Статья 'Павлик Морозов в постсоветской действительности (по роману В. П. Крапивина «Бронзовый мальчик) ' - журнал 'Litera' - NotaBene.ru
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Pavlik Morozov in Post-Soviet Reality (based on V. P. Krapivin's novel "The Bronze Boy)

Sukhikh Ol'ga Stanislavovna

Doctor of Philology

Professor, Department of Russian Literature, Institute of Philology and Journalism, Natioanal Research Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod

603000, Russia, Nizhny Novgorod, Hero Bykov str., 12, sq. 50

ruslitxx@list.ru
Other publications by this author
 

 

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8698.2023.10.68847

EDN:

MONDOG

Received:

30-10-2023


Published:

06-11-2023


Abstract: The object of the analysis is V. P. Krapivin's novel "The Bronze Boy". The subject of the study is the representation of the image of Pavlik Morozov in this work. The purpose of the study is to identify the author's concept of the image and fate of Pavlik Morozov in the novel by V. P. Krapivin. The cultural-historical method of analysis allows us to see how the moment of the change of the country's political course was reflected in the literary text and determined the views of the hero of the past era. The method of holistic analysis helps to determine how the title of the novel and plot parallels contribute to the creation of the image of a child victim of socio–political struggle and cruelty of the world. The scientific novelty of the article is determined by the fact that the image of Pavlik Morozov in "The Bronze Boy" was not previously the subject of special study. The study leads to the following conclusions. V. P. Krapivin shows that Pavlik Morozov is not a traitor, but a victim of a clash of socio-political interests. In the past, his image was made a symbol of devotion to social values, and in the era of the 1990s, shown in the novel, he was again given the role of a symbol, but already negatively labeled. The deheroization of the image of Pavlik Morozov in the era of the 1990s is evidence of the moral failure of society, from the point of view of V. P. Krapivin. The analysis of the multidimensional meaning of the novel's title allows us to conclude that for the writer, the story of Pavlik Morozov has a universal character and this is due to the fact that adults sacrifice the interests of the child. In addition, this is the tragedy of a person who committed an act for high reasons, which from a formal point of view can be perceived as odious. In this regard, Pavlik Morozov in the figurative system of the novel has doubles, with which plot branches are connected, deepening the tragic beginning. The results of the study may have practical application in teaching Russian literature of the late twentieth century.


Keywords:

Krapivin, ideology, Pavlik Morozov, mythologisation, demythologisation, meaning of the title, plot, pioneer-hero, history, society

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

The image of Pavlik Morozov has long acquired a symbolic meaning in culture and public consciousness, was mythologized in the Soviet years, and then demythologized in the post-Soviet years.

Pavlik Morozov, of course, is far from the only teenager who has published any dangerous or unpleasant information exposing adults. And, of course, this is possible in any society, the facts of "child denunciations" in the history of not only our state are known. For example, M. Tendryakova in her works [14, 15] cites as examples the Worboys case of the end of the XVI century, in which children accused a neighboring family of witchcraft, which led to the execution of these people, as well as several other trials in England, which were built according to the same scheme. In the modern world, such a phenomenon as "child denunciation" is considered mainly in the context of problems of juvenile justice, for example, in the works of Tendryakova M. [14], Cherny K. [17], Medvedeva I. and Shishova T. [9].

However, it is the image of Pavlik Morozov in the public consciousness of our country that is inextricably linked with the politics and history of the Soviet state, with the ethics that was based on class values, on the priority of Marxist-Leninist ideology over other spiritual guidelines. In our opinion, it would be wrong to see in Pavlik Morozov's act a malicious denunciation, as, for example, K. Cherny interprets it [17], to perceive Pavlik Morozov as a "traitor boy", as Yu. Druzhnikov in his book [4], and in the exaltation of the "pioneer hero No. 1" to see the cult of denunciation. If we look at the question fundamentally, then it was rather a cult of preference for public interests over private ones, including family ones – in this, in our opinion, it is worth agreeing, rather, with the position of M. Gorky, who interpreted Pavlik Morozov's act as follows: "... having understood the wrecking activities of relatives by blood, he preferred kinship the interests of the working people are with them" – he said this in his "Final speech at the I All–Union Congress of Soviet Writers on September 1, 1934" [2, p. 354]. The public is more significant than the private - this is the meaning of the glorification of Pavlik Morozov's act, coinciding with Soviet ideological postulates. For this reason, his image was "canonized" and underwent large-scale mythologization [3, 4, 5].

