Saturday, April 3, 2010

Anna Karenina Chapters 1-5

Tolstoy's novel starts out with a rather shocking opening line: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" (3). In the Oblonsky household, there is an obvious reason for unhappiness. Stepan, the head of the household, has been having an affair with his children's French governess. His wife, Dolly, found out, and is now threatening to leave the house and take their children with her until she decides what she is going to do with this new knowledge. Stepan is remorseful when he goes to see his wife, but he is such a genial man that he has difficulty showing his sorrow. I would be fairly happy, too, if I lived the life of riches that the Oblonsky's do! They live in a mansion, have servants to wait on them hand and foot, have the most exotic women to care for and educate their children, and dine at the fanciest resaurants or stay in and eat the same quality food prepared for them. And yet, their marriage suffers because of a lack of communication and infidelity.

While the story does not start off on a positive note, I became quite fascinated with the references to French culture and ended up forgetting about the marriage in turmoil as I read. Prior to taking this History of Russia class, I would have probably ignored the multitude of references; but, after studying the Decembrists and realizing how un-Russian the people of Russia have been throughout their history, I picked up on the French influence and decided to find out more about the affects of Western Europe on Russian culture...

Architecture in St. Petersburg:


This article, originally in Russian, discusses the history of governessees in Russian history. This link is to the original, but I have included the translation - done by Goolge Translator - which is rough but readable, below.

"History guvernerstva in Russia"

