«I got married.You must, I`m begging you, to leave me … I love you (why should I dissemble?), But I’m given to another; I’ll be faithful to him» (Pushkin «Eugene Onegin»).
After about 50 years after the novel was written, Chaikovsky wrote the opera Eugene Onegin. This musical masterpiece and now goes to many opera theatres around the world. But very few people know, that in the first version of the opera Tatiana at the end throws herself into Onegin hug. After the outrage of the Pushkinists (and the public as a whole) Chaikovsky changed the finale, and now Tatyana sings «Forever farewell» and goes away, leaving Onegin alone.
Tatiana for Pushkin was a «sweet ideal» (these are his words). And not only for Pushkin. And the choice in favor of duty is the ideal of Pushkin. In «Dubrovsky», Masha makes a very similar choice.
«I agreed, I swore,–she objected with firmness,–Prince my husband, order him to be released and leave me with him.I did not lie, I waited for you until the last minute … But now, I tell you, it’s too late now». (Pushkin «Dubrovsky»)
But is this really a choice in favor of duty? Or is it a choice in favor of the conventions of society and the rules of decency? In favor of someone else’s opinion about his life?
Tatiana and Masha did not choose love. Reading these lines, we rarely think about the fact that now they will both live until the end of their life with unloved people, without love. It is the sacrifice of all life for the sake of duty. Or for what they thought was a duty.
Not so long ago, the schoolgirls were asked to write a continuation of Dubrovsky. Practically all the continuations of the plot were the same – Masha after a while parted with the prince and marries Dubrovsky …
This does not mean that the choice of Masha and Tatyana is wrong. But perhaps, if they live now, their choice would be different. Public morality has changed and it has become easier for us to choose freedom and love.