It is natural that the perception of the personality of the pioneer hero and the mythology surrounding him began to change when there was a change in the attitude of society to this ideological paradigm. In the interests of establishing a new ideology at that time, the heroes of the past were intensively demythologized and even discredited in society, while the most complex, dialectically contradictory issues were often ignored, because "simplification of the world is an important part of any ideology" [6, p. 29]. The transformation of the perception of "pioneer hero No. 1" was reflected in journalism, in articles that draw attention to social, pedagogical, moral issues. At the same time, many simply mention the name of Pavlik Morozov as a symbol, there are also such authors who are not interested in the actual side of history. For example, K. Cherny declares in his article that he does not intend "to be a biographer of this subject" [17], and, apparently, on this basis, he presents what happened in the Morozov family in a distorted form beyond recognition: "... the boy was very offended by his father and, deciding to take revenge, simply denounced him to the GPU" [17], from which the conclusion is drawn: "A scoundrel? And what else ..." [17]. On the other hand, there is also a research approach to the study of the fate of Pavlik Morozov, and here, first of all, it is worth calling K. Kelly's book "Comrade Pavlik. The Rise and fall of the Soviet boy hero", which contains evidence, provides factual material that helps to imagine "how the cults of Soviet heroes were created" [5, p. 2].

In fiction, the figure of Pavlik Morozov is reflected in V.P. Krapivin's novel "The Bronze Boy". If K. Kelly in her book was guided by the desire to write the story of Pavlik Morozov "into the problem of childhood as such" [5, p. 3], then earlier this was exactly what V.P. Krapivin did, but in an artistic form.

Many literary and critical works, reviews are devoted to the work of V. P. Krapivin, but references to the novel "The Bronze Boy" are not so frequent. For example, in the dissertation of Yu. Anikina studies the peculiarities of the conflict between the world of children and the world of adults in the works of V. P. Krapivin in the 1980s-2000s, but the novel "The Bronze Boy" does not become a research material. N. G. Severova in her publication examines the works of the writer created in the 1990s [13], but does not analyze the "Bronze Boy". Article E. Savina is devoted to the theme of personality and collective in the works of V. P. Krapivin, including in the novel "The Bronze Boy" [11]. In the work of N. Svitenko [12], the types of value priorities and their implementation in the system of images of the novels of the cycle "Sails" are consideredEspada"". The incompleteness and emotional saturation of the finales of Krapivin's novels, including the "Bronze Boy", is discussed in the article by V. Shelestov (Shelestov V. Genuine literary humanism (to the 80th anniversary of V. Krapivin) // Prose.ru. https://proza.ru/2018/10/07/387 (accessed: 01.10.2023))

In our work, the object of analysis will also be V. P. Krapivin's novel "The Bronze Boy", and the subject of research is the image of Pavlik Morozov in this work, which has not previously been the focus of attention of literary critics and critics, which determines the scientific novelty of this article.

Considering the relationship between the author's intentions and the laws of the era in which the novel was created, we will rely on the cultural and historical research method, which allows us to identify the significance of the social and historical context for the formation of the main ideas of the work and the author's position and at the same time does not prevent the study of the author's individuality expressed in an artistic image [18]. Exploring the embodiment of the author's idea through a system of plot branches, the images of Pavlik Morozov's doubles, the semantic facets of the title of the work, we will use the method of holistic text analysis, which makes it possible to study the work as a formal and meaningful unity [8] and through the prism of poetics to see the essence of the author's concept, the unity of text and meaning [16].

V. P. Krapivin's novel "The Bronze Boy" was published in 1994, and the action in the work takes place in 1991, during the "August putsch" and immediately after it. It is not surprising that in the minds of the heroes of the book there is distrust of the authorities, disillusionment with socialist guidelines, in those views that were previously unquestionable, but, as it turns out, only because people had very little information, and selective. An example of this is the perception of the main character Danya Rafalov of the film "We are from Kronstadt", in which he saw a romantic tragedy of red sailors dying for their high ideals. He is amazed when grandfather Viktor Anatolyevich tells him that in the places where the picture was shot (near Sevastopol), many whites died who could not or did not want to flee abroad, believing the promises of the new government. When Danya recalls the trumpeter from the film "We are from Kronstadt", the grandfather agrees that this is "nothing picture" [7, p. 23], impressive, especially if "you don't know everything" [7, p. 23], and immediately draws the grandson's attention to the fact that there are paintings, where the story is shown from other positions, for example, "Running" by Bulgakov. Grandfather is not guided by the desire to overthrow ideals, he inspires the boy with the idea that feat, heroism, patriotism, high tragedy – all this is not the prerogative of any one side in the political struggle. The heroes of the novel come to the conclusion that it is worth erecting monuments to everyone who showed courage and valor, the ability to sacrifice for the sake of an idea, regardless of which political camp they belonged to and whether they won or lost. It is in this connection that the name of Pavlik Morozov appears in the novel, who was first canonized and then overthrown from the pedestal. In the perception of the grandfather and grandson of the Rafalovs, this is dishonest and unfair.

