Winter Oak

– Yuri Nagibin Essay, Research Paper

1.a)Our gut reaction to Winter Oak is that it had a lot of meaning, but was dull and tedious. Some words and phrases we used to relate our thoughts on the story are as follows:-Boring.-Monotonous.-No real conflict.-No feeling.-No real plot.-Didn?t invoke a strong reaction.-There was a definite lesson to be learned.1.b)Yuri Nagibin used different devices to evoke various reactions in us, some of these were:The dialogue; it was concise yet boring but realistic for example, when Anna Vasilyevna was trying to teach the children their nouns. ?A noun is a part of speech that denotes an object. In grammar an?? (Nagibin 59). Much of this dialogue is unnecessary; we the reader understands what goes on in the classroom, and two pages are not needed to establish nouns. Also, through dialogue Anna proved to be a snob. ??Good morning Anna Vasilyevna!? Frolov raised his fur hat above his solid, close-cropped head. ?what are you doing! Put it back on it?s freezing!? Frolov probably wanted to pull his fur over his eyes himself?? (Nagibin 58). Anna feels as though she is high and mighty, and will not even acknowledge Frolov?s attempt of respect towards her. There were very powerful images present in the forest, such as the gigantic winter oak. The image of Savushkin standing in front of the Winter Oak, in utter awe of its splendor and Anna Vasilyevna realizing the beauty of the winter oak appeals to the sight, because it is easy to picture in our minds. stood an oak as enormous and magnificent as a cathedral. The trees seemed to part respectfully to allow their older companion to spread out in full force. Its lower branches stretched out in a tent over the clearing. The snow had filled the deep crevices of the bark, and the trunk, which was so wide that it would have taken three men to get their arms around it, looked as if it were shot through with silver thread. It had hardly shed any of its foliage which had dried up during the fall; the oak was covered with snow-capped leaves to the very top. (Nagibin 65)We experienced an unexpected plot twist when the stern Anna Vasilyevna went into the forest, and understood Savushkin?s point of view about the winter oak, and why he was late everyday. ??My God!? Anna Vasilyevna thought painfully. ?What clearer way of admitting my impotence?? She remembered that days class and all her other classes: on those things without which man, helpless in his feelings, is mute before the world-on their beautiful language, which was a fresh, beautiful, and rich as life was bounteous and beautiful? (Nagibin 66). We would not expect the great Anna Vasilyevna to have any faults, and to be strong enough to admit to them. We start to feel compassion towards Savuskin who is always late, because of the innocent way he makes Anna Vasilyevna realize that there are things in life that are more important than just work and reputation. ?Totally unaware of what was passing in his teacher?s heart, Savushkin was messing about at the foot of the oak, treating the oak simply as his old acquaintance? (Nagibin 65). We also begin to care for Anna Vasilyevna, as she changes and grows into a new person. ?And suddenly Anna Vasilyevna realized that the most wonderful thing in the forest wasn?t the winter oak, but the small person in the worn felt boots and the patched cheap clothes, the son of a shower nurse and a soldier who?d perished for his country-a marvelous and mysterious citizen of the future” (Nagibin 67).2.a) there are many themes being made apparent in Winter Oak, some that we found were:-One should not rush through life and over look the little things.-We can learn a lot from each other.-Seeing things from another perspective can change our own.b)We feel that the most significant quote, in the book, which explained everything to us was ? And suddenly Anna Vasilyevna realized that the most wonderful thing in the forest wasn?t the winter oak, but the small person in the worn felt boots and the patched cheap clothes?? (Nagibin 67). The theme was communicated when we started to see how Anna Vasilyevna was gradually changing her perspective on life, through her thoughts and words. 3. We chose Different Worlds as an alternative title, because Anna Vasilyevna is coming from a world that is strictly black and white and very habitual; while Savushkin comes from a world that is full of life and color, which is not based on having control on all aspects of life.4. a) The most powerful image is the winter oak because it is vividly described in the book and one can picture every detail. b) The winter oak establishes a feeling of silent majestyand power. The strength exuded from the winter oak and the impression it leaves on the reader makes the winter oak a powerful image.5.a) and b) The least effective aspect is at the beginning and throughout the story, Yuri Nagibin gives a lot of unnecessary information for example ?she liked it when the frost bit her nose and cheeks, when the wind blew under her fur jacket?? (Nagibin 57). Many of these little small setails are unnecessary and make the story less effective. The most effective aspect of Winter Oak is at the end when the winter oak is introduced and the way Yuri Nagibin gets the point across, of how someone can change. Through careful wording the reader is taken into the mind and heart of Anna Vasilyevna and experiences the humble feeling of her changes. Another point is the theme, it is made very obvious through Anna?s transition of being a stuck up snob to flourishing as a compassionate understanding woman.6.We as a group would recommend this story because it has some very powerful themes that are easy to understand. Many people such as teachers, may be able to relate to Anna Vasilyevna; who is learning something from someone younger than herself. Also, there are two perspectives in the story, one of the child Savushkin and another of the adult Anna Vasilyevna. This allows us to view a variety of opinions on different subjects such as the winter oak. The story also has 2 very strong characters, which the author describes in great detail. Finally, the story of a hard working respected teacher is very realistic, it could have conceivably happened.


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