Isaac Babel and the Two Russian Revolutions Book Review by Master Researcher

Isaac Babel and the Two Russian Revolutions
An analysis of Isaac Babel's writings in the "Red Cavalry Stories" .
# 33902 | 5,150 words | 17 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Nov 09, 2003 in Literature (Russian) , History (Russian)

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This paper relates that Isaac Babel's writings reflect how the Russian people saw the Civil War and discusses how they had a profound effect on Russian society then and now. The paper discusses three themes in his works; the revolution appeared to be necessary, the revolution itself began to eat its own children, and the collapse of the revolution was also ultimately inevitable. The paper includes an annotated bibliography.

From the Paper:

"Isaac Babel's "Red Cavalry Stories" said very much about the Russians' views of the civil war. In the story "My First Goose," for instance, a red army soldier kills his landlady's goose by cracking its skull under his boot. He then orders an old woman to cook it. This impulsive display of brutality appears to convince the Cossacks that the narrator might be a human being. In other words, we see how a certain barbarity proves the humanity of a person. In this way, Babel is showing the ruthlessness of the Cossacks, but at the same time, he is making a suggestion about life in general: that there appears to be an inevitable violence to life.
"In this story, the Cossacks invite the narrator to share their dinner and allow him to read Lenin's speech to them. Then they all fell asleep and sleep as one. Thus, we see that a certain fellowship develops amongst these people, and it happens because of violence as well as a reading of Lenin. On the one hand, the writer appears to be favoring the Red Army, but he also shows that it has its brutality as well. (Babel)"

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