In general, the novel is imbued with compassion and respect for the "outsiders" of history. The author gives his view on the person who committed such an act, which most of the people around can perceive as odious, considering it from a formal point of view. And there are several similar personalities in the novel, "mini-plots" are connected with them, each of which is associated with the story of Pavlik Morozov in its own way and develops a tragic beginning.

Firstly, the hero of this type is, of course, Pavlik Morozov himself. The official view that he published the unpleasant truth about his father in the 1990s becomes unequivocally negative, his act is openly and categorically called betrayal, in particular, the teacher does this in an episode of a class meeting, and the opinion of the school director is also such. V. P. Krapivin in his works often focuses on the fact that that the teacher acts within the framework of formal rules, established (and mostly "lowered from above") principles, while the child looks at life with an open eye and sees that the official "truth" contradicts the real one. This motif is also in the novel "The Bronze Boy", it is realized in the plot more than once, and one of the culminating episodes in the development of this motif is an episode of discussion of Pavlik Morozov and the attitude towards him.

The teacher inspires the children that it would be wrong to leave the name of this pioneer hero to the squad, because it is not worth defending the "wrong thing": you cannot betray the fathers. The main character Danya Rafalov and his classmate Artem Reshetilo come into conflict with her, who also directs the conversation in another direction: it is unfair to accuse Pavlik Morozov that the state ideology has changed and the idea that was propagandized in his time and in which he believed is now declared "wrong." Artem Reshetilo, according to the assumption of the author and the hero, heard similar judgments from adults in his family, and Danya Rafalov recalls that his grandfather said about the same thing quite recently. This coincidence of views indicates that such opinions, from the point of view of V.P. Krapivin, are born in society naturally and, as they say, are in the air. Both the grandfather of the main character Viktor Anatolyevich Rafalov and, in all likelihood, the father of Artem Reshetilo express approximately one understanding of the history of the pioneer hero Pavlik Morozov: adults (party activists, teachers) convinced the boy of the beautiful essence of the great and bright communist future, for which you can sacrifice anything, and thus they actually prejudged him fate. Pavlik Morozov sacrificed family ties, the traditional principle of "honor your father and mother" for the sake of a new truth, and was killed for it. Subsequently, for the same thing, he was glorified as a pioneer hero: the same adults (this time workers of the ideological front at the level of the whole country) created a myth convenient for the state ideology. And as a result, when this ideology turned out to be a historical loser, adults again (now supporters of the liberal idea that triumphed in the 1990s) use the myth of Pavlik Morozov for their own purposes: they want to prove the immorality of the communist consciousness, to debunk the idea that common interests are more important than private ones. That is why Pavlik Morozov is now declared not a hero, but a traitor, a monument to him is thrown off the pedestal, teachers offer students to "cancel" the memory of him, as if to erase his name from the blackboard.

Children, first of all Danya Rafalov, believe that all this is dishonorable on the part of adults. In addition, he does not recognize the right of adults to talk about the immorality of betrayal, because they themselves betray children at every step. For Dani Rafalov, of course, his own story is superimposed on the story of Pavlik Morozov, who was defamed and became unnecessary under the new ideology, because he feels unnecessary to his father. That is why he so acutely negatively perceives the plot of "Taras Bulba", where the father kills his son. It seems to the hero that Gogol justifies the old Cossack who got rid of his son, who became "uncomfortable" – this is how he perceives the events depicted in the story against the background of his own emotions. The author of the "Bronze Boy" builds the course of the dialogue between the child and the teacher in such a way that he actually leaves the last word for Danya Rafalov, and not for the teacher, who is not used to discussions, especially with students, because she is not able to really argue her point of view, but can only pronounce "stamped" phrases about patriotism.

