The image of Chichikov - the first entrepreneur in Russian literature
One day it happened to talk to two creators. One of them was already known at that time, and the second was just beginning its prose activity. And it was then that Pushkin told Gogol the story of a man actively buying up dead peasants. Such a scam was completely new for that time, and, surprisingly, successful. Gogol, in turn, did not miss the moment to write a poem, which played a major role in his subsequent fame and recognition as a classic. Who knows, if it were not for the great poet, have we ever seen the image of Chichikov.
Many readers can not immediately understand those plans, which adheres to Chichikov. The characteristic at the beginning of the work is more focused on the sellers of dead souls, rather than on the main character. It is a fact. And the image of Chichikov becomes for us somewhat incomprehensible.However, after reading the eleventh chapter, everything falls into place, because it is completely devoted to the description of his soul. The boy from the first day of his birth lives in the poorest environment, he is forced to walk the obscure path of his father. Along with material poverty, he is also haunted by spiritual emptiness. By the middle of his life’s journey, he acquires one single goal — to become a noble and wealthy citizen, so that his children would accept him with gratitude.
Starting from the first chapter of the work, readers get acquainted with the main character. In fact, they understand that the main component of the poem is a scam, but for several parts of its meaning remains a mystery. In addition, we do not understand how Chichikov himself is guided directly in the poem Dead Souls, because something pushed him to such deception. It’s impossible to build a logical chain in the description of his image, because the author himself laid the foundations of unpredictability in it. There are scenes when Chichikov shows emotions and feelings that are not peculiar to him in reality. That is what Gogol wanted to show, to tell readers about the moral characterization of the living Russian soul, no matter how poor and empty it is.
The prototype of "Chichikov" in the literature
Russia at the time when the poem Dead Souls appeared was overrun with injustice, greed and other human vices. The classics tried to make fun of it, eradicate it through art. That is why the image of Chichikov is not the first and not the last in the literature. Molchalina (“Woe from Wit”) can be considered his prototype; it is difficult to disagree with this statement, because many critics have already drawn their parallels between these heroes. Chichikov still has moral principles, he pursues money for the sake of well-being, and not for unprincipled sporting accumulation. However, both characters will come to the same Plushkin end, only one will occasionally suffer from the ubiquitous injustice, and the second will take it for granted, learn to navigate in it.
Hero or villain
Summarizing, we can say that each reader responds differently to the image of Chichikov. Some will justify him completely, because we all want a better life for our children, and we can often sacrifice moral principles for their benefit. And the latter will condemn him, since even the most intelligent swindlers are negative heroes, they set a bad example to the younger generation.Anyway, the “Dead Souls” headed by the author presented the world with a completely new look at cunning in the ingenious use of seemingly unnecessary things.