Images of the Russian People and Russia in the Contemporary English Novel
The mythological image of Russia in English fiction has been shaped and repeated over the course of many centuries. Russia was traditionally viewed as a distant, cold, unpredictable, and wild country. The aim of the article is to examine a new Russian cultural discourse that first appeared in English fiction in the early twentieth century and developed during the last decades of the twentieth and the first decade of the twenty-first centuries. Russia’s history in the twentieth century had a powerful impact on Russian themes in English literature. To prove this point, novels by three contemporary female English writers are analysed. In Penelope Lively’s The Moon Tiger (1987), Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Beginning of Spring (1988), and Helen Dunmore’s The Siege (2001) and The Betrayal (2011), Russian history is viewed sympathetically through the dramatic fates of normal people. The characters break down stereotypes and create a complex image of Russia and its people in contemporary English fiction.
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