Monday, March 24, 2014

Book Review: The Captain's daughter by Alexander Pushkin

Title: The Captain's daughter
Author: Alexander Pushkin
Pages: 154
Genre: Historic fiction/ classic
Price: Rs 514
Source: Online
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Reading a classic is always a treat to mind and heart and the Russian classics are my favourite ..I have always been in awe of the beauty of its prose..

The captain's daughter is a historical novel set during Pughachev's rebellion in 18th century..At the early age of 17 the protagonist Pyotr Andreyich Grinyov is sent to military service in Orenburg by his father..Having lost way he is caught in an unknown atmosphere in a fix until rescued by a puzzling stranger..

At Orenburg, he is assigned to serve at the Fort Belogorsky under Captain Ivan Mironov, there he befriends Shvabrin a fellow officer..Love soon takes up the scene as Pyotr falls head over heels in love with Masha, The Captain's daughter.But the twist is when Shvabrin also has an eye on Masha who has turned his proposal down..The love triangle goes through several ups and down until the fortress is attacked by Yemelyan Pughachev who imposes himself as the murdered  Emperor Peter III...As Captain Mironov refuses for allegiance he is hanged while his wife is murdered..When it is the turn of Pyotr his life is spared as it is revealed that Pughachev to be the mystifying rescuer from the past..Though they develop a fond relationship Pyotr declines to serve Pughachev, by sheer sincerity he is let to go back to Orenburg.

The fort is left under Shvabrin who predictably takes advantage of the situation to force Masha to marry him..Pyotr ushers to stop the marriage only to be captured by Pughachev's troops..Pyotr explains the situation frees Masha and sets off to Captain's estate, en route they are blocked by army...Pyotr decides to stay back with the army while Masha continues her journey to her fathers's estate..The War continues fiercely resulting in Pughachev's death..Once again Pyotr is captured for having friendly relation with Pughachev and labelled as a traitor..During interrogation Shvabrin testifies against Pyotr and Pyotr doesn't defend himself for defending himself would bring Masha to court..Pyotr receives death penalty and once again luck favors him as his life is spared but remains a prisoner...More drama follows..Would masha ever come to know about Pyotr's plight or will they go on to live estranged till end ..Do read the wonderfully crafted Pushkin's work to know more..

Innocent Pyotr's character matched up with his honesty and sincerity above all his passion for life and love wins the reader's heart right  from the very beginning..His life is always tested with cruelty of war..Through the novella Pushkin makes an exhaustive depiction and personal researched analysis of the outbalance of Russian lives..The novella portrays the lives of different societal hierarchy their clashes and struggle for justice

The novella is classic in every term be it political criticism, romantic nobility, observation common life..All in all it was a captive read also in terms of language and style of writing...Though the end was bit dramatic I don't deny myself to be partial in liking it thoroughly...

1 comment:

  1. Hi VB - Glad to see that you have a post up.

    I have not read Pushkin but I want to.

    Some novelists of this era were a bit over dramatic. I am OK with it as it seems to be something of what makes them the kind of writers that they were.

    ReplyDelete

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