Images of wolves in the works of Chingiz Aitmatov

Images of wolves in the works of Chingiz Aitmatov

Reflecting on how to rid nature of “scourge”, human tyranny, malice and cruelty, the writer comes to the conclusion that neither an individual righteous person nor the resistance of the animals themselves can change the situation. The situation of the people is so difficult that it simply makes no sense to fight alone for truth and justice. But Aitmatov points out the right of the animal world to fight for its freedom, for life, for its habitat. He writes about the inevitability of a moment when nature will begin to take revenge for itself, without understanding who is right and who is wrong. And this is our pain today, it’s worth thinking about now. And all of them, animals, are only victims of the moral degradation of humanity. Consistently and with vivid artistic expressiveness, the writer conveys in his works the idea that the liberation of the animal world, the situation of which was also aggravated by the inability to actively resist, is completely in the hands of human consciousness, we ourselves are capable of changing the situation, if only we want, everyone wants these changes peace! Such a statement about the need for a complete change in social consciousness has been heard more than once in Russian and foreign literature, but Aitmatov expresses this statement through the depiction of the life of animals, their feelings, their emotional charge. The unusual display of the spiritual essence of wolves also determines a new understanding of their characters, and a psychological analysis of the characters leads to the idea that the animal world is a much more complex phenomenon than it seems at first glance, and it is fraught with opportunities for moral self-improvement and renewal.

The image of Wolves is one of the central ones in the novel “The Scaffold”, bright, full, dramatic. It represents the defenselessness of animals, their powerlessness before humans. The heroes of this novel (Ober-Kandalov and the “junta” headed by him, Bazarbai and the anashists led by Grishan) more than once adhere to the opinion that people are the only rational beings in the Universe, that reason and memory are given only to man. The introduction of a wolf couple into the plot of the novel not so much refutes these assumptions as it raises the question of their correctness. It is these two lines - the debunking of theories that place humans above all other creatures on Earth, and the affirmation of the priority of moral principles - that run in parallel, and Akbar’s she-wolf embodies them. The entire system of characters, plot and composition are one way or another designed to reveal the image of the she-wolf.

The she-wolf carries the idea of ​​moral memory; she, together with Tashchainar, personifies the world of animals, the world of nature. Hence the metaphorical comparison: the misfortune that befell her species is the misfortune that befell nature as a whole...

Our acquaintance with Akbara and Tashchainar occurs at the very beginning of the novel, and isn’t there a deeper meaning to this? Aitmatov begins the novel not with people who are eternally concerned about their well-being, but with a frightened she-wolf in the mountains, who hid deep into the rock and “shrank like a spring, raising her neck and looking ahead with phosphorescent eyes wildly burning in the semi-darkness, ready at any moment for a fight ". It was precisely this fear, simply from the stones and snow rolling down from above, that Aitmatov considered an important and necessary fragment with which to begin the novel. Tashchainar wakes up from panicked cries; with his tenderness and sympathy he drowns out the unfounded fear and premonition of trouble in Akbara’s soul. It’s as if he shows an example of ideal harmony in the family, addressed to us, people who have biasedly hung a lot of all kinds of labels and meanings on the family model, who have treated her cruelly and unfairly: “Tashchainar the Stone Crusher, so nicknamed by the surrounding shepherds for his crushing jaws, crawled up to her I lay down and purred soothingly, as if covering her with my body from harm." This is how it should be, this is the spiritual essence of relationships, and it is deeply human.

The she-wolf’s love for her unborn brood, the fear of losing it, is a symbolic generalization of the same humanity, presented in a metaphorical vein: “Listening to what was happening against her will in the revived womb, Akbara became worried. Her heart began to beat faster - it was filled with courage, the determination to certainly protect, to protect from danger those whom she carried within herself.” Akbara is obsessed with persecution mania - these are the results of human interference in her life. And we will find the origins of this fear in the fate of the she-wolf.

