The image of the hero in the battles of the twentieth century – a model of past, present and future feat
The article is devoted to one of the most relevant themes of the modern society’s analyzing – the image of the hero-winner of the Great Patriotic War, alive today as a matrix of the whole nation’ heroism being capable to win under all circumstances of a terrible war. The hero image of the war times is a valid one of all Russian defenders- patriots of Motherland. Heroism forever is a national idea as an ideal of Russia’ existence for past, present and future.
«The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, Is more important than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, or say, or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. Life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our Attitude»
Justification of the choice of the topic and its practical significance is a sphere of interest of researchers, scientists, writers and teachers at our days. The theme of the term “Patriotism” has been mentioned for many years of the Russian post-war history and in the era of innovative information revolution as well. It is like this because this quality is an essential characteristic feature of our nation, winning the war, overcoming difficulties of restoration after the war, and after all, glorifying the native land by talented writers and, poets, taking part in the horrible battles against fascists.
The main concern of our days is the connection of those faced War and won and a new generation, asking the questions about heroes from childhood. We mean the very concept “Who is a hero?” for all times. The main one and the most expressive definition of A Great Victory Hero was shown by our great-grandfathers through the whole essence of the heroism of a simple soldier.
We have a great opportunity of reading literature not only to know how hard was the war, but try to penetrate through the process of creation “A Hero image”. It is extremely important for personality forming especially today, in the times of contradictions and personal inner conflicts waiting for correct solving for the sake of internal perfection of the very personality born in the times of a hero image had been formed by the very conception of the heroes country.
To understand correctly the definition of “A Hero soldier image” as the essence of the heroism of the whole country means to understand and recognize patriotism of the nation as a single possibility, opportunity, mission, duty, honor actions and activity launching to win an enemy of the Motherland. Literature saved for us models and examples of heroic behavior of those heroes… It helped new generation to create an image of a hero, admire it, remember it, keep it in memory of unseen and unlived impressions of participation with those heroes. But this image in mental memory plunge us mentally into the situation described by the author. The students write in their essays on theme” What do you know about definition “A Hero image in past, today and future?’ : “It made us experience to feel all the feelings of the hero”; “It taught me not to be afraid of situation where I can help and save somebody”; “If I were there with them, real Heroes, I would know what to say to my sons about the main things in life- Your happy family in your happy country only you can protect.” A great number of letters, memories, poems of the front-line soldiers – heroes described the brunt of the soldier’s fate, soldiers’ dreams, hopes and aims- to win, to save, to survive in order to live in generations. Due to their feat being widely described in twentieth century literature, we know much about the price of heroism as measure of personal contribution in sufferings of the Motherland and its Victory in all times.
Russian literature, in general, occupies a special place in world literature. If we talk about the Russian literature of the twentieth century, it is also called the “silver age”. Writers began to attract eternal and deep-seated questions about good and evil, about the essence of life and death, human nature and hero image. The greatest of those describing heroes as the flagmans of the native country were such poets and writers as A. Akhmatova, S. Yesenin, M. Tsvetaeva, V. Mayakovsky, A. Tolstoy, M. Zoshchenko, E. Zamiatin, A. Platonov, M. Bulgakov, O. Mandelstam. The period of the Patriotic War of 1941 gave a large amount of patriotic lyrics by A. Tvardovsky, K. Simonov, A. Akhmatova, N. Tikhonov, V. Sayanov. The prose writers colorfully described the struggle of the Soviet people against fascism.The experience shows that having written about horror of the War as a world tragedy, not less, new generation may learn to experience every moment of time as if it were to eternal memory of those passed…
The Great Patriotic War has its direct relationship with literature, for many years being separated from the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) description. Time demonstrated great attention of the current generation to the distant years of war, to the origins of the feat and courage of the Soviet soldier – hero, liberator. A soldier, who destroyed the enemy for the sake of a happy life for many generations is a humanist.
As a result, the writer's word in war and postwar is hard to overestimate. With proud and admire again and again we return to the works that constituted the golden fund of literature on the Great Patriotic War.
