In the novel-epic “War and Peace” the author overcomes the parade of the feat. In what works of Russian or modern literature do we observe the de-romanticization of the notion of “heroism” and how can we compare them with the novel of Leo Tolstoy?
Plutarch noted that “not always in the most important deeds, one can see virtue or depravity, but often some insignificant act, word or joke better reveals the character of a man than the battles in which dozens of thousands die.” Tolstoy in his novel not only condemns state, official patriotism, but also overcomes the parade of the feat. In depicting the war, the writer presents us not skipping warriors with deployed banners, not the brilliance of victories, but military everyday life, ordinary soldiers,
Let us recall the scene of the battle of Shengraben and the feat of Captain Timokhin, who carried away the soldiers in the attack at the very moment when “the moral hesitation, the decisive fate of the battles… was resolved in favor of fear.” “Timokhin with such a desperate scream rushed at the French and with such insane and drunken determination, with one skewer, ran up to the enemy, that the French, before they had time to recover, threw their weapons and ran.” Another hero of the battle of Shengrabens is Captain Tushin, whose battery was twice attacked by the French. The theme of true heroism is illustrated in Tolstoy and the scene on the Rayevsky battery, where Pierre Bezukhov gets to the Borodino battle. Pierre embraces a sense of horror, of mortal fear. The soldiers seem to him deprived of these feelings. He is struck by the courage, firmness, simplicity of these people, deprived of all external, alluvial. Only now did he understand “the whole meaning and all significance of this war and the impending battle.” “He understood that hidden… the warmth of patriotism that was in all those people whom he saw, and which explained to him why all these people calmly and seemingly thoughtlessly were preparing for death.” On the eve of the battle, the soldiers wore white shirts and refused vodka, and in the midst of the battle “flashed on the faces of all these people lighter and brighter… the lightning of a hidden, flaming fire.” A real feat, we can consider the behavior of Pierre Bezukhov during the French captivity, and the participation of Prince Andrew in the Battle of Borodino.
The debunking of the concept of “heroism” is characteristic of V. Bykov’s story “Sotnikov”. In the work there are no grandiose tank battles, epochal battles. The writer’s attention is focused on the inner peace of man in war.
Let us recall the plot of the story. On a winter frosty night, two partisans, Rybak and Sotnikov, set off on their way. They must get food for their squad. Their way is very dangerous, since there are no villages in the district that are free from police posts. Finally, they manage to get the lamb carcass, but then they are discovered by the policemen. Partisans shoot back, trying to break away from the persecution, but because of the injury Sotnikova get to the Germans. And here their ways diverge: Sotnikov chooses death, and Rybak – betrayal, thanks to which they save his life.
The hero of Bykov does not have a heroic appearance – Sotnikov in the story is a sick, frail, apparently, he is not ready to perform a feat. But for all his life he remembered the harsh lesson of the war: “Sotnikov for life remembered how in the summer in the field headquarters the Germans were interrogating an elderly gray-haired colonel, crippled in battle, with broken hands, hardly alive.” This colonel seemed to simply not know the feeling of fear and he did not say furious words to the Gestapo officer against Hitler, fascism and all of Germany… Of course, the colonel was then shot, but those few minutes before the shooting were his triumph, his last feat was probably no less difficult, than field b th “. The same choice becomes the hero’s choice.
Thus, a feat in the understanding of these writers is the following of one’s duty, loyalty to the Motherland.