Wolves in nature live in pairs, Akbara and Tashchainar were no exception: two strong, intelligent and dexterous animals merged together, forming a powerful and worthy wolf union in nature. But they did not form it out of the need for a couple and reproduction of offspring - the essence of their couple is precisely love, mutual and reverent. And here the case of “Tashchainar’s betrayal” that happened once is indicative. Jealous, Akbara straightforwardly declares her spiritual need for love and the desire to prioritize: either a sneaky animal instinct, or undivided love with her, Akbara, because in this union she was the mind, the head, and the mentor. The seemingly unshakable advantages of animals over people: the lack of fidelity, commitment and jealousy, are rebutted by the she-wolf with her actions. And here is the source of true feeling - a fundamental reluctance to share a loved one with anyone: “...Only once there was a strange, unexpected incident when her wolf disappeared before dawn and returned with the alien smell of another female - the disgusting spirit of a shameless heat, which caused her uncontrollable anger and irritation, and she immediately rejected him, unexpectedly sank her fangs deep into his shoulder, and as punishment made him hobble behind for many days in a row. She kept the fool at a distance and, no matter how much he howled, she never responded, did not stop, as if he, Tashchainar, was not her wolf.” Aitmatov, endowing Akbar with the ability to be jealous, puts forward a figurative definition of the social nature of feelings, capacious and precise, a kind of artistic formula: “a being that has entered into organic unity is not indifferent to the fate of its half.” Aitmatov also focused on Akbara’s “transparent blue eyes,” as if in the eyes of animals their soul, the whole world, the whole universe with its aspirations, desires, and needs.

But in the life of this couple there appear “those who themselves live, but do not allow others to survive, especially those who are independent of them, but are free to be free.” Harmony in nature is lost: humans disturb balance and peace, and animals, asking many questions, are unable to understand the source of permissiveness. “People, people are man-gods!” This thought has nothing to do with the ideas of the structure of the world, but this is only if we talk about the world of people... Yes, a person does not recognize the right to be above others, to administer justice, execute and pardon at his own discretion, but in relation to nature and animals everything otherwise. Elementary greed, the struggle for one’s own well-being, which is justified almost by state necessity, can lead to unprecedented cruelty and barbarity. But nature does not understand this, perceiving everything that is happening as universal horror: “cars, helicopters, rapid-fire rifles - and life in the Moyunkum savannah was turned upside down...”. For the inhabitants of the savannah, a person, as an intervention “from the outside,” is akin to a natural disaster, a real danger for the reversal of large-scale problems.

And this destructive force of human cruelty performs a terrible and bloody act of destruction of animals, in which Akbara’s first brood perishes. Newly born wolf cubs, going hunting for the first time, “did not yet know what hardships hunting brings.” In these sucklings the she-wolf saw the meaning of life, loved them madly, fancifully giving nicknames to each wolf cub, as if distinguishing them. And they die. They die not because of their own mistakes, but because of a random combination of circumstances. And “how could they, the steppe wolves, know that their original prey - saigas - was needed to replenish the meat supply plan?” An exceptional horror takes over when reading the barbaric round-up of saigas: “a continuous black river of wild horror rolled across the steppe, along the white snow powder.” Through the eyes of the she-wolf, the entire action is shown: “fear reached such apocalyptic proportions that the she-wolf Akbar, deaf from the gunshots, thought that the whole world had become deaf and numb, that chaos reigned everywhere and the sun itself... was also rushing about and looking for salvation.” No, she doesn’t hear any screams or the voice of reason, only one thing is in her heart - horror and disbelief in what is happening... But when the sounds of the earth and awareness of reality return, horror is replaced by suffering... Where is the salvation? Where is the exit? Why, why is this attack? And a thin thread connects her current experiences with what Boston, a man, will experience, but also submitted to grief, having accepted the death of his only and dearest son: “he walked like a blind man, clutching the baby he had killed to his chest. Behind him, screaming and wailing, walked Gulyumkan, supported by the arm of a loud neighbor. Boston, stunned with grief, heard none of this. But suddenly, deafeningly, like the roar of a waterfall, the sounds of the real world fell on him, and he realized what had happened, and, raising his eyes to the sky, he screamed terribly: “Why, why did you punish me?” After all, for a thinking and feeling being there is no significant difference - before grief, everything is in moral equality. And in this race of life, when the “persecuted and the persecutors” ran side by side, no longer remembering their natural essence, they ran to survive. Didn't the way the wolves suddenly become like cowardly saigas during shelling mean that the natural plans of the world have been destroyed? And the wolves here seem more noble than people, and in this situation man is a predator. Aitmatov explains the reasons for crimes against the primordial harmony of existence. It is no coincidence that after the scene of the raid there are phrases about Akbara’s forced flight: “Sadly and bitterly the crumpled flowers of her traces stretched across the snow.” The she-wolf, physically exhausted, carries with her a spiritual illness: “every touch to the ground caused pain. Most of all they wanted to return to their usual lair, lose themselves and forget what had befallen their unfortunate heads.” A harsh assessment is given to those who have “crumpled up the inflorescences” of the free and familiar steppe life: “homeless people,” “tumbleweeds,” “professional alcoholics,” who have long been “embarrassed at the world.”

