The story “Dark alleys,” written in 1938 in pre-war France, brings us back to Russia at the beginning of the twentieth century, at a time about which Bunin had only sad memories. But at the same time the writer tells a story that could happen at any time and in any country. After all, people continue to fall in love and walk away from their beloved, referring to the fact that life has developed like this.
The hero of the story, while still a young landlord, seduced the beautiful peasant girl Hope, and then abandoned her, considering this novel an ordinary adventure. Years have passed. Nikolai Alekseevich served, married, raised his son. And now, years later, he was passing through the places where his youth had passed. In the hostess of a visiting cottage, the hero suddenly recognizes Hope. Thus, thirty years later, a brave military and imperious, reserved woman, who knows how to get a penny, and stand up for herself, meet. She, too, has aged, but still partly retained her former beauty and become. Heroes remember youth, long-flew away young happiness.
It turns out that Nadezhda carried her love to Nikolai Alekseevich throughout his life. She did not marry, because she could not forget her Nicholas. And so far she has not forgiven him a long-standing betrayal: “As I had nothing more precious than you in the world at that time, it never happened again.” Therefore, I can not be forgiven you. ” After all, there was not only the mutual
The story is permeated with regret about the lost happiness. It turns out that the hero of the story twice loved, twice he knew short moments of happiness, but he remained with nothing. Hope is a one-woman, she had to bear her scolded love all her life. Who is to blame for the fact that their happiness has broken? Bunin tells us that every person is forever chained in a chain of longing, vulgarity, everyday life. For the brilliant master Nikolai Alekseevich, this is the difference in social position, ambitious dreams. After all, if he had stayed with Nadezhda, he would have had to say goodbye to a brilliant military career: “But, my God, what would have happened next?” What if I had not left her? This same Hope is not the owner of an in-room little room, and my wife, the mistress of my St. Petersburg at home, the mother of my children? “
Even now, in this loneliness, this situation seems impossible, unacceptable. And Nikolai Alekseevich is already ashamed of his impulse: “With shame he remembered his last words and that he kissed her hand, and at once was ashamed of his shame.” The hero is not able to sacrifice for the sake of his beloved woman neither in the position in society, nor in career. Therefore, love is gone, leaving for life not only the memory of the present happiness, but the bitterness of guilt and regret for loss.