The poem “The Bronze Horseman” is a narrative about the tragic fate of a simple inhabitant of St. Petersburg who lost his beloved girl during the flood, and along with it all dreams and hopes for a future life.
In “The Bronze Horseman” Pushkin raises the theme of “little man” and the theme of the role of Peter I in the fate of Russia. The main conflict of the work is the confrontation between the individual and the authorities. For a general overview of the work, we suggest that you read the online summary “The Bronze Horseman”, performed by an experienced literature teacher.
Eugene is a poor official who dreams of a family, a calm, measured life. He is going crazy, unable to reconcile himself to the death of his beloved girl during the flood.
Peter I – reviving in the imagination of Eugene the image of a monument to the tsar.
Parasha – the lover of Eugene, who perishes during the flood in St. Petersburg.
The author says that the story he told is based on “the truth,” and he drew information about the flood from the journals of the time he is writing about.
At the deserted banks of the Neva stood once Peter I, thinking about the time when the city will be founded here:
“Nature here is destined for us to
cut through the window to Europe.”
The narrator proceeds to the story of a difficult time, the memory of which is still fresh.
Late on a rainy evening in November, a hero named Eugene returned home from the guests.
Lives in Kolomna, somewhere serves,
Dychitsya nobles and does not tuzhit
Neither about the resting relatives,
nor about the forgotten old times.”
Heavy thoughts about poverty, about his life, which still deserve “independence and honor,” prevent him from falling asleep. In addition, because of the bad weather, the water in the Neva was rising and, most likely, already washed off the bridges – now Eugene can not see his beloved girl Parasha, who lives “near the Gulf”, on the other shore for several days. Eugene dreamed of life with Parasha, about their future together and, finally, fell asleep.
The day was terrible:
“Neva swelled and roared,
And suddenly, like a beast furious,
On the city rushed.”
The squares turned into lakes, and in them “the broad rivers poured in the streets.” Water destroyed houses and carried away people, fragments of dwellings, bridges – everything that met on the way.
On the marble lion, near one of the city’s new wealthy houses, Eugene sat motionless among the general chaos. He did not see or hear the wind, nor the rain, beating over his face-he was worried about the fate of his beloved. The young man looked in despair at the places where, “like mountains, waves rose from indignant depths, a storm drifted, fragments rushed” – to where Parasha lived with her mother. It seemed to the hero that he saw both the unpainted fence and their shabby shack.
Eugene was sitting, unable to move. Around everywhere there was water, and in front of him – facing back to him “an idol on a bronze horse”. The monument to Peter I towered above the raging Neva.
At last the water began to subside. Eugene, “dying in peace, in hope, fear and longing”, hiring a carrier, floats to his beloved. Going ashore, the hero runs to the house where Parasha lived, he does not believe the eyes, walks again and again around the place where the girl lived, and does not find her home – he is washed away by the Neva. “Full of gloomy care,” Eugene loudly speaks to himself, and then laughs.
The next day has come, the Neva has calmed down, the city has returned to former life. Residents went to the service, the trade resumed.
Only Eugene could not bear the death of his beloved, his “confused mind” could not stand the shock. Busy with gloomy thoughts, he wandered around the city, not returning home. So passed the first week, then a month. The young man slept where he had to, and fed on alms. Sometimes, the children threw stones after him, he was beaten by the whip of the coachmen, when he, without analyzing the road, almost got under the wheels of the carts. An internal alarm consumed him.
“And so he
lost his wretched age, no beast or man,
Neither one thing, nor the inhabitant of the world,
No ghost dead…”
One day at the end of summer, spending the night near the Neva pier, Eugene was roused by advancing ravages. It was raining, the wind howled, the Neva was boiling. Remembering the horror of the flood, the hero began to wander the streets. Fear suddenly stopped – he found himself near the house, where he was rescued from the raging river on the night of the death of Parasha. On the porch of a large new house, still there were statues of lions, and nearby stood Pyotr on a bronze horse. Eugene also recognized the place where the “Flood played”, and the lions, and that “whose will was the fatal under the sea city was founded.” It is Peter who is responsible for his grief.
He clenched his teeth, clenched his fingers, shivered with overwhelming anger, looked into Peter’s eyes and whispered with a threat: “You’re already there!” And suddenly he rushed away: to the hero it seemed that the king’s face flared with anger and the rider began to turn in his direction. All night Evgenie escaped from the alleged persecution of Peter – wherever he folded, everywhere he heard the tramping of horse hoofs of the revived “brass rider”.
Ever since, when Eugene was near the monument, he humbly lowered his eyes, took off his cap and pressed his hand to his heart, “as if to subdue his flour.”
The hero could not survive the loss and recover. Dead “madman” Eugene found in the spring at the threshold of a shabby shack, which flooded into a deserted island off the seashore. Here, on the island, he was buried.
Telling the story of Eugene, the author leads us to the conclusion that the contradictions between the authorities and small people do not disappear and are not resolved – they are always tragically interrelated. Pushkin for the first time in Russian literature showed the insolubility between the state interests and the interests of the common man. That is why the images of the main characters in the author’s image are ambiguous: we see Peter – the transformer and Peter the autocrat, Eugene – a petty official and a rebel, outraged by the actions of the king himself.
After reading the retelling of the Bronze Horseman, the reader is ready to perceive the unique Pushkin images and language of the poem.