Familial Relationships In The Captain's Daughter By Alexander Pushkin

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Alexander Pushkin’s The Captain’s Daughter is a coming of age narrative. Throughout the work, Pushkin illustrates many familial relationships surrounding the protagonist, Petr Andreevich Grinev. These relationships Pushkin creates in The Captain’s Daughter are beyond Petr’s mother and father, stretching into non-biological relationships that mimic the growth-fostering environments and experiences of the nuclear family. When considering Petr’s migration to Fort Belogorsk, these non-biological relationships play a critical role in his maturation process from child to adult. By critically analyzing Petr’s relationships to other in the story, it can be seen that Pushkin uses these familial relationships as a facilitation mechanism for Petr’s development …show more content…
While Petr is still an immature teenager, his father declares it time he enters the military service. Andrei’s decision and Petr’s reaction give the reader a strong idea of Petr’s sophomoric mindset. Petr, after hearing his father’s proclamation, thinks to himself, “The thought of entering the service was connected in my mind with notions of freedom and the pleasures of Petersburg life. I imagined myself a captain of the Guards—a status that in my opinion was the ultimate in the wellbeing of men.” Pushkin uses Petr’s image of “the ultimate wellbeing of men” to show how immature and disillusioned Petr is at the beginning of the novel. Andrei’s decision (268) and Petr’s expression of disillusionment with the duty the service entails both prove Petr is simply an uninformed youth stumbling through life on his parents’ coattails. Pushkin illustrates this familial relationship between Petr and his parents in order to develop the beginnings of the coming-of-age …show more content…
The first of these instances is when Pugachev takes Belogorsk. After watching the Captain and Ivan Ignatich face their fate in the gallows for denying Pugachev as Sovereign, Petr thinks, “It was my turn. I was looking at Pugachev boldly, ready to repeat the answer my noble comrades had given him.” This quote shows Petr is no longer a brash child, but rather a defender of the true Sovereign. Petr’s next confrontation with Pugachev is an even more remarkable brandishing of his newly affirmed manhood. In response to Pugachev’s offer of servitude to Petr, Petr thinks to himself, “I could not acknowledge a vagabond as my Sovereign—that would have seemed inexcusable cowardice to me—but to call him an imposter to his face was to invite my own ruin. It seemed to me that to make the gesture now that I had been ready to make under the gallows…in the first heat of indignation, would be useless bragodaccio.” By avoiding responses which may make him seem like a gun-slinging child with nothing to lose, Petr proves to the reader he is not only thinking like a grown man, but also acting like a grown man. The relationship between Petr and Pugachev is precarious. Pushkin alludes to the relation between the two in Petr’s dream in the beginning of the novel. Pugachev acts as a pseudo-father to Petr in the

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