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The "Meek" and "Proud" Types of Female Images in the Works of F.M. Dostoevsky: A Study of the Question of Virtue

Journal: RUDN Journal of Philosophy (Vol.25, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 59-71

Keywords : F.M. Dostoevsky; ethics; virtue; female images; meekness; pride;

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Abstract

The article analyzes the types of "meek" and "proud" female images in the works of F.M. Dostoevsky in connection with the typologies of the images of the writer among the literary critics N.A. Dobrolyubov, V.F. Pereverzev and A.A. Gizetti. The article refers to the classical authors of the early critical understanding of Dostoevsky's works, who divided female images into two opposite types of the "meek" and "proud". At the same time, the article emphasizes the idea that in Dostoevsky's polyphonic world every literary hero has a multidimensional consciousness, which is why the direct dichotomous division into the "proud" and "meek" can only be a rough generalization. The first part of the article examines the typologies of N.A. Dobrolyubov, as well as one of V.F. Pereverzev, who creates the most ambitious and significant typology, considering female images. He sensitively notices the ambiguity and tragedy of Dostoevsky's heroines and introduces the term "the doppelgängerwoman" into the typology of female images, on the basis of which each heroine somehow contains a certain internal conflict, the solution of which in the course of a novel allows her character to develop towards one of the indicated subtypes. The second part of the article analyzes the typology of A.A. Gizetti, who in his research focuses on such type of Dostoevsky's female images as the "proud", highlighting a new, "mysterious" subtype of the Dostoevsky's proud heroine. In the performed comparison of "meek" and "proud" types of female images it is considered to distinguish positive and negative ethical meanings of them. The article formulates conclusions about the various subtypes of "meek" and "proud" characters in the writer's artistic world, and outlines the grounds for further system of understanding of meekness and pride on a scale of correlation with vice and virtue.

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Last modified: 2021-03-17 04:48:57