Summary “The Dowry”

Ostrovsky’s play “The Dowry” was written in 1874 – 1878. The premiere of the play took place in the autumn of 1878. The play is a vivid example of psychological realism in Russian literature. In “The Dowry” Ostrovsky brought to the fore the conflict between the material world, the world of money and the spiritual, the world of love. The leading theme of the play is the theme of “little people”.

We propose to read the summary of the “Bride” on the actions performed by the teacher of Russian literature.

Main characters

Larisa Dmitrievna – The bridegroom, daughter of Ogudalova, is a very beautiful young girl who sings beautifully and can play several instruments.

Sergei Sergeevich Paratov – “a brilliant gentleman from shipowners, for 30 years,” a calculating man, whom Larissa unrequitedly loved.

Julius Kapitonych Karandyshev – “a young man, a poor official”,

a man with a painful sense of dignity, the bride of Larisa, who at the end of the work shot a girl.

Other characters

Vasiliy Danilych Vozhevatov – “A very young man, one of the representatives of a rich trading company,” for whom money is the most important in his life, he is familiar with Larisa from a young age.

Moky Parmevych Knurov – “of the big dealers of recent times, an elderly man, with a huge fortune,” a married man who wants to become a “friend” – the patron of Larisa.

Harita Ignatyevna Ogudalova – “middle-aged widow”, mother of Larissa, loves “to have fun”, the necessary means begs the daughter of her suitors.

Robinson is an actor who came with Paratov.

Gavrilo – “the custodian of coffee on the boulevard.”

Ivan is a “servant in the coffee shop.”

Action first
Phenomenon 1

The play takes place in the big city of Bryakhimov on the Volga. The action begins on the City Boulevard near the coffee shop.


Vozhevatov tells Knurov that he was going to buy a steamer called “Swallow” from Paratov, but everything can not wait for Sergei Sergeyevich. Gavrilo assures Vasily Danilych that Paratov will definitely come, since the best in the city has already been prepared for him.

Vozhevatov manages to give them champagne in tea sets and “for tea” tells Knurov that the well-known beauty in the city, Larissa Dmitrievna, is married to Karandyshev. Knurov surprised, because Karandyshev girl is not a couple. Vozhevatov explained that Larisa Dmitrievna had agreed to a modest marriage after she survived last year’s passion for Paratov, who, having beaten all her suitors, did not know where he had disappeared. After him, “an old man with a gout”, an eternally drunk manager of some prince and a cashier who arranged a scandal for them at home, were invited. Unable to withstand, Larisa Dmitrievna said that she would marry the first one to woo. For a long time Karandyshev, who was in their house, “and here as here” with a proposal and now “happy, shines like an orange.” Knurov feels sorry for Larisa Dmitrievna, saying that she “

Phenomenon 3

Karandyshev and Larisa with their mother join the men. At tea, Karandyshev, who is very important, approaches Knurov and Vozhevatov on equal terms, inviting them to his place for dinner today. Harita Ignatyevna explains that this dinner is arranged for Larisa.

Phenomenon 4

Left alone with Larissa Dmitrievna, Karandyshev accuses the girl of excessive liberty while talking with Vozhevatov. A man calls the house of the Ogudalovs “a gypsy camp”, which brings the girl to tears.

Larissa says that in their “tabor” there were also noble people – such as Sergei Sergeevich Paratov. Karandyshev, who treats Paratov with dislike, asks him what is worse than Sergei Sergeevich. Larisa Dmitrievna answers that Paratov is “the ideal of a man”. Suddenly a cannon shot. Larisa Dmitrievna is frightened and asks to take her away.

Phenomena 5 – 6

Paratov was not in town for a year. Sergei Sergeyevich arrived accompanied by Robinson – provincial actor Schastlivtsev Arcadia. Paratov somehow picked him up from an uninhabited island, to which Arkady and his friend had landed after they had arranged a rowdy on the steamer. Knurov is interested in whether Sergei Sergeyevich is sorry for “Swallows”. Paratov replied: “What is” a pity, “I do not know this,” “I’ll find a profit, I’ll sell everything, anything,” and immediately told me that he would soon marry a very rich girl, who is given a gold mine in a dowry. And therefore before the wedding wants to have fun.

