Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Eugene Onegin: Chapters 3 and 4

We've now met  Eugene's neighbor, Victor Lensky, Victor's fiancee Olga, and Olga's sister Tatiana.  Tatiana, having conceived a passion for Onegin, rashly writes him a letter telling him of her feeling.  Onegin somewhat detachedly tells her he does not return her feeling, and suggests she not write anyone such a letter again, for other men may not be so gentle with her.

Impressions of Tatyana and Olga?  Olga is a simple, friendly, pretty girl;  ideal for good-natured and romantic (and possibly undemanding) Victor.  Tatiana is deeper--reserved but passionate, a dreamer and reader of romances. 

What do you make of Onegin's reaction to Tatyana?  It seems in character.  Onegin is not cruel, but he is far too jaded and self-centered to appreciate a heartfelt gift of love.  It wouldn't occur to him to give of himself, and he is not interested in the offering of another's heart. 

How does the story, thus far, compare or contrast with another classic romantic novel (of your choice)?  Anna Karenina comes to mind;  I read it last fall.  I'm reminded of Kitty and Levin--his offering of marriage, heart full of passion, and her initial thoughtless rejection.  Will Eugene come to his senses as Kitty did?  He did notice Tatiana when he first met the sisters...

6 comments:

  1. Really enjoyed those two chapters even if somewhat surprised at the impetuous letter writing activity of Tatyana. I am sure she regretted sending it! Looking forward to how her words start to work their magic on Eugene.

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    1. Oh yes, I want Eugene to read those words again...

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  2. Keep up the good work...I'm following your comments!

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    1. You should read this in French... :)

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  3. Glad you're enjoying the read-along! :) I definitely get a self-centered gist from Onegin during his "lecture." He has some good intentions, but they're not his focus. And now I very much want to read Anna Karenina (or anything by Tolstoy!).

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    1. You will not go wrong with Tolstoy. :)

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