ORDINARY MAN? FIGURE IN THE NOVEL TITLED ?POOR FOLK? BY DOSTOEVSKY

Abstract

Author(s): Dr. ?. Murat ÇAKMAKÇI

Poor Folk (Russian: ?????? ????, Bednye Lyudi), sometimes translated as Poor People, was the first novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, which he wrote over the span of nine months. First published in 1845, it was lauded by the influential critic Belinsky as being socially conscious literature, who (among others) hailed him as the new Gogol.] However, Dostoevsky broke with him shortly thereafter.This book was partly inspired by Nikolai Gogol's short story The Overcoat, whose male protagonist is also a copy clerk. This novel is written in the form of letters of correspondence between the two main characters. Like "The Overcoat", the novel gives a profound account of the lives of low income Russians in the mid-nineteenth centuryPoor Folk is an epistolary novel -- that is, a tale told as a series of letters between the characters. And oh, what characters these are! Makar Dievushkin Alexievitch is a copy writer, barely squeaking by; Barbara Dobroselova Alexievna works as a seamstress, and both face the sort of everyday humiliation society puts upon the poor. These are people respected by no one, not even by themselves. These are folks too poor, in their circumstances, to marry; the love between them is a chaste and proper thing, a love that brings some readers to tears. But it isn't maudlin, either; Fyodor Dostoevsky has something profound to say about these people and this circumstance. And he says it very well. When the book was first published a leading Russian literary critic of the day -- Belinsky -- prophesied that Dostoevsky would become a literary giant. It isn't hard to see how he came to that conclusion, and in hindsight, he was surely was correct. .

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