The Motifs of Searching for a Sense of Being in the Plot of the Novel by Ivan A. Bunin “The Life of Arseniev” Cover Image

Мотивы исканий смысла бытия в сюжете романа И. А. Бунина «Жизнь Арсеньева»
The Motifs of Searching for a Sense of Being in the Plot of the Novel by Ivan A. Bunin “The Life of Arseniev”

Author(s): Tat’yana Kovalyova
Subject(s): Christian Theology and Religion, Russian Literature, Existentialism, Theory of Literature
Published by: Петрозаводский государственный университет
Keywords: Ivan Bunin; “The Life of Arseniev”; Existential and Christian Motifs; Christian Values; longing for God; sense of being; true path; pilgrimage;

Summary/Abstract: The article focuses on the study of the role of the motifs in the development of the plot of Ivan A. Bunin’s novel “The Life of Arseniev”. Investigating the early stages of spiritual formation of the main character of the novel, the author of the article highlights the motifs of loneliness, the feeling of senseless of an imperfect existence, the aspiration to understand the meaning of all things, the highest sense of being, to find the source and sense of an existential despondency — longing for God. The aspiration to find unshakable and eternal values brings Arseniev about to take the unusual road, that is why the motifs of wanderings, encircling and pilgrimage have a significant role in the plot of the novel. The aimless wandering of Arseniev is a reflection of the fact that he has not yet found the highest sense of being, and is opposed to the motif of wandering as a conscious choice of the person, who establishes a certain truth by his own conscious way, that is why the meaning of the pilgrimage and such Christian images as a temple, church, cathedral, monastery, pilgrim, saints attests to the hero’s search for God and for the way to Him. Arseniev’s searches are conditioned by his strivings for an inmost soul that a human soul always imagines, that is by his longing for God, his desire to find the highest sense of being, a true path as the path to God.

  • Issue Year: 18/2020
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 276-293
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Russian
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