И после той гигантской бойни волки, покинув Моюнкумские степи, уйдя ближе к горам, к озеру, уносят с собой сокрушительное горе, страдания, потери. И, попытавшись начать все с нуля, пара лютых опять сталкивается с преднамеренным преступлением человека, ставка которого на одномоментную пользу, сиюминутную выгоду выдает весь цинизм происходящего. Что им вечность, если миг позволяет урвать больше? И что душа, когда не о ней печаль, а о престижной карьере? Изречено же до них: гори всё синим пламенем. А Акбара и ее семейство вновь жертвы «светопреставления в приалдашских камышах». И гибнут родившиеся там щенки, когда люди поджигают местность вокруг озера. «Пожару дали старт посреди ночи. Обработанные воспламеняющимся веществом, камыши вспыхивали как порох, во много раз сильнее и мощнее, чем густой лес. Пламя выбрасывалось до небес, и дым застилал степь так, как туман застилает землю в зимнюю пору». Гибель камышовых джунглей, как и озера, «пусть и уникального», «никого не остановит, если речь идет о дефицитном сырье. Ради этого можно выпотрошить земной шар, как тыкву». Это суровость современного мира, и подана Айтматовым без преувеличения. Как мы видим, мир придумывает куда более изощренные методы своего уничтожения, чем это сделала бы самая максималистическая фантастика. И как замечает Муса Джалиль: «Что там волки! Ужасней и злей -// Стаи хищных двуногих зверей». Ища спасение от этого наваждения, убегая от опасностей и своих переживаний, Акбара и Ташчайнар перебираются в горы - «теперь единственное место на земле, где они смогут выжить», «то была последняя, отчаянная попытка продолжить свой род». Но и там, в несвойственной для проживания волков местности, по пятам за животными идет тень несчастий. Испытав волков жестокостью, бездушием, люди устраивают им еще один экзамен, которому суждено было завершиться бедой - из норы в горах человек выкрадывает их последних четверых волчат. Это было последней каплей терпения. Волчица теряет интерес к внешнему миру и остается наедине со своим горем, начинает мстить людям. Акбара олицетворяет природу, мать-природу, которую одолевает идея возмездия, она пытается спастись от уничтожающих ее людей, потому что бежать уже от этой напасти некуда, да и есть ли смысл? Волчица хочет сохранить себя, свое будущее, потомство, но, когда Базарбай крадет ее щенков, начинает мстить, не разбираясь, кто виноват на самом деле. И как сказал Бостон: «Они звери, они знают одно: их сюда привел след и здесь для них все- конец, свет клином сошелся». Чтобы заглушить бешенство, отчаяние и душевную боль, во власть которых попала и обезумела в своем несчастье эта пара волков, Акбара с Ташчайнаром выли, прося «человекобога» вернуть им выводок: «Над кошарой разносился вой, то заунывный и тягостный, то яростный и злобный - это волки, ослепленные горем, кружа, блуждали во тьме. Особенно надрывалась Акбара. Она голосила, как баба на кладбище». Нет, все-таки нет ничего страшнее для матери, чем потеря детей. И сердце не желает верить всему происходящему. И пошла о них страшная слава. Но люди видели лишь внешнюю сторону дела и не знали подлинной подоплеки, подлинных причин мести- не ведали о безысходной тоске матери-волчицы по похищенным из логова волчатам. После того как Бостон убил Ташчайнара, жизнь Акбары и вовсе утратила смысл: «Беспросветно тяжко было Акбаре. Она сделалась вялой, безучастной - ела всевозможную мелкую живность, что попадалась на глаза, и большей частью уныло коротала дни где-нибудь в укромном месте», мир для нее утратил свою ценность, и жила она исключительно воспоминаниями: «чаще всего вспоминала она своего волка, верного и могучего Ташчайнара». «Во всей округе Акбара осталась неприкаянной. Лишь ее никак не касалась кипящая вокруг жизнь. Да и люди, можно сказать, забыли о ней: после потери Ташчайнара Акбара ничем о себе не напоминала, даже у зимовья Бостона и то перестала выть». Но не все умерло в душе Акбары - осталась неистраченная материнская любовь, полные резервуары нежности и ласки… И вот она предфинальная картина романа как итог того, что создавшиеся экологические ситуации повлекут за собой и другие, более тяжелые последствия: человек нарушил гармонию в природе, а она мстит. Мстит бессознательно, повинуясь лишь своей нужде. Но этот суд ее над людьми страшен, жесток, беспощаден. Гибель маленького Кенджеша, унесенного Акбарой, потрясает своим трагизмом. Ведь сама-то волчица вовсе не хотела гибели этого человеческого детеныша, она вновь поддалась самообману, продиктованному сердцем решению- унести этого детеныша, чтобы он жил с ней. «И непонятно, как ей открылось, что это детеныш, такой же, как любой из ее волчат, только человеческий, и когда он потянулся к ее голове, чтобы погладить добрую собаку, изнемогающее от горя сердце Акбары затрепетало. Она подошла к нему, лизнула его щечку». «…Акбара совсем разомлела, легла у его ног, стала играть с ним - ей хотелось, чтоб он пососал ее сосцы», «вылизывала детеныша, и ему это очень нравилось. Волчица изливала на него накопившуюся в ней нежность, вдыхала в себя его детский запах».

