Studying literature, we saw that many of the heroes of Russian writers were very sympathetic to such an ambiguous figure as Napoleon. Through sympathy for him, even the fascination with it went to such heroes of Russian literature as Onegin, Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, Rodion Raskolnikov. And each of them was able to choose, hear, consider and see in Bonaparte those features and human qualities that made it possible to learn much about Napoleon.
It should be said that the relation to Napoleon at different times and from different writers also was different: from the romantic in Lermontov to the sharply negative from Leo Tolstoy, from the sublime in Pushkin to the philosophical in FM Dostoyevsky.
We all look at the Napoleons:
Two-legged creatures, millions
We have one tool,
We feel wild and funny,
AS Pushkin wrote in the novel “Eugene Onegin”. World glory, won for some thirteen years by the unknown Corsican Bonaparte; a fantastic path
from corporal to emperor, passed by Napoleon, all this turned many young people in France and Russia. In Onegin’s study there was a “column with a cast-iron doll, under a hat, with a cloudy brow, with hands clasped by a cross,” – a fashionable statue of Napoleon. In Napoleon they saw a bright, outstanding personality who was able to prove to the whole world her strength and greatness.
A young Russian man Rodion Raskolnikov, who lived much later than Napoleon, posed the question: does he have the right to kill a lonely old woman-interest woman to take possession of her wealth and use it for good purposes? In advance, justifying his action, he thought about Napoleon: after all, he forgave the history of many victims of the war for the sake of great goals. For many heroes of Russian literature Napoleon was an idol. But, “having overcome” them, they often come to his denial. Thus, Prince Andrew Bolkonsky disappointed in Napoleon in the field of Austerlitz, when, visiting the terrible battlefield, Napoleon will stop over him, seriously wounded, and theatrically say: “What a
beautiful death.” In Pierre Bezukhov, the reassessment will happen a little later, when Napoleon with the troops will enter the empty, left by the Russians Moscow.
And what attracted Julien Sorel in Napoleon? The hero of the novel Stendhal – “Red and Black,” written in 1830, dreams of following Napoleon’s equally brilliant path. He sees before him the image of the emperor created by his imagination. Julien dreamed of becoming a soldier from childhood. He was attracted to Napoleon by the fact that the unknown and poor lieutenant became famous with his sword only, became the ruler of the world.
For Sorel, the words “rich” and “insolent” were of the same category, and Julien Sorel’s conscience whispered to him: “Here it is – this dirty wealth, which you can attain and enjoy, but only in this company.” About Napoleon! your time when people won their position on the battlefield! ” Feeling disgusted at people like Mr. Valno, who “for a hundred leagues from Paris call a scoundrel”, he always thought and “yearned” for Napoleon’s times, which were associated with Julien’s honest and worthy behavior of people.
In the era of Napoleon, Julien Sorel could, thanks to his energy and will, become famous on the battlefield, perform a feat. But the current society did not need people like him. The place in society depends on money and origin. And Stendhal, along with his hero Julien Sorel, yearns for Napoleon’s clean and honest duel in open battle for the worthy position of man in life.