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Poor Liza Karamzin Analysis Essay

“Poor Liza”

( Marina Kiseleva)

Poor Liza is the simple story of a young peasant maiden romanced and then abandoned by a noble.

The story begins with Karamzin setting a dark scene, describing the Danilov monastery, depressing monks, and elders trying to escape life. He goes on to make clear that all this sadness reminds him of the plundering of Moscow by the Tatars and Lithuanians. Referring to Moscow as a “defenseless widow” here may act as a premonition of what is to come.

Next, he begins the story of Liza, a beautiful peasant who lives with her elderly mother. Liza would do almost all the work around the home and to make money, would go to Moscow to sell her lilies of the valley. On one trip to the city a man asked to buy her flowers for more than their worth, and went on to ask that she sell her flowers only to himself. When she goes home her mother is slightly worried, but soon the man comes directly to their home and says that she need not go to town anymore as he will come directly to them for the flowers. At this, Erast (the man) gains her mother’s trust as a respectable gentleman, and Liza’s deepest admiration. Later that night she walked to river, angry at herself for liking the upper-class man, and dreaming that instead she had grown fond of the shepherd she sees.

At that moment, Erast comes down the river on a boat and docks next to Liza. She is charmed by the way he looks at her and she completely falls in love with him, and his is consequentially enthused by her innocence and pure love of him. As she makes leave to go back home though, he forbids her from telling her mother about this, as she would probably suspect something amiss. They go on seeing each other like this for some time until one night, she comes to him unsettled as her mother would like her to be wed to someone else. At this, she threw himself at Erast and lost her innocence. Erast no longer saw her the same way from this moment, and that innocence which drove him nearly insane with love before had disappeared. He was all too familiar with this form of love and had the lost the very thing that had driven him toward Liza, her purity.

Their visits became sparser and sparser until one day Erast said he was to go off to fight in the military. Liza was heartbroken and wished she could go after him, but was held back by her obligations to her mother. Nonetheless, Erast promised to return and to continue loving her.

After two months, Liza went to town to buy her mother some rosewater for her eyes. When in town, she stumbles into Erast, who had now married some rich, middle-aged widow as he had lost his money playing cards. He sends her off with 100 rubles, telling her they cannot have what they once had anymore. She stumbles home and throws the money into the hands of another peasant girl, with a message for her mother. With this, heartbroken and with almost nothing to live for, she drowns herself in the river. Her mother dies for similar reasons for Liza, and Erast lives the rest of his life in misery, telling the story of Liza to any passerby.

The symbolism in the story is light but effective. From the beginning we have a gloomy mood set, an ominous notion of what is to come. Liza’s flowers, and the flowers revolving her peasant life are a recurring theme, most likely relating to her innocence. The night she loses her virginity, a terrible storm breaks loose, which easily represents the destruction of her purity. The young shepherd is also mentioned several times. At the beginning he is singing doleful songs, and later Liza wishes it was for him she had fallen, not for Erast. The shepherd could represent a variety of things, but most obviously he is the simple peasant life she could have pursued.

Like this:


"Poor Lisa" (a short summary of the story-characterthe era of sentimentalism of Russian literature will be described in the article) - the story of a simple girl. Of course, to convey the entire impression and the whole plot of a seemingly small work is impossible in such a condensed form.

The author is the outstanding historian N.Karamzin. "Poor Liza" (a short summary can be read below) is a sentimental story that has become an example of this trend in the Russian classics. So, the actions of the events described take place in the vicinity of Moscow ...

Poor Liza: a short summary

Near the monastery is a house where he livesmain character. Her father was an honest peasant. After his death, Lisa and her mother had to give the land for rent for little money. Despite this, the girl continued to work hard. Once Lisa went to the market to sell lilies of the valley. There she was approached by a nice young man named Erast. He was handsome, well-off, and rich. He led a rather free way of life. Erast offered the girl a ruble for the bouquet, but she, by virtue of her modesty, took only 5 cents (this retelling of the text is a short summary). Poor Lisa picked up the bouquet the next day, but Erast never came. But the next day the nobleman visited the girl in her house. Since then they began to meet often.

Erast saw in a simple girl what alwaysdreamed: peace and love. He was tired of the light, from artificial relationships and a riotous lifestyle. With Liza, he was calm and happy. During their next meeting the girl confessed that they want to marry a rich peasant. Lisa threw herself into the arms of a young man, and "at this hour the integrity had to perish". Poor Lisa (the short content of the story should encourage reading the original) continued to get in touch with her lover, but now Erast's attitude has changed: he no longer saw in it that pure angel. Later, he goes to war.

Two months later, Lisa was again in the city,where she saw her lover in a rich carriage. The girl threw herself on his neck, but he rejected her embrace, led him into the office and informed that he would marry a rich widow, since he had lost almost all his fortune. Erast gives the girl a hundred rubles asks to forget him. Lisa does not stand such a grudge. On the way home she meets her neighbor, who gives money and asks to tell her mother that she was deceived by her beloved. Lisa throws herself into the water. Erast, after learning about the death of a girl, blames herself to the end of her days.

Nikolai Karamzin wrote a remarkablesentimental story "Poor Lisa" (the summary does not convey the full force of the work). This story became the basis of many women's novels, became the basis for creating films and simply a sample of sentimentalism in Russian and world classical literature. A fascinating love story of a typical peasant woman and a windy nobleman made the minds of that time stir up and makes modern people read the story in one breath. This is the classic of the genre.

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