“French lessons” - a story by Russian writer Valentin Rasputin .
|Live and remember (author's collection)|
|Genre||Russian classic prose|
|Date of first publication||1973|
First appeared in 1973 in the Irkutsk Komsomol newspaper “ Soviet Youth ” in a room dedicated to the memory of Alexander Vampilov .
The story takes place in 1948, after the Great Patriotic War . The hero of the work is an eleven-year-old boy on whose behalf the narrative is being conducted. Until eleven years, he lived and studied in the village. He was considered "brainy", because he was literate, and also often came to him with bonds : it was believed that he had a happy eye. But in the village where our hero lived, there was only an elementary school, and therefore, in order to continue his studies, he had to leave for the district center. In this difficult post-war period, during the period of devastation and famine , his mother, in spite of everything, gathered and sent her son to study. In the city, he felt hunger even more, because in the countryside it is easier to get his own food, but in the city everything needs to be bought. The boy had to live with Aunt Nadi. He suffered from anemia, so every day he bought a glass of milk for a ruble.
At school he studied well, on one five, except for the French language: he was not given his pronunciation. Lydia Mikhailovna, a French teacher, listening to him, wrinkled helplessly and closed her eyes. One day, our hero finds out that you can earn money by playing Chika, and he begins to play this game with other boys. However, he did not allow himself to be very keen on the game and left as soon as he won the ruble. But one day the rest of the guys did not let him leave with the ruble, but made him play further. Seventh grader Vadik, the best Chika player and a local start-up, provoked a fight in which, of course, our hero had no chance of winning ...
The next day, an unfortunate village boy comes to school all beaten up, and Lydia Mikhailovna is told what happened. When the teacher found out that the boy was playing for money, she called him into conversation, thinking that he was spending money on sweets, but in fact he was buying milk for treatment. She immediately changed her attitude towards him, and she decided to study French with him separately. The teacher invited him to her home, treated him to dinner, but the boy did not eat because of shyness and pride.
Lidia Mikhailovna, a fairly well-to-do woman at that time, was very sympathetic to the boy and wanted to at least surround him with attention and care, knowing that he was malnourished. But he stubbornly did not accept the help of a noble teacher. She tried to send him a parcel with food, but he gave it back. Then Lidia Mikhailovna, in order to give the boy a chance to have money, comes up with a game of “measure” (“wall”). And he, thinking that this method will be "honest", agrees and wins. Having learned about the teacher’s act, the school director considered the game with the student a crime, “seduction”, but he did not understand the essence of what made her go for it. The woman leaves for her in the Kuban , but she did not forget the boy and sent him a parcel with pasta and even apples, which the boy had never tasted, but had only seen in the pictures. Lidia Mikhailovna is a kind, disinterested and noble person. Even having lost her job, she does not blame the boy for anything and does not forget about him.
Screen adaptation of the story
In 1978 , based on the story, the film " French Lessons " was shot.