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Marital relationship in merchant family in the early works of A. N. Ostrovsky
The subject of this article is the marital relations of various generations in a merchant family described in the early compositions of A. N. Ostrovsky. In the literary world, Ostrovsky holds a role of the “daily life writer” of the merchant class. His contemporaries perceived the plays of the dramaturge not just as artistic oeuvres, but also “paintings of life”. Having responded to the emerged in society interest for the life of different social classes, Ostrovsky, being well familiarized with various aspects of merchant life, made it open for the wide audience. Dramaturge’s plays were considered as sketches from the daily life, and established a new stereotype in the perception of merchants. The goal of this work consists in determination of the level of authenticity in depicting one of the personal aspects of a merchant family – the marital relationship. The author examines the descriptions of the relationship between wife and husband in the early compositions of A. N. Ostrovsky (“The Young Man's Morning”, “Celebratory Sleep Is That Before Dinner”, “The Storm”, “Picture of a Family Happiness”, etc.), as well as the reminiscences of representatives of the merchant class of the mid-XIX century). The scientific novelty of this research consists in the use of dramaturgical compositions as a historical source alongside the attempt to reveal the nature of marital relationships of the older and younger generations of the merchants over the period of 1840’s – 1860’s. The work demonstrates that the pattern of family life of the merchants of older generation, described in the early works of Ostrovsky, was based on the traditional principle taking its roots from “Domostroy” – full authority of the head of family and servile obedience of the wife. Marital relations of the younger representatives of the merchants were more diverse. Memoirs of the representative of merchant class of this time are extremely poor in description of the relationship between husband and wife, which can be explained either by the desire to keep their life private, or in lack of vivid memories.
Keywords: Dramaturgy, Psychology of merchant class, Memoirs of merchant class representatives, Historiographical character of dramaturgy, Family relations, Morals of merchants, Marital relationships, Merchant family, Merchant class, Alexander Nikolayevich Ostrovsky
Article was received: 04-04-2017
Review date: 05-04-2017
Publish date: 11-06-2017
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here.