Summary “Snowstorm”

Pushkin’s story “The Snowstorm” was written in 1830 in Boldino. The story was the last product of the prosaic cycle “The Tale of Belkin,” published in St. Petersburg in 1831. The story “Snowstorm” is written in the traditions of the literary realism direction.

The events of the work cover a period of time from 1811 to 1816. It mentions the Patriotic War of 1812, the Battle of Borodino, the capture of Moscow by Napoleon and the entry of Russians into Paris. The plot of “Snowstorm” echoes the plot of V. Zhukovsky’s ballad “Svetlana”, a passage from which Pushkin was taken to the epigraph of the story.

Main characters

Marya Gavrilovna – “a slender, pale and seventeen-year-old girl”, was considered a rich bride. By mistake was married to Burmin.

Burmin – a hussar colonel of twenty-six years, “with George in his buttonhole and with an interesting pallor,”

with her mistaken Marya got married in Zhadrino during a violent blizzard, and then fell in love with him.

Other characters

Vladimir Nikolayevich – poor army ensign, beloved Marya Gavrilovna, with whom she was going to be married in Zhadrino.

Gavrila Gavrilovich R ** is Maria Gavrilovna’s father.

Praskovya Petrovna is Marya Gavrilovna’s mother.


The end of 1811. Gavrila Gavrilovich R **, owner of the estate Nenaradova, hospitable and hospitable host, often hosted neighbors, many of whom came to see his daughter – Marya Gavrilovna. Raised in French novels, the girl was in love with poor ensign Vladimir Nikolaevich. Mary’s parents were against their relationship, so the lovers secretly met, “were in correspondence.” According to the laws of French novels, they decided to marry in secret, and then rush to their parents’ feet, which will be touched by their constancy, will be forgiven and blessed.

By appointment on the appointed day, Mary will have to go out at night to the garden through the back porch, sit down in

the sled already prepared by Vladimir and go to the village of Zhadrino, where the beloved will be waiting for her in the church.

On the eve of the escape, Mary did not sleep all night, collected things, wrote farewell letters to friends and parents. Before dawn, the girl dozed off, but woke up from frightening visions: it seemed to her that the father had discovered the escape and, as punishment, threw her into the dark dungeon, and after the girl the bloody, dying Vladimir had come to him. On the night of the escape, “there was a blizzard in the yard, the wind was howling, the shutters were shaking and banging.” As was agreed, the girl sat in the sleighs sent to her beloved and went to Zhadrino.

Vladimir spent the day before the wedding in business: agreed with the priest of Jadrin, met with a friend and went to the wedding in the evening. However, in the field of the hero caught a violent blizzard, he lost his way and left for Zhadrino only at dawn. The church was already locked.

The next morning, Marya as usual went to her parents. In the evening the girl suddenly felt sick, “a violent fever was opened” and she “was at the edge of the coffin for two weeks”. Nobody knew about the escape in the house, “but Marya Gavrilovna herself expressed her secret in her delirium,” however, her words were incoherent, so the mother understood only that her daughter was “deadly in love with Vladimir Nikolaevich.”

After consulting, Gavrila Gavrilovich and Praskovya Petrovna decided to approve the choice of the girl. Parents informed Vladimir of his consent to the marriage. However, to their surprise in response, the young man sent a “half-crazy letter” in which he said that he would never appear in their house and asked to forget about him. Soon Vladimir went to the army. “It was in 1812”. After the incident, Mary never thought of Vladimir, only once he saw his name among the wounded near Borodin, fainted.

Soon Gavrila Gavrilovich died, leaving Mary the heiress of the whole estate. The daughter and mother moved to the *** estate. “The daughters were spinning” around Mary, but she did not give any hope. The girl took care of everything that reminded her of a former lover who by that time had died in Moscow.

After the brilliant victory of the Russians over Napoleon, the wounded colonel Burmin comes to the neighboring estate. The man begins to take care of the girl, their sympathy is mutual, however Marya can not understand in any way what keeps him from recognition. At this time, all neighbors have long talked about their wedding, “as a business already over.”

Finally Burmin decided to admit Marya in feelings. The man says that he is passionately in love with the girl, but he has a terrible secret that can become an “insurmountable obstacle” between them: “I have been married for the fourth year and I do not know who my wife is, or where she is, and whether she should meet her someday”.

As it turned out, in 1812 a man went to Vilna to his regiment. At one of the stations a violent blizzard began, but “an incomprehensible concern seized” him, and the man went to the very storm. On the way the driver lost his way and, guided by the light, they drove to the wooden church. In the temple, Burmina was mistaken for the groom and, having considered the bride pretty, because of his “incomprehensible, inexcusably windy” agreed to get married. However, when they were told to kiss after the end of the ritual, the girl suddenly cried out: “Ah, not he, not he!” and fainted. Burmin quickly left the church and left without hindrance.

Worried Marya asked if he did not know what had happened to his wife, but Burmin did not even remember the name of the station with which he was traveling.

“My God, my God,” said Marya Gavrilovna, grabbing his hand, “it was you, and you do not recognize me?”
Burmin paled… and rushed to her feet… “


In the story “The Snowstorm” Pushkin, using the example of the happy history of Marya Gavrilovna and Burmina, revealed the topic of the significance of unknown, otherworldly, mystical forces and the case in human life. The embodiment of this mystical beginning in the work is a blizzard, which literally “reduces” completely strangers, helping them to find love and happiness.

We recommend not to be limited to a short retelling of “Snowstorm”, but to read the whole cycle of “The Stories of the late Ivan Petrovich Belkin” in full version.

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Summary “Snowstorm”