History And Revolution In Under The Yoke

3170 words - 13 pages

Jeleva 11Ralitza JelevaProfessor Adrian HardingEN1010B19 November 2013History and Revolution in Under the Yoke by Ivan VazovUnder the Yoke by Ivan Vazov is considered to be one of the most important historical novels in Bulgarian literature. It is the first Bulgarian literary piece to be translated in other languages. Written in 1888, ten years after the Liberation when Vazov was in exile in Odessa. "A lot of sorrow, a lot of pain I felt there for my lost homeland. My mind, my heart, my soul were flying to it all the time. But there came my inspiration to write this novel and I was once again breathing in the sweet air of Bulgaria" (Toneva, 1). This nostalgic feeling plays an interesting part in the writing of the novel and is seen in the descriptions of the village and the people and also in the April Uprising. Even though the author shows an essential moment in history, he focuses more on the thinking of the people and their change during the organisation of a revolution. The novel shows the beauty of a nation's awakening and its will for freedom.In the centre of the novel is the April Uprising. The uprising was a turning point in Bulgarian history. After five hundred years of slavery the nation organised a revolution against the Ottoman Empire. It took place in a town called Koprivshchitsa. It was not successful however, it did mark the start of the war for freedom. It is also called "The Awakening of the Nation" because of the change that occurred on the nation's mentality. That is what Ivan Vazov shows in his novel Under the Yoke. The transition of the humble enslaved Bulgarian into a revolutionary and a soldier for freedom.The Uprising and the slavery are not described directly. There is no real evidence of the violence of the enslaver oven the nation in the novel. Only two scenes of it are represented - an unsuccessful try of two Turks to rape a Bulgarian girl, and the murder of an old man. If the "atmosphere" of the yoke is attends the novel it is in a detached way. With information about bloody violence outside of White Chapel and with the deep-routed fear in the people. The awakening of the slave is the moment when he realises that the situation is unbearable.The world of the novel and its characters are built out of Vazov's memories. It is said that the characters of the novel are all inspired by real people in the author's life. The patriarchal, cosy home of Chorbadzhi Marco with his children is a resurrection in the author's memory of his home. The house where Ivan Vazov lived in White Chapel, which burned during the Liberation war, has no other more precise replica than the recreated pictures in Under the Yoke. The owner of the house, Marco, is a prototype of Vazov's father "a person who has gathered in himself all the bitterness of the time that passed" (Tsaneva, 41). In this character of Under the Yoke is shown the hesitation of the many about the Uprising because he has everything to lose. Boicho Ognianov has no real prototype...

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