Christian Semantics of the Story Christ Visits a Peasant by Nikolay Leskov Cover Image

Христианская семантика рассказа «Христос в гостях у мужика» Н. С. Лескова
Christian Semantics of the Story Christ Visits a Peasant by Nikolay Leskov

Author(s): Natalia Nikolaevna Starygina
Subject(s): Christian Theology and Religion, Semantics, Russian Literature, Theory of Literature
Published by: Петрозаводский государственный университет
Keywords: Leskov; text; Christianity; reader; inner world; symbolism; motif; plot; image;

Summary/Abstract: The article reveals the Christian meaning of the story Christ Visits a Peasant by Nikolay Leskov. Intended for children’s reading, the story is unique in its ability to open new semantic horizons, which makes the work interesting for readers of any age. The plot-forming motif “to descend in order to ascend” can be interpreted as a motif of spiritual rebirth (or healing). The hero-narrator reproduces the story of the main character’s spiritual struggle, the meaning of which is revealed in the context of the Christian teaching about the spiritual dispensation. The story forms a system of Christian motifs (sin, forgiveness, the return of the prodigal son, meeting with God, the heart, etc.), indicated by precise instructions and allusions to biblical stories, images and symbols. In the motif complex of Leskov’s story, the traditional Christmas and Yuletide prose motifs of miracle, teaching, threshold, meeting, guest, path, and home are organic. Creating the image of Christ, the writer reveals his divine properties with the help of numerous symbols: “white hand”, “the divine fate”, light, Cup, candle, Christmas cribs, monastery, etc. In the context of Christian content, everyday motifs of family, friendship, reading, generations, etc., everyday events (building a house, celebrating the Nativity of Christ, reading books, traveling, etc.) acquire symbolic meaning. In the everyday life of the characters, spiritual reality manifests itself. Leskov teaches his reader to see the spiritual world behind habitual everyday phenomena, events, and relationships.

  • Issue Year: 18/2020
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 238-259
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Russian