The theme of love in the prose of Ivan Turgenev

The theme of love in the prose of Ivan Turgenev

In the life of the Russian writer Ivan Turgenev, the theme of love occupied a large place. He himself experienced a great feeling that influenced the development of his destiny and creativity. The writer managed to create his own style of love prose and the image of a selfless Russian girl of the noble class, capable of moral deeds.

Love in Turgenev’s work, artistic features of the author’s works and analysis of means of expression – in the material of Attiremag .

The role of the theme of love in Turgenev’s work


The writer himself admitted that his entire biography is in his books. The story “First Love” became close to the events of Turgenev’s life. The author noted that he himself once experienced something similar. In the work, Ivan Sergeevich came close to describing his own appearance, hobbies, and character traits. The biography of his hero is similar to autobiographical sketches, which makes the story lively and spontaneous.

Ivan Turgenev. Image: Wikipedia

Here the author turned to a sketch of his parents. On the last day of his life, the father gave life instructions to his offspring. He warned him against female charms, which, according to him, could be both a source of happiness and poison. The image of love at the same time attracted the main character and excited his imagination.

The love story of Ivan Turgenev and Pauline Viardot


Ivan Turgenev met a captivating Spanish woman in St. Petersburg in 1843. Polina Viardot arrived in the Russian capital as an opera diva. At first, the audience was unenthusiastic about this plain-looking woman, but as soon as she started singing, the audience was captivated by her voice and changed their attitude towards her. The writer became one of her fans.

Polina was married, but this did not stop Ivan Sergeevich. An open relationship was established between them, and the writer often lived in Paris with the Viardot couple, periodically returning to his homeland, where he had other novels. Extensive correspondence of the writer has been preserved, the recipients of which were his chosen ones.

But each time Turgenev admitted that he was ready to go to Viardot at the first call. The singer took in the illegitimate daughter of the writer Pelageya, making her an educated girl of marriageable age.

According to some critics, it was Ivan who became the father of the singer’s son Paul. Only death could destroy the relationship between Turgenev and Viardot. The master of words died happy in the arms of his beloved woman, and she outlived him by 27 years.

The image of Pauline Viardot influenced the writer’s work. In Turgenev’s prose, each heroine lives a special emotional experience associated with a great feeling. The girls in the author’s novels are selfless and sincere, fearless and capable of deeply feeling the essence of love.

The writer glorifies female nature and each time presents it in a more favorable and noble light than men. The heroines show courage and determination and are much more honest than their companions, first of all to themselves.

The image of a woman in Turgenev’s prose


The lyrical image of a woman occupies a special place in Turgenev’s literature. The character of such a heroine is clearly defined by the writer himself. He portrays her as a pure, elevated young lady from a secular society who strives for spiritual ideals and has a strong character. Turgenev’s girl is capable of self-sacrifice and is ready to commit an act for the sake of love.

The image of the “Turgenev girl” is embodied in the lyrical heroines Natalya Lasunskaya, Liza Kalitina, Elena Stakhova. Young Natalya from the novel “Rudin” falls in love with an unusual man, but her mother forbids her to marry him. Her chosen one resigns himself to fate, but the beauty is ready to run away with him. His words disappoint her.

Lisa Kalitina’s dream never comes true. She dreams of marrying her beloved, but she is destined for the fate of a marriage of convenience, which is unacceptable and impossible for a young lady due to immorality. Because of an unhappy first love, Lisa leaves this world and becomes a nun.

Polina Viardot. Image: Wikipedia

Elena Stakhova from the novel “On the Eve” is not afraid of material difficulties and becomes the wife of an impoverished foreigner. She easily offers her beloved a shoulder, which characterizes her as a strong personality.

The theme of love in the story “Asya”


Turgenev, like no other writer, managed to speak soulfully about the image of love. He described this feeling from different sides, remaining convincing and sincere. In many ways, the events of the book “Asya” were inspired by the real experiences of the writer himself.

The girl is in love with the middle-aged N.N. and is ready to follow him to the ends of the earth. She is open to happiness and new impressions, but her chosen one does not believe in the completeness of the young lady’s feelings. He brings her back to earth, telling her that marriage between them is impossible and is causing her pain. The hero does not realize the fullness of his love for the young admirer and is afraid to admit it to himself.

The main character’s brother, knowing about her recklessness, fears for his sister and tries to protect her from wrong actions, but he fails. Out of despair, the girl leaves the life of her chosen one. Only years later does he realize that he has lost true love in her. Remaining a bachelor, he never experienced the family happiness that the young lady could give him. Unfulfilled dreams left a mark on his soul until the end of his days.

The theme of love in the novel “Fathers and Sons”


Love in Turgenev’s works is presented in different facets. In the novel “Fathers and Sons,” which the author dedicated to Vissarion Belinsky , each hero is tested with great feeling. The book presents 4 love lines that explore this topic from different sides.

At the center of the story is the relationship between Evgeny Bazarov and Anna Odintsova . This couple cannot unite their destinies due to different worldviews. The comfort-loving girl does not want to lose all the advantages of a measured life and does not agree to the conditions of the nihilist Bazarov. The young man denies love, but at the same time falls madly in love with his chosen one.

Arkady Kirsanov and Katya Lokteva, on the contrary, have a warm, trusting relationship. Young people are friends with each other and take care of each other.

Nikolai Petrovich Kirsanov and Fenechka formed a family, despite the difference in their status in society. They show respect to each other and enjoy every moment of communication. Pavel Petrovich’s life changes forever after meeting Princess R. He idolizes her and considers her his muse.

Choice of expressive means


In his works, the writer resorted to various means of expression. Often love in the works of Ivan Sergeevich is depicted with metaphors, descriptions of the characters’ behavior with vivid verbs. His characters are “languishing for love” or “kept on a leash at their feet.”

Love in Turgenev’s work is also represented by other means of expression. To complete the images, the author uses comparisons. He compares the young man from the story “First Love” to a fish in water. The author uses vivid epithets when describing characters that can be succinct and attract the reader’s attention. Here the writer uses explanations.


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