As a result, the attitude of ideologists to Pavlik Morozov, the indifference of the father to Dana Rafalov and the murder of his son by Taras Bulba line up in the novel in one row. The main character, who feels superfluous in his father's family, and Andriy, who was killed by Taras Bulba, can be considered as doubles of Pavlik Morozov, who was betrayed by the "fathers". Pavlik Morozov is perceived as a victim in this context. The whole emotional structure of the text, the system of duplicates, the course of the conflict, the dialogue, with arguments and counterarguments – everything is aimed at protecting the former hero who became an "antihero" in order to inspire the reader with the idea of the ambiguity of the story with Pavlik Morozov and the injustice of categorical assessments.

Secondly, in the novel, much attention is paid to another "antihero" – Captain Stroynikov, his fate becomes an important offshoot of the plot of the work. In the history of the Russian navy of the XIX century. there are two opposing pages, glorious and inglorious: the feat of the brig "Mercury" and the surrender of the frigate "Raphael" to the enemy. If the Mercury under the command of Alexander Kazarsky entered into an unequal battle with two Turkish ships and managed to stand and even win, then the Raphael under the command of Semyon Stroynikov surrendered to the Turkish squadron without a fight. It is generally accepted to assess this fact as treason to the principles of honor, as betrayal – this is the commonality of the established reputations of Captain Stroynikov and Pavlik Morozov. In V. P. Krapivin's novel, grandfather tells his grandson that their ancestor was a sailor on the frigate "Raphael" and, returning home, defended the good name of Captain Stroynikov, because he ordered the flag to be lowered not out of cowardice, but out of a desire to save the lives of sailors who, unlike officers, were not ready to die in an unequal battle. From the point of view of the heroes of the novel (and it is not refuted by anything, which gives reason to consider it the author's too), Semyon Mikhailovich Stroynikov is not a traitor, but a victim of public opinion, like Pavlik Morozov. The captain was stripped of his titles and awards, officially declared a coward and a traitor. He actually sacrificed his own career, reputation, broke his own life for the sake of saving subordinates. In the epilogue to the novel, Stroynikov is presented in the image of a priest who professes humanism even during a military confrontation and is able to forgive even the one who shoots at him. He condemns the act of a soldier who shot a British trumpeter, a very young boy, and rejoices that the young trumpeter was not killed: he believes that captivity is for him salvation from death in the war. In general, V. P. Krapivin looks at Stroynikov not as a traitor and traitor to military duty, but as a bearer of a humanistic and pacifist idea, for whom a person's life is more precious than any other values. Again, as in the case of Pavlik Morozov, we have before us a revision of the evaluation that has triumphed in society, the desire to see a different background behind the "betrayal". If the pioneer hero believed in the "light", in the new truth and for the sake of this idea he stubbornly went to the end (it is no accident that the monument to him is a figure of a teenager with his head stubbornly raised and clenched fists), then Stroynikov believed in his truth and defended it, no matter what circumstances and no one's opinions- this is how V. P. Krapivin represents these people.

Thirdly, another branch of the plot in the novel is connected with the fate of Nikita Tairov, this time a fictional hero who actually repeated the act of Captain Stroynikov during the civil War. The main character from Nikita Tairov's letter to his beloved learns about his story and his tragedy. Nikita, a young White Guard officer, surrenders his battery surrounded by enemy troops without a fight, because he believes that the Reds in this case can spare ordinary soldiers. He does not expect to survive himself, but wants to prevent the senseless death of his fighters. To lay down arms, to surrender is an act in which there is no greatness and beauty, but the hero's letter shows that it was great and wonderful feelings that pushed him to this.   

Fourthly, finally, the text of the novel "The Bronze Boy" mentions literary characters who, out of high motives, took such actions that supporters of official views could consider betrayal. These are the heroes of the works of M. Bulgakov ("The White Guard", "The Days of the Turbins", "The Run"), about which grandfather tells Dana Rafalov: "There is an episode repeated more than once, how the Russian colonel orders the junkers to go home, not to engage in battle with the Petliurists, so as not to die in vain" [7, p. 23] – and mentions that this went against the official understanding of officer honor. For supporters of loyalty to the oath at any cost, the Bulgakov colonel would look like a traitor to duty, and for the author of the White Guard and The Days of the Turbins, as well as for the author of The Bronze Boy, any price is not suitable, so for them the moral duty of the commander is to save people.

