries also hate; and love “accidentally,” “without sacrificing either malice or love.”
This generation is aged not only physically, but, first of all, spiritually. Their “smooth path without a goal” – this is the result of indifference, the absence of life anxieties and unrest. Morally devastated, lost integrity ideology, they are no longer capable of labor and a feat.
In the ardent heart of the poet there always lived a bright dream of a better future. But, seeing the reality that exists to him, the emptiness of souls, the gray vegetation of the country in which he was born, Lermontov involuntarily began to experience outrage, mixed with longing and despair. He dreamed of happiness, of struggle, of constant progress, but only saw the slow death of his generation in indifference, inactivity, sad silence. M. Yu. Lermontov strictly judges his contemporaries, passing them a severe sentence.
In his poems, dedicated to the fate of the generation of the 30s of the XIX century, he regrets that the best forces of contemporaries are dying. But he also condemns them for their inaction, foretells them the inglorious demise and contempt of the descendants:
A crowd of sullen and soon forgotten. Above the world we will pass without noise and a trace,
Not having thrown to the centuries neither thought prolific,
Neither the genius of the work.
And our dust, with the severity of a judge and a citizen,
A descendant will be offended by a contemptuous verse,
The mockery of the bitter deceived son
A spoiled father.
The poet also worried that in this soulless world, the lofty purpose of poetry is lost. A fiery lyre can no longer penetrate the souls that are seized by the deadly cold. The poet, the prophet, God’s chosen one is doomed to misunderstanding and oblivion. And he himself is aware of this, why his attitude is even more tragic:
Will you wake again, mocked prophet? Or never, on the voice of the Mstenya,
From a gold sheath you will not pull out your blade, Covered with rust of contempt?
Yes, Lermontov’s worldview, his views on the future of the generation and the country were bleak. However, his very work, poetry, imbued with a desire for active activity, to fight, singled it out of time, from the generation of his contemporaries. “Without noise and a trace” – this is not about him, as the lyrics of this remarkable poet left a deep mark in the history of world literature. She lived and continues to live until now, waking hearts and lighting them with a thirst for active, free life.