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Literature / Anna Snegina

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Anna Snegina (Анна Снегина) is an autobiographical poem written by Russian poet Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin in 1925. The first part of the poem narrates about life in the two Russian villages: Radovo (Радово, possibly derived from "радость", which is Russian for "joy") and Kriusha (Криуша, possibly derived from "кривые уши", which is Russian for "curved ears"), about narrator's feelings for the World War I, and about his love for Snegina. Next parts of the poem tell us about the events in the Radovo and Kriusha, and the consequences of the Civil War and the Great October Socialist Revolution. In the end of the poem, the narrator receives a letter from Anna Snegina, who fled to London, and recalls his love for her.

The poem provides examples of :

  • Best Friend: The old miller was so glad to see the narrator that he couldn't "put two words together".
  • Book Ends: The end of the poem resembles the end of its first parts, but instead of "In those years we were all loving, but we weren't loved as much" there is "In those years we were all loving, but so, we were also loved".
  • Civil War: Characters of the poem talk about events that took place during Russian Civil War.
  • Crapsack World: Kriusha.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: The narrator recalls a childhood memory, in which he was in love with Snegina, but she said him "no" when he was sixteen. Snegina is then shown married to another man.
  • Draft Dodging: The narrator buys fake documents to avoid conscription.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The Bolshevicks claim to fight for liberation of the peasants, but the miller says that Kriusha became more peaceful after Whites had killed Pron Ogloblin.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: The foreman was killed by Pron Ogloblin during the conflicts between the inhabitants of Radovo and Kriusha.
  • Phony Veteran: Labutya Ogloblin, Pron's brother. Exaggerates his achievements during Russian-Japanese war, and positions his cowardice during White invasion to the Kriusha as his "bravery" which is worth "the Red military medal".
  • Reign of Terror: White invasion to the Kriusha described as something horrible, and the possible reason is to make inhabitants of Kriusha obey the White government.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The miller's wife suppose the violent conflict between inhabitants of Radovo and Kriusha to be caused by the February Revolution.
  • Revolving Door Revolution: Kriusha once obeyed to the monarchal government, then there were lawlessness after the February Revolution, then it was ruled by Communists, but then Pron Ogloblin was killed. As known from history, Bolshevicks won the Civil War, there's no doubt that Kriusha will be ruled by them.
  • War Is Hell: The narrator refuses to participate in the World War I and deserts, because innocent people are sent to death while merchants and noble people face no danger. In the next part narrator describes his contempt for the concept of war in general.