Phenomenon 7

Vozhevatov agrees with Gavrila that he makes a walk along the Volga and a picnic in the evening, but at the last moment he remembers that Karandyshev invited them to come to them in the evening.

The second action
Phenomenon 1

House Ogudalova, the main sign of the interior is the piano, on which lies the guitar.

Phenomenon 2

Knurov comes to Ogudalova. Moky Parmevych, learning that Karandyshev is poor, expresses his outrage at the upcoming marriage. According to Knurov, in Larissa there is no “earthly”, “everyday”, it was created “for shine”. Knurov believes that the girl quickly abandons her husband, and then she will need a solid rich “friend”, and he will not regret anything for the girl. When leaving, Knurov orders that Ogudalova order her daughter a good wedding “wardrobe,” and sends the bills to him.

Phenomenon 3

Larissa tells her mother that she wants to leave for the village as soon as possible, “let there be wild and deaf and cold, for me, after the life I have experienced here, every quiet corner will seem like paradise.” The girl takes a guitar in her hands, singing “Do not tempt me unnecessarily,” but the instrument is upset. Having seen from the window of the gypsy Ilya, the girl covenanted him into the house.

Phenomenon 4

Ilya reports that the gentleman who was waiting for a whole year arrived.

Phenomenon 5

Ogudalova is worried that they have not “missed” the groom, hurrying with the wedding. Larissa also responds that she is humiliated enough.

Phenomenon 6

Karandyshev comes to the women. Larissa asks when they will leave for the village, but Julius Kapitonych does not want to rush, as he wants, as Ogudalov said, to “take a leap”.

Karandyshev condemns the mores of the society, resenting that there are only rumors in the city that the master has arrived – Sergey Sergeevich Paratov. In fright Larissa immediately asks to go to the village. At this time, Paratov himself approached Ogudalov.

Phenomenon 7

Paratov receives Ogudalov, he behaves with her jokingly, seriously. The man says that a year ago he had to leave to settle matters with property, and now he is going to marry a bride with a dowry of half a million. At the request of Paratov, Ogudalov calls Larissa.

Phenomenon 8

Paratov, reproaching Larissa for not expecting him, reduces this to female windyness: “women” – “nothingness is your name.” Offended, the girl confesses that she still loves Sergei Sergeyevich, and she has to get married because of despair. Satisfied with his pride, Paratov says that now “in life I will keep the most pleasant memory of you, and we will part like best friends.”

Phenomenon 9

They are joined by Ogudalova and Karandyshev. Paratov tries in every way to offend the bridegroom Larissa, and they quarrel. Ogudalova asks for an apology and forces the son-in-law to invite Sergei Sergeevich to dinner.

Phenomenon 10

Go to Ogudalova come Vozhevatov and Robinson. Vozhevatov gives Robinson for the Englishman.

Phenomenon 11

Paratov, who very much did not like Karandyshev, is going to “laugh” at the man during dinner.

Action third
Phenomenon 1

Cabinet Karandysheva, furnished “with claims, but without taste.” On one of the walls, “a carpet is hung, on which arms are hung.”

Phenomenon 2

Ogudalova and Larissa discuss the evening of Karandyshev. Women did not know where to escape from shame. Karandyshev thinks he surprised everyone with luxury, but the guests specially – for fun it solder.

Phenomenon 3

Aunt Karandyshev complains to women for losses from dinner, and then calls them to her. Paratov, Knurov and Vozhevatov enter the office.

Phenomena 4 – 5

Knurov complains of terrible food and wine. Men laugh at the stupidity of the master, who was the first to drink. Podpoyit it was possible thanks to the indiscriminate Robinzon’s drink.

Phenomenon 6

Karandyshev with cigars enters the cabinet. He does not notice that men are making fun of him.

Phenomena 7 -8

The entered Ogudalova tries to make Karandyshev a remark, but he replies that today he is happy and triumphant. Paratov offers a drink for brotherhood and Julius Kapitonich goes for cognac.

Phenomena 9 – 10

Paratov, Knurov and Vozhevatov are going for a walk on the steamer.

