Verbalization of the Concept of Dignity in Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Novel “The First Circle”

Natalia Minyailo


The article analyzes the verbal realization of the concept of dignity in O. Solzhenitsyn’s novel «The First Circle». Verbalization of the concept of dignity characterizes the positive characters of the novel and is a part of the ways of reproducing general humanistic issues, revealing the author’s intentions for both positive and negative characters, which creates contrast in describing the then civilizational ambiguous era. The humanistic orientation of the positive characters in the novel, who are marked by dignity, self-sacrifice (Nerzhin, Sologdin, Volodin), courage (Khorobrov, Rubin), honest attitude to work (Potapov, Egorov) is observed. It was found out that the character of Gleb Nerzhin, in whom the reader can recognize O. Solzhenitsyn himself, and the image of Spiridon Egorov are the most comprehensively depicted. The first is a representative of the intelligentsia, the second – of ordinary people. They are united by the inner humanism, which does not depend on historical circumstances or situational trials. This, according to the author, is the basis of the immortality of the people, reveals their deep philosophy, based on humanistic principles. In general, it is determined that dignity/humanity is the leading motive of the novel, supplemented by the elements of motives of male friendship and sincere love in the difficult conditions of tyranny. The images of representatives of the tyrannical government are covered in detail through their dialogues and monologues, including internal ones. Yes, the image of Stalin appears as painted with dark signs in contrast to a sunny day. In the end, the conceptual sphere of humanism is concretized in the motive of the heroes’ struggle for better life for all the people not only of their native country, but of the whole world. It is this motif that characterizes the 1970 Nobel Prize-winning work of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. The issue of the novel is also marked by a certain controversy: for example, the theme of war and the related celebration of victory are very relevant today in both Ukraine and Russia, where this theme is an important ideological factor.


Alexander Solzhenitsyn; novel «The First Circle»; the concept of dignity; humanistic motives; positive characters


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