In recent years become an emerging trend towards individualization of learning. But why they say that
new - it is well forgotten old. At the turn of the eras we turn back, bring back the old traditions.
In this article we try to trace the history guvernerstva in Russia - both Russian and foreign.
Translated from the French "tutor" means "teacher of children, welcome to the bourgeois family."
Dictionary of Russian language explains the meaning of the governess: "teacher of children, welcome to
the family, often a foreigner."
How the work was organized tutors in pre-revolutionary Russia? Let's start with the Ancient Rus.
Traditional church upbringing as a whole did not provide for the presence of tutors, and much less
foreign, domestic rearing of children. This is not surprising, as the class teacher as such, absent. The
priests at the school and the oversight of the children "Uncle" and "nurse" in the family set themselves a
"salutary" task, pushing the upbringing and education in the background.
Home caregivers of the time did not have any special education. Lesson rearing for these people was not
their main profession, they usually combine it with any other - spiritual, agricultural, etc. Especially since
they have close contact with the clergy.
Thus, non-formal education of our ancestors before Peter was of the same character as the school, ie, it
was noted churchliness. The basis of all the additional knowledge is apocryphal Biblical narratives, they
finally all came down. But over time the situation changes. In intercession to the throne of Peter I, the
state begins a more serious concern about education.
It should be noted that the decree of Peter in 1725, was the behavioral learning in the Academy of
geometry and trigonometry, vsyakago ranks of people who will, in all sorts of needs - in a church service
in the civil, voinstvovati, elite structure, and doctoral vrachevskoe Art "1. However, with the establishment
of the Academy were forbidden to study at home, without the permission of the Custodian and teachers
academy, Greek, Polish and Latin and other foreign languages, goblins rule the teachers did not hold and
children, except in the academy does not teach out of fear, as if home teachers, especially foreign and
heretics, not made any opposition to the faith of our Orthodox Church, that there was no disagreement.
Those who violate this order, were subjected to confiscation of property 2.
Gradually, the ratio of home carers is changing. We turn to the liberal era of Catherine the Great,
removable hard reformation Peter.
Widespread in noble families received education at home with the help of teachers, tutors and
governesses, are invited to teach young children.
Assessing the role of home education and its importance is consistent with the spirit of Catherine's era:
"The first rule of the teacher must put himself what-would advance the ability to explore a foster child,
watching him entrusted, and according to the forces and talents to the young man's measure off the
works of him and he could do. Internal inclination always ready to reveal in us must TOKM successfully
touch her "- and individuality is not unique to individuals, but nations. In the load on the mind and the
memory should follow a reasonable middle. The most important exercise of memory - the study of
languages (protest against the principle of ignorance era). The mind is enriched by, above all, history. But
apart from reason and memory, there is the imagination, and develop to his: "The history of nature for
children is much more useful than it was commonly thought. Young people are then more likely to
understand that the closer to the feelings and more acts on the imagination."
On the other foreign domestic education of that era can be read as follows: ": to have: from foreigners and
Russians, who know foreign languages and guards. They are, living with them in some quarters
and has always been with them all the time, by example, every hour and a reminder of prudence in all
cases, try to inculcate in them behaved behavior, almost priobuchayut them to talk in foreign languages,
making them every day, repeating the lessons and guidance to them in learning all that is given to them
by the teachers: "3
At the same time a decree was issued, punishing tutors and teachers, foreigners have certificates
Academy of Sciences or the Moscow University (since 1804 certificates issued and gymnasium). Not
having a certificate threatened expulsion from the country, and their owners - a fine of 100 rubles - very
considerable at the time money. From the examinations were released only graduates of universities and
theological academies, as well as girls who have graduated from schools in the department of the
Ministry of Education.
As you can see, in those early years governesses specially prepared, and since childhood. For women
with an inquisitive mind and good heart, forced to make, this was perhaps the only possible source of
However, it should be said that the only source, but it is "bread". The nobility of the time generously
remunerate tutors. But, as a rule, imported. S. Masson, himself the teacher in the family Saltykov, in his
memoirs tells of a very imposing fees received for the education of aristocratic young men: "Mr.
Brueckner has received thirty five thousand rubles for fourteen years on the education of young princes
Kurakins and Granmon - Twenty-five per education of princes Dolgorukys. Another example: the scholar
Mikhail Lermontov Viskovatov notes that Vindson Englishman, a former tutor in the family Uvarov and
then receives a Lermontov, had a salary of 3000 rubles per annum, and a separate wing for himself and
his wife.
All home educators, teachers, mentors were announced officials of the Ministry of Education. This title
was considered a mentor higher than tutor. Tutors could pass additional tests and obtain the title of
mentor. Rank mentor was equal to the senior high school teacher, took into account seniority, which gave
the right to raise wages. Since 1853 mentors and tutors began to receive pensions, although quite
Especially for the preparation of governesses was founded Institute for young ladies, better known as the
current generation of Smolny. Female Seminary (Smolny Institute) provided the means of the Empress.
The girls were taught history, geography, Russian, French, English, Italian, German, as well as music and
drawing. Girls from the middle class is also taught cooking (baking cakes, churn, etc.).
Literature and movies have brought us the image of a typical governess at the time. Elegant and
educated, good and defenseless dowry, which is trying to seduce the host and hostess hysterical insults.
At the Pushkin read: ": Au were bearable tutors: They were good women who sincerely loved their pets:"
4. Frequently governess treated their pupils warmer and better than their parents, what was manifested
the need for single women to love and care about children. Stories about the hard life governesses
occupy an important place in the memoir, and especially literature. Let us recall the story of Anton
Chekhov "Turmoil" with a description of how the governess in vain suspected of stealing a brooch that her
immensely offended.
What, then, and how to teach tutors and governesses, tutors and mentors assigned to them pets? From
the works of Russian classics, we are well aware of the important, if not decisive role that teachers,
foreigners, and especially the French, played at home schooled children of the nobility in Russia XVIIIXIX
centuries. However, it is fiction in the public mind has formed an extremely one-sided view of this
phenomenon. Although the figure of a French tutor is often present in works of Russian writers, usually a
secondary character, devoid of pronounced individuality and depicted, there is rather marked by several