Phenomenon 11

Paratov asks Larissa to sing something. Karandyshev tries to forbid her, this outrages the girl. Larissa with the gypsy Ilya, who accompanies her, sings “Do not tempt.” Everyone admires the singing of the girl. Karandyshev goes for champagne – to drink for Larisa’s health.

Phenomenon 12

Alone Paratov tells Larissa that she is a treasure and he is guilty before her for having exchanged it for another. Sergey Sergeyevich persuades the girl to go with the company to ride on the Volga. Larissa agrees, calling Paratov his “master”.

Phenomenon 13

Everyone drinks champagne for Larissa Dmitrievna. Karandyshev says a toast, calling the most important virtue of the girl – the ability to “appreciate and choose people,” because she chose among all the fans is his. Karandysheva is sent for wine. At this time, the men gather and, taking Larissa with them, leave.

Phenomenon 14

Returning, Karandyshev surprised, where did Larissa go. Ivan informs him that the girl went with the gentlemen for the Volga to a picnic. Karandyshev in despair: “I’m ridiculous – well, laugh at me, laugh in your eyes! Come to my dinner, drink my wine and swear, laugh at me – I’m worth it.” But to break the chest of a ridiculous man, to tear out his heart, to throw under his feet and trample it! ” Terrifying to take revenge, the man grabs a pistol from the table and runs away.

Step Four
Phenomenon 1 – 2

Karandyshev with a gun comes to the coffee house, where at this time Robinson is and tries to find out from the actor where his friends have gone. However, Robinson pretends that he does not know them.

Phenomenon 3 – 5

Returning from the picnic Knorov and Vozhevatov sympathize with Larissa – men understand that Sergei Sergeyevich will not give up a profitable marriage for the sake of the girl, and after the incident Larissa is compromised.

Phenomenon 6

Knurov believes that in this situation they are obliged to take part in its fate. To avoid rivalry men throw a coin, and go with Larisa Dmitrievna drops Knurov.

Phenomenon 7

Paratov thanks Larisa for the fact that she went with them to a picnic. The girl asks to answer her: is she now his wife or not? Sergey Sergeyevich answers that he is engaged and can not break his bride. The man assures the girl that her fiance will in any case take her back.

Phenomenon 8

Paratov instructs Robinson to take the girl home and go to the cafeteria. Larissa asks for help from Vozhevatov, but he avoids leaving the girl with Knurov. Moky Parmevych offers Larissa to go with him to Paris and full provision for life. Larissa did not answer.

Phenomenon 9

Left alone, Larissa wants to throw herself into the sea, but does not dare to commit suicide.

Phenomenon 10 – 11

Robinson leads to Larissa Karandyshev. A man thinks that he should be the protector of the girl. Larissa tells Karandyshev that his protection for her is the most serious insult. A man reproaches her for being unpretentious, telling that Knurov and Vozhevatov played it “in a toss” and generally treat her like a thing. Larissa agreed that she is a thing, but “too expensive thing” for Karandyshev – “if to be a thing, so one thing, comfort is to be expensive, very expensive.”

Larisa asks to call Knurov to her. Karandyshev tries to persuade her to leave with him, but the girl explains that it’s too late and she will never be his. With the words “So do not get fucked by no one” Karandyshev shoots Larissa with a pistol. With words of gratitude, Larissa raises the pistol that fell out of Karandyshev’s hands and puts it on the table and slowly sinks to a chair.

Phenomenon 12

Running on the shot Larissa explained: “It’s me… Nobody’s guilty, no one… It’s me myself.” Behind the scenes, the gypsies start singing, Paratov tells everyone to remain silent, but Larissa, dying under the gypsy choir, asks: “Let them have fun, who are happy… … you are all good people… I love you all… all.”


In “The Dowry” Ostrovsky depicted the tragic fate of a girl who knows how to truly love, but found herself in a society where money is put in many ways above true feelings. Neither his own mother, nor her future husband Karandyshev, nor Larissa Paratov’s beloved, took her feelings seriously – each of them only wanted to take advantage of the girl. The death of the heroine at the end of the work brings moral cleansing, despite all that has happened, Larissa still loves everyone.

A brief retelling of the work “The Dowry” does not fully convey the intense psychologism of the play of the great playwright, so we recommend that you read the full version of the drama.

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Summary “The Dowry”