To women in Russian literature there has always been a special attitude, and up to a certain time the main place in it was occupied by a man – a hero, with whom the problems posed by the authors were connected. Karamzin was one of the first to pay attention to the fate of poor Lisa, who, as it turned out, also knew how to love selflessly. And Pushkin portrayed Tatiana Larin, who knows how much not only to love, but also to give up her feelings when the fate of a loved one depends on it.
The situation radically changed in the second half of the nineteenth century, when, in connection with the growth of the revolutionary movement, many traditional views on the place of women in society have changed. Writers of different views have differently seen the role of women in life.
On the peculiar polemics of Chernyshevsky and Tolstoy, one can speak on the example of the novels “What to do?” and “War and Peace”.
Chernyshevsky, as a revolutionary democrat, advocated the equality of men and women, valued the mind in a woman, saw and respected a person in it. Vera Pavlovna is free in her right to love someone she chooses. Along with men she works, does not depend financially on her husband. Her workshop is proof of her solvency as an organizer and entrepreneur. Vera Pavlovna is not inferior to men at all: neither in the ability to think logically, nor in a sober assessment of the social situation in the country.
This was to be a woman
But how many supporters of women’s emancipation existed, as many were opponents of it, one of which was Leo Tolstoy.
In the novel “Anna Karenina” the author also raised the problem of free love. But if Vera Pavlovna had no children, then Tolstoy showed the heroine, who should think not only about her happiness, but also about the well-being of her children. Anna’s love for Vronsky had a negative impact on the fate of Seryozha and the newborn girl, who by law was considered Karenina, but was Vronsky’s daughter. Act of the mother with a dark stain fell on the lives of children.
Tolstoy showed his ideal in the image of Natasha Rostova. For him it was she who was the true woman.
Throughout the novel, we watch how a little naughty girl becomes a real mother, a loving wife, a keeper of the hearth.
From the very beginning, Tolstoy emphasizes that Natasha does not have a single gram of falsehood, she most acutely feels unnatural and false. By her appearance on the birthday party in the living room, full of official ladies, she violates this atmosphere of controversy. All her actions are subject to feelings, not reason. She even sees people in her own way: Boris is gray, narrow as a mantelpiece, and Pierre is square, red-brown. For her, these characteristics are enough to understand who is who.
Natasha is called the “living life” in the novel. With her energy, she inspires a new life for others. Support and understanding of the heroine almost rescues the mother after the death of Petrusha. Prince Andrew, who managed to say goodbye to all the joys of life, when he saw Natasha, felt that not everything was lost for him. And after the engagement, the whole world for Andrew was divided into two parts: one – it, where everything is light, the other – everything else, there is darkness. “What does it matter to me what the Emperor will say in the Council? Would I be any happier from this?” – says Bolkonsky.
Natasha can forgive the infatuation with Kuragin. This was the only time when her intuition failed her. All her actions are subject to momentary impulses, which can not always be explained. She did not understand Andrei’s desire to postpone the wedding for a year. Natasha sought to live every second, and the year for her was equal to eternity.
Tolstoy gives her heroine all the best qualities, and she rarely evaluates her actions, more often relying on an inner moral feeling.
Like all his favorite heroes, the author sees Natasha Rostov as part of the people. He emphasizes this in the uncle’s scene, when the “Countess, raised by an emigrant Frenchwoman,” danced no worse than Agafia. This sense of unity with the people, as well as true patriotism, push Natasha to leave the carts for the wounded when leaving Moscow, leaving almost all the things in the city.
Even the highly spiritual princess Mary, who did not fall in love with the pagan Natasha at first, understood her and accepted what she is.
Natasha Rostov was not very clever, and it was not that important for Tolstoy. “Now that he (Pierre) told Natasha all this, he experienced the rare pleasure that women give when they listen to a man – not intelligent women who, while listening, try to remember what they are told, in order to enrich their minds and at the same time to retell the same..; and that pleasure, which gives real women, gifted with the ability to choose and absorb all the best that only exists in the manifestations of men. ”
Natasha realized herself as a mother, wife. Tolstoy emphasizes that she herself nurtured all her children (an impossible thing for a noblewoman), but for the author this is absolutely natural.
Despite the diversity of female characters in Russian literature, they are united by the fact that they are trying to create a harmony of feelings and peace for their loved ones around them.
Rereading Pushkin, Turgenev, Tolstoy, we again and again experience together with Tatiana Larina, Natalya Lasunskaya, Natasha Rostova. They show an example of pure love, devotion, loyalty, self-sacrifice. These images live in us, sometimes answering many of our questions, help us not to make mistakes, to take the only right step. In these images, not only beauty is external, but also the beauty of the soul, which invites us to cultivate spiritually.