The naturalistic image of jews in I. Franko’s novel "At the bottom"

  • Alla Kolesnyk Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Head of the Department of Ukraine-study and Foreign Languages of Dnipropetrovsk State University of Internal Affairs
Keywords: naturalism, I. Franko, novel


In the article the peculiarities of the artistic image of the Jews in the novel by I. Franko "At the bottom" are analyzed, the elements of naturalism in the reproduction of the images of
Jews are identified. The author of the article draw on the opinion of leading scholars on the problem of naturalism in Ukrainian literature, in particular, on the adherence of Ivan Franko in his early work to the program requirements of naturalism. The research is based on the determine of the typological characteristics of the image of the Jews in the novel by I. Franko "At the bottom" in accordance with the fundamental dominants of naturalism, in particular, the accurate, almost scientific reflection of all phenomena in life, objectivity, combination in the artistic depiction of natural and social components, factuality. The manifestation of these features in the depiction of two figures of Jews: an old, honest worker from Borislav and a young man – a city thief are analyzed in the article. It is determined that the vitality is manifested in the description of the external signs that characterize the material state of the characters: the exhausted features of the face of an old Jew who worked in Boryslav, and the clothing of a Jewish boy, which reveal his poverty, as well as in the naturalistic description of the prison cell and prisoners as a whole. Generalizations and typing are manifested in the deprivation of characters of individuality – the absence of names of both Jews, the deprivation of national features, in particular, the language features of a Jewish boy, which was used to introduce him into the category of one of the members of Ukrainian society of Galicia. Factography is observed in the description of frames
taken from the flow of life, "pieces": moments of the heroes’ dream – in order to create an idea of their difficult life; in depicting horrific paintings, including a bloody jailbreak, designed to get the reader to think and change their attitude to the social problems of society. The article concludes that with the help of a naturalistic image the writer recreated the type of majority of Jews of that time who were forced to survive in any way and had the same social problems as most Ukrainians of Galicia, reflecting the writer’s attempt to change society.


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How to Cite
Kolesnyk, A. “The Naturalistic Image of Jews in I. Franko’s Novel "At the Bottom"”. Literature and Culture of Polissya, Vol. 98, no. 14f, May 2020, pp. 57-65, doi:10.31654/2520-6966-2020-14f-98-57-65.