Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №15/2008

The Role of Books in Human Lives

My Favourite Books and Characters

Books have always played an important role in human lives. We get to know culture, life and interests of the past generations through books. Reading books is also a good way of learning history, because many books describe different historical periods.

Nowadays you can find any book you want. And it is a great opportunity for people today because books were not always available to readers during the Soviet period. But despite this unlimited access to books, the present generation is not really interested in reading, because they prefer to spend their leisure time in front of computers. And this fact is becoming a problem more and more with the decreasing level of academic education. Young people are not so multifaceted and literate as they used to be, for example in the 19th or 20th centuries, when literature was very essential for people.

Russia has always been famous for its literature. The rise of Russian literature in the 19th century is called “The Golden Century”. The 20th Century in Russia is regarded as “The Silver Century”.

As for me, one of my favourite writers is F.M.Dostoevsky. He was born on the 11 of November 1821 and died in 1881. The first novel which made him famous was Poor People. Creating the character of Makar Devushkin in this novel, Dostoevsky continues the literary gallery of characters of a “small man”, begun by Pushkin and Gogol. The novel is written in the form of letters written by Makar Devushkin to Varya Dobroselova, and the author’s position is expressed through the words of the main character.

But my favourite novel by Dostoevsky is Crime and Punishment. This novel is about a poor student Rodion Raskolnikov, who was suspended from university because he couldn’t pay for his education. As a result of his poverty, he committed a crime: he killed an old woman who was a money lender. He found her greedy, evil and stupid, that’s why he always had such questions in his mind, “Why is she living?”, “Is she helpful to anyone?”, etc. Raskolnikov tries to decide if it is possible to gain happiness through crime. Creating his theory about the right of a strong personality to commit a crime, Raskolnikov tries to understand if it is possible to improve the life of future generations. The aim of this crime (robbery of the old woman, which he was going to spend on lots of good things) wasn’t achieved. After the crime, he was frightened of what he had just done. Finally he says, “Do you think I’ve killed the old woman? I’ve killed myself, not her”. At the end of the novel, Raskolnikov made a confession and was imprisoned. And only in prison did he gain the awareness of the value of human life and rejected his theory.

Crime and Punishment teaches us that there are no “unnecessary people” and we have no right to take anyone’s lives.

By Hristina Egorova ,
11th form, School No. 814, Moscow