“There is no greater honor for the Soviet writer,” A. Fadeev wrote in those years, “and there is no higher task for Soviet art than the daily and tireless service of the artistic word to his people during the terrible hours of battle.” In the unforgettable words of Boris Slutsky we recognize the author’s understanding of “Hero image”. We are happy to admit that the very definition did not change since the poet’s times: “Yes, we did everything we could! Who could, how much could and how could. And we were the sun of scorching, And we went on hundreds of roads. Yes, everyone was injured, contused… And every fourth is killed. And personally the fatherland is needed.And personally will not be forgotten”. (Boris Slutsky).
Celebrating the75th anniversary of the Great Victory, our country again ana again brings us all back to those tragic heroic days. Our Motherland honors its veterans, they are, unfortunately, less and less with each year. Great monuments to their fallen comrades remind us “Let us bow to those great years”. I reminds us a truth of E. Hemingway “Never send to know “For whom the Bell Tolls?” It tolls for Thee.” And in all time s it is more than for the sake of glory. It is for the sake of life on earth. We read about it in the trilogy of Konstantin Simonov (“The Living and the Dead”, “Soldiers are not born”, “Last Summer”) consistently highlights the main stages of World War II, it tells how yesterday’s boys became soldiers, realized their personal responsibility for the fate of their homeland.
Here are the images of Sintsov and Serpilin, who, as millions of people who were not born soldiers and were not professional military men, but took up arms to defend their homeland. They are two of millions, under any circumstances they showed nobility and honesty.
The life of General Serpilin is tragically cut short: he dies from shrapnel wounds in May 1944, during the offensive of our troops, without seeing victory. With his death, the writer emphasizes, “at what price happiness was won,” with what heroic efforts we got the victory.
By definition, writer Yuri Bondarev, heroism is overcoming oneself (he passed away in 2020). Bondarev puts his heroes in the most difficult, most tragic circumstances. “Everything was burning, tearing, cracking”... “even the snow seemed hot” – in such situations the characters of the stories “The battalions are asking for fire” and “Hot snow” act. And here, in the midst of blood and death, man simply and imperceptibly does the usual and holy deed – protects the Motherland. Captain Boris Yermakov escaped from the hospital, not wanting to break away from his unit. The order of the offensive is joy for Boris. With his eyes inflamed from insomnia, in his burnt tunic smelled of gunpowder, he fights in the enemy's rear, realizing that there will be no support and that the battalion is doomed to death. But even in the face of death, Yermakov does not change his sense of duty, does not lose heart, but accomplishes his inconspicuous feat, even without being aware of it. About such as Serpilin and Yermakov, wrote the front-line poet Grigory Pozhenyan:
“We didn’t ask for honors, we didn’t wait for awards for business, We were Russia's common glory as a soldier’s award.” Unforgettable are Andrei Sokolov from Mikhail Sholokhov's “Fate of a Man”, Lieutenant Pluzhnikov and foreman Vaskov from Boris Vasiliev’s stories “Didn’t appear in the lists” and “And the dawns are silent here...” and of course the famous Vasily Terkin from the poem by Alexander Tvardovsky.
Each hero has has his (her) own fate and own character. The different were the forms of manifestation of the feat. All these forms had much in common. They all were united by the moral greatness of a person who defends his Homeland. These ordinary at the first glance people were not ordinary at all. They were loving-life heroes. They daily risked it, selflessly went to the feat, to death, only to bring victory closer.
The images of war veterans, rising from the pages of books about the Great Patriotic War, remind us of what a person should be. These became over the world known personalities images remind the whole mankind about eternal values, as dignity, honor, mercy, reliability, responsibility and those moral principles with which we must be true in any circumstances., when our country has been saving the world from the new war.
- Simonov K. The living and the dead. 1957.
- Konstantin Simonov in the memoirs of contemporaries. E.Katseva, L.Zhadova, S.Karaganova. Moscow, 1984.
- Bondarev Y.V. Battalions are asking for fire. Hot snow. Moscow, 1972.