Eugene Onegin Readalong, 7 & 8
Darn it, I finished Eugene Onegin days ago, but procrastinated my post too long. I feel out of the loop now! Tanglewood is a little late too.
Poor Lensky is gone, and Olga recovers quickly, marrying another young man. Onegin has fled and is traveling to escape his guilt. Tatiana is left on her own to brood, and winds up in Onegin's library, reading his books and realizing how little she knows this man. (Small note: Onegin's favorite book is Melmoth, a fact I did not notice the first time around. Now that I know what it is I see it everywhere. I might need to read it for Gothic October...) Is there even a real Onegin, or is he just a collection of literary tropes? Tatiana's parents decide that it is high time she stopped mooning about, and so they take her to Moscow in hopes of marrying her off.
Several years later, Onegin returns to Russia and goes to St. Petersburg. He is ready to be bored stiff by the same old round of parties, but a young woman, graceful and serious, the perfect hostess, catches his eye. It is Tatiana, now married to an older general. Now Onegin realizes her worth and falls for her; he writes endless letters and follows her around, but she ignores him completely. Finally he visits her and declares his feelings in person. Tatiana confesses that she still loves him, but also points out that he may only like her now because of her social success. She will remain true to her husband.
Tatiana now understands Onegin; she knows that he's not worthy of her. She loves him anyway, but acts according to her own ideas of what is right. Although it is not said, I'm sure she is also thinking about how Lensky died and is wisely avoiding such a scenario for herself (it just kills me that this is exactly how Pushkin died himself--in a duel over his wife's alleged affair). But duel or not, she acts like the virtuous heroine of a novel.
I really enjoyed reading this poem/story again, and I think I got a lot more out of it this time. Thanks, Tanglewood, for hosting!