Материал из Letopisi.Ru — «Время вернуться домой»
A great Russian novelist, M.Sholokhov, belongs to those writers whose art helps people to become tolerant and ready to overcome difficulties. He is a master of portraying people’s inner world. The ability to describe realistic scenes during transformations and troubles in Russia, scenes from the Civil war on the Don, anti-Soviet uprising of the Cossacks are shown in world famous novels and stories. To understand the Master’s heritage better one should investigate Sholokhov's life, activity, epoch. The actuality of the investigation is to get acquainted with literary roots of our countryman. Sholokhov's works can help a young generation to master spiritual values of our people, to learn about historical way of Russia
Sholokhov’s childhood and youth
M.Sholokhov was born on the 24-th of May 1905 in the village of Kruzhilin. His father, Aleksandr Mikhailovich, tried a lot of jobs.
His mother, Anastasia Danilovna Chernikova, was illeterate woman, but kind and very hard-working.She gave her son the biggest heritage — to be the greatest Master. Later the woman’s traits of character helped M/Sholokhov to become a writer of great originality.
When Misha was four, the family moved to the hamlet of Kargin. At the age of seven the boy went to a local parish school. Later a future writer studied in a small town of Boguchar. At that time he lived in the home of a priest.This period was marked by new impressions. Misha was a clever boy and at school age he began writing short stories and poems.The revolution interrupted the boy’s education. In 1918 the Germans occupied Boguchar. The boy was thirteen at that time. So, he had to leave school and return to livе with his family.
Since childhood Misha admired illimitable space of steppes, green shores of the river Don. A strong boy with light-brown hair, sparkling eyes, sun-burnt face was bright and observant. Native dialect and heartwarming Cossack songs were sanity for young Sholokhov. Funny games on dusty roads, fishing, work in the fields, everyday life of Cossacks surrounded the boy since childhood. Sholokhov finished the fourth grade in a gymnasium in Veshenskaya. At that time a bloody Cossack uprising took place in Veshinskaya.
Sholokhov's first work appeared when he was 19. In 1922 a young writer went to Moscow to become a journalist. But, instead, he had to do hard jobs to earn for living. Nevertheless, he attended the writers' seminars where he got literary skills. His first stories didn’t become popular at once. In 1924 only two stories were published. Mikhail dreamed of returning back to Karginskaya, supposing that only in his homeland he would realize his literary career. Native air and dear to heart places helped Sholokhov to recover literally. That period was fruitful in his activity. In 1925, at the age of 19, Sholokhov began writing «Tikhi Don».
"He has never side-stepped the contradictions in life. Sholokhov omits nothing, he writes the whole truth" (K.Fedin)
«Birthmark» was written in 1924. It is the first short story about the clash of a young Red commander and the wizend old leader of an anti-Soviet band of maurauding Cossack brigands. Both characters had difficult fates and fought for their own truth. Sholokhov’s animals-symbols help to understand the main characters better. An old leader is compared with a wolf — a negative and unpleasant creature, on the one hand, and a hungry and unhappy person, on the other hand. The author uses metaphora, decribing the old leader’s soul. The culmination of the story is seen in the dramatic conflict when the father kills the son. «My Nikolai! My own flesh and blood». The author takes neither Red nor White side. He advocates peace without senseless conflict.
And Quiet Flows the Don
It took Sholokhov fourteen years to complete the novel (1926—1940). The novel is remarkable for the objectivity of portrayal of the heroic and tragic struggle of the Don Cossacks against the Bolsheviks for independence. The main characters are poor peasants. The strength of their characters, hectical feelings, richness of Cossacks spirit are reflected in their everyday labour. The characters of the novel look for a right way in their life, make mistakes, try to find the sense of life and historical truth of that time.
Nature in the novel symbolizes optimism. The characters show their ability to listren to forest sounds, admire stars and to talk to Earth, forgetting about all troubles. Sholokhov underlines the connection of the characters with the world of nature.Thus, the author shows the harmony of a human and nature. The central idea of the novel «And Quit flows the Don» is that a family is a sacred notion for Cossaks. Don, the land, the village, the family are the main values of Cossaks. Antithesis is used to contradict peaceful life, nature, love, from one hand, war, death, hatred and cruelty, from another hand.
Virgin Soil Upturned
«Virgin Soil Upturned» shows Cossacks life during collectivization in the Don area. The appearance of the book showed how great was the range of the writer’s capabilities in describing Cossacks life. The success of the book is in writer’s being in constant contact with life, his detailed and profound knowledge of the working people. The first book came out in 1932. The second was completed in 1960. The action in the novel takes place in Gremyachy Log. This book has a message for those who wants to understand the stresses and strains of Soviet life from the 1930-s to the present day. One of the distinctive dignities of the novel is humour, which shows Sholokhov’s ability to portray not only tragic scenes but also humour ones. The main characters' speech is bright and original, full of sayings, proverbs, colourful comparisons.
To sum it up, it is necessary to point out that Sholokhov's creative activity can be called the anatomy of Cossacks' life. It is proved by the author's skillful description of Cossacks feelings, thoughts, way of life.
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