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Analysis of Tatiana Larina's Character

What is it about Tatiana Larina? How is it that a young nation girl, whose semblance is hardly outstanding and whose intelligence and judgment are suspect, has captivated literary culture and come to be regarded as “the Russians’ Mona Lisa” according to 1 prominent Russian literary scholar (Hasty, 1999)? Any sensible reader should root against her ill-matched and impulsive enjoy, but there is one thing irresistibly endearing and engaging about her innocent want that pulls at the strings of even the most callous cynic’s heart. How is this accomplished? It is the charming eloquence of Pushkin’s most delicate love poetry in CHAPTER III, STANZAS XV, XVI – where Tatiana initial admits her enjoy obsession to her nurse, Filatyevna – that fully captures our heroine’s most cherished traits and aids explain the unjustified attraction that is inherently felt towards her.

In STANZA XV Pushkin delivers Tatiana his fateful warning the stanza opens with an ominous plea “Tatiana, dear Tatiana! I now shed tears with you (Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, 1964).” The reader gets the sense that Pushkin’s appeal is doomed to be helpless as the he continues:

“Dear, you shall perish but prior to,

In dazzling hope,

You summon somber bliss,

You understand the dulcitude of life…”

(CHAPTER III, XV, five-eight (Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, 1964))

Pushkin continues with his helpless petition to Tatiana’s senses, utilizing a series of portentous juxtapositions: perish in dazzling hope, somber bliss, and dulcitude (derived from Russian negu which connotes “dangerous euphoria” (Pushkin, Eugene Onegin: Commentary 1 to Five, 1964)). Pushkin’s masterful contrasts serve not only as a premonition of Tatiana’s fate, but also as a commentary on youthful really like in common, and the two sides of infatuation’s coin. A specific idealistic sense of dazzling hope, bliss and euphoria consume every young lover, but the sobering reality – that really like is a hazardous pursuit, particularly when its gamble is not fully understood – can catch an unsuspecting lover off guard and leave him or her defeated, broken and perishing. Pushkin concludes his admonition by emphasizing the degree to which Tatiana has been left vulnerable and consumed by her enjoy for Onegin: “everywhere, everywhere just before you is your fateful enticer (Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, 1964).” The burning passion inside Tatiana can no longer be quenched via her sanguine ponderings her beloved is inescapable in her mind’s eye, but this has ceased to satisfy. She yearns for concrete interaction and a tangible relationship to replace her imaginative optimism. Tatiana retreats to a moonlit garden to dwell on her heartache just before lastly confiding in her nurse the “impassioned anguish,” the “aching love” that is keeping her awake (CHAPTER III, STANZA XIV, LINES 9-10 (Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, 1964)).

The setting of STANZA XVI is remarkably successful in luring the reader into rooting for Tatiana’s ill-fated fantasies. Immediately following his appeal for her reconsideration of an impulsive, and doomed love affair, Pushkin follows Tatiana out to a romanticized garden exactly where the “nightingale intones sonorous chants” and “the moon patrols the distant vault of heaven” (Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, 1964). The inspiriting presence of the picturesque moon inveigles the reader into accepting Tatiana’s desires, against our greater judgment. After all, isn’t it proper to root for youthful really like? Pushkin goes on to hint at Tatiana’s innocent, fervent sexuality, as properly as her rashness in lines five-9:

“…her bosom has risen, her cheeks

Are covered with an instant flame,

Her breath has died upon her lips,

And there’s a singing in her ears, a flashing

Ahead of her eyes…”

(CHAPTER III, XVI, 5-9 (Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, 1964))

Nobokov, in his commentary of Eugene Onegin, reminds us that ‘flashing’ connotes “a well-known photomatic phenomenon, common of the slight insanity of adolescence.” This then, is yet another shot at the nature of Tatiana’s ill-considered, whimsical adore and the double which means of the word, as a sort of celestial lighting or illumination of the stars, further suggests the romanticized nature of the setting.

In producing such a hugely dramatic and sexualized scene, inside the context of an Edenic and almost clich garden, Pushkin spawns sympathy toward Tatiana’s innocent naivety. Certainly, the garden scene feels contrived in its resemblance to a fairy-tale garden, where the animals, trees, and celestial bodies all cry out in unison for the heroine to act on her impulses – no matter how ill advised they are identified to be. Pushkin’s poetry so artfully pushes his agenda, that regardless of the reader’s foreknowledge of the impossible fate of her foolish and precipitous fantasies, we can not assist but root for them. Furthermore, even whilst Pushkin introduces and defines Tatiana as: “lacking fresh and rosy tone/a wild creature, sad, pensive/and shy (CHAPTER III, STANZA XXV (Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, 1995))” the reader is prepared to compromise all of these pathetic characteristics and instead focus on the traits that we admire such as her courageous initiative, imagination, innocence, and self-determination.