The predilection for heroes, whom fate put in cruel conditions, who had to make an "ignoble" decision for the sake of their ideals, manifests itself throughout the novel "The Bronze Boy", is realized in the branches of the plot, in the conceptual dialogues of grandfather and grandson, and in this sense, such characters of the work as Semyon Stroynikov and Nikita Tairov, become Pavlik Morozov's doppelgangers.

To understand the concept of V. P. Krapivin, to comprehend the author's view of the image of Pavlik Morozov, not only the plot branches and the system of images are extremely important, but also different facets of the meaning of the title of the novel "The Bronze Boy":

1) The bronze boy is the name given in the text to a figure standing in one of the city squares. This is a statue of Pavlik Morozov, who, as grandfather Rafalov said, was first "beckoned by the light", and then destroyed and accused of betrayal. The monument was erected to perpetuate the feat of the pioneer hero, and years later it was doused with muddy gray paint, then it was dismantled altogether in order to now destroy the memory of him. This monument has become a symbol of glory, which has turned into anti-glory. It is worth mentioning that at one time M. Gorky was very insistent on creating a monument to Pavlik Morozov [2], who saw in the pioneer hero a principled and courageous fighter who challenged established principles - this audacity was close to the writer himself, who "came to the world to disagree." And in the 1990s, the monument to Pavlik Morozov was dismantled: "As a result of the anti-myth created, the monument on Krasnaya Presnya was thrown off in August 1991" [3, p. 147]. Monuments to M. Gorky himself stand in their places, but the memory of the writer was seriously devalued at that time, it became fashionable to discredit him, some of his works disappeared from the school curriculum, other writers began to oppose him, who were allegedly more truthful or more free in their work, etc. For example, the pedagogical institute in the writer's hometown with In 1932 it was named after M. Gorky, and in the early 1990s it became the Nizhny Novgorod Pedagogical University named after Kozma Minin. Recalls the story presented by V.P. Krapivin, about how a teacher explains to children that their squad "it is inappropriate to leave the name of Pavlik Morozov now" [7, p. 62] ... Both are connected with the overthrow of former ideological guidelines and the imposition of new principles of attitude to life. And V. P. Krapivin writes about the injustice of what is happening in his novel, considering the degerization of Pavlik Morozov as a marker that society is losing values such as decency and humanism. It is not by chance that he calls the monument not a "bronze statue" or a "bronze figure", but a "bronze boy". The choice of the word "boy" humanizes the bronze statue, especially in combination with the description of the monument: "Straight, skinny, with clenched fists of lowered hands and raised head" [7, p. 64]. This gives rise to the perception of Pavlik Morozov not as an abstract symbolic figure, but as a child who defended his position and became a victim of injustice, as a person deserving understanding, sympathy and memory.

2) The bronze boy is a Tom Sawyer figurine, which was once hidden by the young Nikita Tairov, and now Danya Rafalov and his friends have found. And this, again, is not a "statue", not a "statuette", but a "boy": this is a living image close to real children.

At the same time, the bronze boy is Nikita Tairov himself, although he is no longer a boy by age, but still a young man, almost a boy, who directly associates himself with Tom Sawyer, and his beloved Olya is with Becky, that's why he hides the bronze statuette so that she later finds and remembers about a friend. And this young man, like Pavlik Morozov, becomes a victim of political struggle, his fate is tragic.   

3) Is associated with the bronze boy and Danya Rafalov, who thinks sympathetically about Pavlik Morozov and conflicts with his father, perceived as an apostate. Danya also finds a figure of another "bronze boy" hidden many years ago – Tom Sawyer, keenly experiencing the vicissitudes of Nikita Tairov's fate. In the pose of the bronze Pavlik Morozov, whom Danya sees in the square, despair and stubbornness are reflected in the expression of his face, in the turn of his head, and this unites the pioneer hero with the hero of the Krapivinsky novel. The same desperation and stubbornness control this boy when he finds Nikita Tairov's "treasure", challenges the teacher, defends an old house, risking his life when newly-minted businessmen buy a permit to demolish a cultural monument. And he, too, suffers not only because of family problems, but also because of the socio-political situation, because of the confrontation of different forces in the adult and cruel world. Parallels in the figurative system seem to become invisible threads that stretch from the main character to other "bronze boys".