Wolves are not just humanized in the novel - they are endowed with high moral strength, mercy, nobility, which the people opposed to them lack. It is in Akbar and Tashchainar that what has long been inherent in man is personified: a feeling of love for children and an indelible longing for them. The high, selfless loyalty to each other that determines the behavior of wolves is also deeply human. They are not given the gift of thinking and analyzing the facts of life, but they are capable of pitying us, why are we, who have a thinking arsenal, not able to understand and pity them? All our experiences, fears, feelings are also characteristic of them... But if Gulyumkan, having lost her child, “howled like Akbar howled in the nights,” evoking the sympathy of others, Akbara’s howl only irritated everyone. And the murder of Bazarbai by Boston seems logical, while the killing of cattle by wolves is condemned by people, causing hatred. We do not understand that tragedy does not have important or unimportant reasons, it is the same for everyone. Misfortune has one face. The image of wolves personifies misfortune and carries anxiety for the nature that is dying due to the fault of man. This image itself is unexpected. Only the wolf in nature is considered to be bloodthirsty, that wolves do not know the limits in killings, they have a “dead soul”, for which the meaning of life is profit, satiety, peace. Having made his way into the herd, the wolf will slaughter all the sheep, despite the degree of his hunger, and will greedily drink the blood of one or the other victim... Neither a lion nor a tiger, gnawing their prey to the bones, will do this... And if we compare a wolf and a man , a person, naturally, always wins. But the image of wolves given by Aitmatov in the novel poses the question differently: Akbar and Tashchainar are perfect, pure in thoughts, endowed with the most human qualities. Aitmatov deprived people not only of morality, but also of a sense of unity with the world. Akbara’s strong and self-possessed character cannot withstand the mercilessness of the “human genius”, and she breaks down, resigns herself to injustice, but cannot accept the loss. The horror once experienced will not be forgotten. And that same “wave of human soullessness” has remained on Earth to this day...And how happy they could be, giving birth to children, bringing harmony and light! But people did not allow this happiness to come true. And this shocks, causing indignation, contributing to the revival of moral values ​​in us.

No, nothing can be stronger than reason and words. And if this priceless gift of thinking and speech is given to man, then why not value it? How long can we become like predators, suppress all moral impulses, live in lies and indifference... It will take centuries to restore the consequences of our “experiments”. Has the atmosphere of participation in the unfolding changes in the world become more tangible? No. Have we become more conscious, more thrifty towards traditions, towards nature? No. A certain psychology has taken root in the human consciousness and is gaining strength. And it lies in distrust of the world. Animals are also capable of pitying us, forgiving us, and tolerating our mistakes. But only for the time being... Chingiz Aitmatov warns that crossing certain boundaries is disastrous for all humanity. For development, for changing the course of history, the ecological situation and the plight of man in the world, one thing is needed: strengthening the sense of harmony in people's minds. Harmony in everything: in oneself, in connection with nature, with the past and future. “Nature does not accept jokes, it is always truthful; mistakes and delusions come from people” (I. Goethe) And Aitmatov, having humanized such vivid artistic images of animals, endowing them with charm, memory, mercy, showed, as a result, she, Nature, values ​​​​life, preserves the memory of the past, protects herself and others, she lives to the fullest. How do we humans feel the fullness of life? A person who has known the taste of victory, who feels his strength in this world, indulges desires, thinks about himself and unconsciously, and sometimes intentionally, breaks the connection with the surrounding nature. It seems as if some kind of abyss lies between a person’s desire to arrange his life well, to be the real master of life, and his ability to live here and now, in harmony with nature, to consciously live every moment of his existence.

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