Ultimately, after a lonely stroll by way of the garden, Tatiana confides her feelings in the senile, yet excellent-intentioned Filatyevna, which prompts a comfortless reminiscence of her nurse’s previous. Indeed, Filatyevna spends considerably a lot more time talking in this exchange, and as her story drones on it lends to the suspense that the reader shares with Tatiana – who has drifted off into day-dreaming about her own perceptions of love, rather than the aged and unidealized notions that her nurse presents. The dialogue concludes in STANZA XX, with some of Pushkin’s most affecting enjoy poetry.

“ ‘Oh, I’m in enjoy,’ again she pleaded

With her old pal. ‘My small dove,

You are just not nicely, you are overheated.’

‘Oh, let me be now…I’m in enjoy.’ ”

(CHAPTER III, XX, 1-four (Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, 1995))

Tatiana’s insistent independence is accentuated in this exchange. So as well is her innocent idealism. She repeats the phrase “I’m in love” two instances in this stanza (and as soon as in the stanza prior,) which suggests that she is attempting to reinforce the legitimacy of her really like, as she also tries to convince herself that she is actually in adore. Furthermore, the reader gets the sense that Tatiana likes the prospect of being in enjoy as a lot as the act of actually loving in her adolescent state, the word ‘love’ seems to rolls off of her tongue with mature overtones, it dignifies her. As she begins to grasp the which means of adore, she falls further and further into it. This is reflected in her reiteration of her love. Here the 1st statement of love appears to be her realization the second, her defense and the last, her conclusion, whereby she is certain that she is in love, her mind is produced up, and there is no turning back.

Also intriguing to note in STANZA XX is Pushkin’s second mention of the moonlit setting. Suggested by this familiar backdrop is a sense of enchantment and comfort for the lovesick Tatiana, as she resolves that she have to be bold in action in as she courts Onegin. Pushkin concludes the stanza with a dark and disquieting image which serves as an omen of what lays ahead for Tatiana: “And all the world in silence lay Beneath the moon’s seductive ray (Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, 1995).” Right here, in the foreboding darkness, the moonscape is held responsible for seducing the innocent Tatiana and causing her to fall in really like. Some of the blame is lifted off of Tatiana’s impulsive naivety as it is recommended that nature has instigated and determined her fate by means of the alluring energy of the moon. Thus, the stage is set for Tatiana to spill her heart out in a love letter to Onegin – a letter whose fate is predetermined, but whose message is so beautifully articulated that the reader cannot help but hope and wonder if it has a possibility.

Alexander Pushkin’s poetry in CHAPTER III, STANZAS XV and XVI is incredibly successful in how it subtly persuades the reader into Pushkin intended state. Soon after plainly stating the several pitfalls of Tatiana Larina when he introduces her character, and soon after compounding her imperfection towards the finish of the novel – “One couldn’t label her a beauty (Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, 1995)” – it is hardly conceivable that Pushkin managed to immortalize his heroine among fictional literary figures. She is depicted as spontaneous and emotionally vulnerable, although her beloved Eugene Onegin is portrayed as enigmatic, cold and calculated – an not possible pairing. But, we cannot support but hope that these variations are resolved and that ultimately young love will prevail. It is only by means of masterfully crafted really like poetry, which cleverly influences the reader’s response in the subtlest of techniques, that we are capable to fall in enjoy with Tatiana, and disregard all of the reasons why we need to root against her. This elusive capability of Pushkin’s poetry distinguishes him, and it is 1 of the intangible traits of Eugene Onegin that makes it so captivating and timeless.


Briggs, A. (1992). Landmarks of Planet Literature, Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin. Melksham, Wiltshire, Great Britain: Cambridge University Press.

Hasty, O. P. (1999). Pushkin’s Tatiana. Madison, Wisconsin, USA: University of Wisconsin Press.

Pushkin, A. (1964). Eugene Onegin. (V. Nabokov, Trans.) New York: Bollingen Foundation.

Pushkin, A. (1995). Eugene Onegin. (J. E. Falen, Trans.) New York: Oxford University Press.

Pushkin, A. (1964). Eugene Onegin: Commentary One particular to Five. (V. Nabokov, Trans.) New York: Bollingen Foundation.
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