4) The bronze statue of the trumpeter in Dani Rafalov's dream becomes a symbol of a child who is innocently suffering or even dying. The main character dreams of soldiers shooting at trumpeter boys and they fall from the fortress wall, and then it turns out that these are statues, one of which, a bronze one, resembles a monument to Pavlik Morozov, thrown from the pedestal - he is subsequently seen by Danya and his friend Salazkin, and they see him lying face down in the grass, like a trumpeter in the main character's dream. Thirteen–year-old "pupil of the regiment" Henry Linders, wounded and falling from a boulder in the epilogue to the novel, is another image of the defeated trumpeter, which is associated with the dream of Dani Rafalov. This dream symbolically unites the characters of the novel, whose "tears" the reader sees in the work, and in general children who have become victims of cruel circumstances and ruthless decisions, victims of socio-political struggle, the clash of different positions and interests. And Pavlik Morozov fits into this series organically in the novel, so that his image is really included in the context of "the problem of childhood as such" [5, p. 3], as K. Kelly later formulated.

So, the concept of the fate of Pavlik Morozov in the work of V. P. Krapivin is that it was not the child who betrayed the adult, but the adults betrayed the child, and there are tragic parallels to the development of this motive. In this regard, Danya Rafalov, who became unnecessary, "inconvenient" for his father, as well as Andriy, whom Taras Bulba, according to the main character of the novel, sacrificed for the sake of more important values for him, become doubles of the pioneer hero. This leads us to the conclusion that such a story is not a product of the Soviet 1930s, it grows to a tragedy of a universal nature.

The offshoots of the plot connected with the fates of such heroes as Pavlik Morozov, Semyon Stroynikov, Nikita Tairov create another series of double characters, who are united by the ability to make an "unheroic", "unrecognized" decision for the sake of their truth, which makes them traitors, violators of the laws of honor in the eyes of supporters of official morality. And again we see that the story of the pioneer hero is not exclusive and is not tied to the historical context only of the 1930s in the USSR, it is perceived as universal.

The meaning of the title of the novel, in turn, concentrates the pathos of compassion for the child victim, and among such suffering children in the novel, one of the main places is occupied by Pavlik Morozov.

The motif of the "tears of a child", highly characteristic of the works of V. P. Krapivin, as well as the motif of the persistence of the "bronze boys" who "fall without changing their poses" [7, p. 100], unites the figures of the novel's heroes into a collective image of the "trumpeter" – a brave and persistent teenager who opposes the injustice of the adult world, – and at the same time allows you to see the connection of times. 

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Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

Addressing the fate of the pioneer hero Pavlik Morozov in post-Soviet society is an acute and controversial issue, because it is connected with politics, morality, and an assessment of our country's past. The article submitted for review convincingly shows how public consciousness changed in the early 1990s and how the attitude towards Pavlik Morozov and his act reflected this complex and ambiguous process. The work analyzes V. P. Krapivin's novel "The Bronze Boy", and this in itself is significant, since the named work rarely becomes the object of study by literary critics, even specialists in the work of V. P. Krapivin. The analysis of the system of doubles in the novel is thorough and well–reasoned, proving that the technique of duplicity helps the author of the work to express the idea of a child victim of socio-political clashes and that one of such victims, from the point of view of V. P. Krapivin, is Pavlik Morozov. The author of the study proves that the writer portrays the pioneer hero not as a traitor, but as a victim of betrayal. The article provides a convincing analysis of the meaning of the name "Bronze Boy". Highlighting the various semantic layers that this title includes works to reveal not only the general idea of the writer, but also to comprehend the role of the image of Pavlik Morozov in the artistic system of the novel. The presented article includes a brief analysis of previous works dealing with the problems of the novel "The Bronze Boy", including the works of modern literary critics. This part of the article proves that the appeal to the named work remains relevant, including in the aspect of studying the author's attitude to Pavlik Morozov. The scientific novelty of the work is determined by the fact that in this perspective the novel "The Bronze Boy" has not yet been studied, while this facet of the work's problems is one of the most interesting and polemical. The abstract to the article allows you to get a fairly complete picture of the object and subject of the study, the methods used by the author, and the conclusions drawn. As a comment, it is worth noting that the conclusion to the work could be more detailed, but this does not affect the overall positive assessment of the presented study. The article deserves publication and may arouse the interest of literary critics and fans of V. P. Krapivin's work, as well as those who are not indifferent to Soviet history and its heroes. The practical application of the research is possible both in the field of university teaching of the history of Russian literature of the twentieth century, and in the field of school study of the works of this period and, in particular, the work of V. P. Krapivin.
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