cursory, stereotypical strokes. About how, in fact the case, we, unfortunately, little can be learned from
scientific studies.
Children tried to give home education, as a result of this affluent parents seek out not just a man in
command of some of my knowledge, and experienced teacher. Originally among home educators
dominated by the French and Germans. First, they tried to isolate their pets from the outside world. This
trend was typical for teachers XVIII-XIX centuries. It manifested itself both in the prevalence of private
schools and tutors in an attempt to establish a (not always successfully) the immaculate atmosphere for
education in families, so nothing prevented implement certain teaching methods. Despite the undoubted
evils, the idea of partial isolation of children from the society seems to be quite reasonable. For a child,
they find themselves in the adult world, a world incomprehensible to him the facts and talk, or undertakes
to imitate, trying to become little adults, and thereby losing their identity, or gives a completely false
judgments about the adult world. Include children in the adult world should be gradually and very
Basic, which sought to teach their pets tutors - is the ability to work. They wanted to make sure that their
students not covered cobwebs laziness on the nature of their bright little head "to a child not received
bolfan" like the main character "ignoramus.
Tutors are almost always paid much attention to physical development of their pets. But not so much in
order to enhance their health, how to teach patiently endure difficulties.
End of XVIII century. - The period of intensive development of natural science. In Russia, the study of
"natural history" actively engaged in not only professional scientists, but also many representatives of the
highest aristocracy. Tutors took an active part in these surveys. While in correspondence with foreign
scholars and maintaining close ties with Russian naturalists, they serve as one of the channels of
promotion in the Russian society of advanced achievements of Western science.
Here we should mention the beautiful. Most foreign tutors are highly educated people, often of noble birth.
Not far to seek - who developed the great Russian classics of Pushkin's love of art, namely, to draw? Yes
none other than his first tutor! It is known that long before entering the Tsarskoselsky Lyceum, where he
taught painting, this art interest in the child awakened French emigre Count Montfort. He was a very
educated man, a good musician and a painter. About him a great poet wrote: ": I can not put on a par with
those eccentrics educator of children, a French emigrant, the Count de Montfort, educated,
humane: to educate and teach the French language took the Count of Montfort. The Frenchman liked to
draw, was musician. And here the same: we Montfort walked all over Moscow. I knew her inside out: the
Kremlin, the embankment, stone bridge, a monument to Minin and Pozharsky, Foundling Hospital,
Petrovsky Theatre, University: "5
 Mikhail Yurevich Lermontov was also a tutor. His name was Jean Capet. It was a French officer was
 wounded during the retreat of Napoleon's army, taken prisoner and vyhozhenny good people. Jean Capet
said with a small Lermontov in French, the nurse - in German, and a small Lermontov fluent in those
languages from early childhood. A few years Russia was reading "The Death of a Poet. This was the birth
of another great klassika.6
A more differentiated approach to the problem outlined in the writings Kluchevsky. He believed it
necessary to distinguish between the French-tutors of the first "importation" of what happened in the reign
of Elizabeth, and second - by Catherine II. First, according Kliuchevskii, "were very nemudrenye teachers.
Second, he said, differed from those for the better: "Some of them, standing at the height of their calling,
were acquainted with the last words of the then French literature, and even belonged to the extreme
tendencies of the then political movement." The most recent historian attributed tutor of Grand Duke
Alexander - de la Harpe. Count Stroganoff, a prominent figure in the beginning of the reign of Alexander I,
was brought up a Frenchman Romm. Children brought up under the leadership of Saltykov's brother
Marat (brother of the revolutionary), D'Alembert almost became a tutor the heir to the Russian throne.
"These high means of education, as educated tutors, use only higher nobility, but also to read the mass of
the nobility was not without means assimilable new ideas" .7
But surely the grotesque master French trained the then generation? Surely a classic fully reflect the truth
of life? We can assure you - no. The French Ambassador, Count de Segur wrote that on their education
and culture of the brilliant Russian aristocracy in no way inferior to the most enlightened people in
Western Europe. The fact may also serve as a work of F. Tasteven 8, studied the life of the French colony
in Moscow, who came to the conclusion that foreign coaches were not at all deserters, thieves and
scammers, but a high level of education.
At the end of the historical excursion say that in the post-revolutionary period to the factor that reduces
the interest of researchers to study home education in tsarist Russia, added the class approach. In
keeping with his Soviet historians of pedagogy consciously focused their attention on those forms of
education that are available "working classes", and on projects vnesoslovnoy School 9. The quality of
home schooling children of the nobility is given explicitly negative assessment: "Among the teachers of
foreigners, there are many random people who do not have the necessary education and experience in
educating children. Even the noble government themselves infected worship inostranschinoy were forced
to pay attention to this:" 10 .
For the post-Soviet decade of new research on the topic did not appear. The authors also study the
literature on the history of education or remain silent on the role of foreign teachers, or uncritically repeat
traditionally negative assessments of their activities.
What gave foreign tutors? How can a whole to evaluate their contribution to the history of Russian
First, under the influence of tutors appeared in Russia a few generations of aristocrats, who were actually
bilingual - perceived and used as a native language is not only Russian but also French, and usually
English or German. In contrast to the sad helplessness in the field of foreign languages of the Russian
elite in the Soviet era (on the basis of the communist nomenclature is generally very difficult to be called
"elite"), a Russian aristocratic intelligentsia of the last century has received since childhood to follow the
innovations of Western European thought expressed in the primary, active and equal to communicate
with foreigners at every level. Is not this lie the secrets of the special achievements of classical Russian
literature, Russian science, medicine and technology in pre-revolutionary era? And not in a cultural
isolation from the advanced countries lies one of the causes of stagnation and backwardness of Soviet
Russia in the last decades of XX century?
But foreign tutors gave Russian culture, not only linguistic freedom in communication and reading foreign
literature. Foreign tutors - it is also learned good manners. As a result, children - students, tutors with
izmalstva mastered certain skills and etiquette of behavior, behavior, trains the individual to control the
expression of emotions in a form acceptable to others. When today we suffer from rudeness of our fellow
citizens - those women smugly ignorant, it means that in Russia: it is time to restore the Institute of
Foreign tutors.

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