Keywords: A. N. Ostrovsky, F. M. Dostoevsky, plot-figurative parallels, allusions, prototypes, creative dialogue, literary device.
For citation:

Mokina, N. V. “F. M. Dostoevsky and A. N. Ostrovsky: To the Problem of Literary Sources of Characters and Collisions in the Drama ʽWithout a Dowry’.” Dva veka russkoi klassiki, vol. 5, no. 2, 2023, pp. 104–121. (In Russ.)

Author: Natalia V. Mokina
Information about the author:

Natalia V. Mokina, DSc in Philology, Professor, Saratov State University, 83, Astrakhanskaya St., Saratov, 410012, Russia.


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Received: March 14, 2023
Approved after reviewing: April 18, 2023
Published: June 25, 2023
Issue: 2023 Volume 5 No. 2
Department: Textual Criticism. Source Study
Pages: 104–121

UDK: 821.161.1.09"19"


The article examines parallels in plot and images between Ostrovsky’s drama “Without a Dowry” and Dostoevsky’s novel “Demons.” Ostrovsky’s remarks about Dostoevsky in the last years of his life reveal that he distanced himself from the creative principles of the author of “Demons.” However, gestures and remarks of the characters of “Without a Dowry,” such as Paratov, Vozhevatov, Larisa Ogudalova, as well as motifs and collisions connected with them allow us to suggest that while working on the drama, Ostrovsky was influenced by a “literary recall” of Dostoevsky’s novel “Demons” and its characters, namely Stavrogin, Petr Verkhovensky, Liza Tushina. The possible parallels between the characters in “Without a Dowry” and “Demons” are also indicated by their common biblical and literary prototypes: there are allusions to the Serpent-temtper, Hamlet, Prince Harry, Mephistopheles and Faust contained in the stories of Stavrogin and Paratov, allusions to the Serpent and Mephistopheles in the gestures and actions of Petr Verkhovensky and Vozhevatov, while allusions to Ophelia, Gretchen and Poor Liza can be found in the images of Liza Tushina and Larisa Ogudalova. Even despite the differences in the writers’ approaches, there are remarkable plot parallels between the two works, common components in the characters’ images, similar artistic techniques, which, in our opinion, are signs of a literary “dialogue” between the authors of “Demons” and “Without a Dowry.”


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