Motejunajte I. The Value System in V.P. Astafyevʼs Short Story ʽLyudochkaʼ: Narrative, Plot, Composition
Drawing on research into violence, this paper discusses the understanding of power in the short story ʽLyudochkaʼ by Viktor Astafiev. The story, to be more precise, raises the problems of rape and murder as most atrocious forms of violence. The composition of the story and characteristics of the characters show that a human’s social and biological natures, according to Astafiev, are secondary destructive forces and these can be tamed by the moral – inner – force. Through his story Astafiev translates the concept of patience as a deeply-rooted national concept and argues that being patient is the only viable strategy of survival, which is conditioned by a history of social suppression. The idea of being patient is encountered in many Russian proverbs and sayings, poems, stories, and novels. It is common practice that a Russian person is portrayed as a victim of the stately repression machine. The gender stereotypes which ascribe protection and defense to a man and life sustenance to a woman, however essential they may be in the narrative, are broken by the plot. The pessimistic perception of life through literature enhances the value of compassion and self-sacrifice. The word is equated with the deed, and virtual reality of artistic consciousness becomes an only space of ideals and values.
V.P. Astafyev, ʽLyudochkaʼ, problem of violence, national system of values