Short summary - The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle - Tobias Smollett

British literature summaries -

Short summary - The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle
Tobias Smollett

«The Adventures of Perigrin Pickle,» the second of three novels that brought glory to Smollet, reveals features inherent in the «upbringing novel,» the enlightening novel, the satirical one, and even the pamphlet. In part, we can talk about the influence of "sentimentalists." His hero walks before us truly the path from «boy to husband» - as is usual in classical novels, meeting many people on his way, discovering and knowing a world in which there are more flaws than advantages, he experiences moments of despondency and despair, or on the contrary, unrestrained fun, a young courage, he deceives himself, becomes a victim of other people's deceits, falls in love, cheats, betrays, but in the end comes to quiet family happiness, finding after a long ordeal a quiet and comfortable harbor, devoid of everyday worries about his daily bread Mr., and besides, full of warmth and peace.


It is remarkably said in «Count Nulin» about the English novel: «classic, ancient, excellently long, long-long, moralizing and orderly ...» As you can see, already in Pushkin’s times the attitude to «classical» novels was rather ironic (we note in passing, that the first Russian translation of the novel was published in 1788 under the title «The Jolly Book, or Human Pranks»; the title of this title was fully reflected in the understanding of both aspects of the novel - its irony and its philosophical character) - and indeed, today Smollet’s novel is very «long m, long, long ", it felt kind of redundancy - plot twists, insert novels, actors, etc. If this redundancy -.. unmistakable repeatability of the foregoing.

However, one can’t call Smollet’s «decorum» in any way: with all this sometimes heavy weight, one can clearly feel the purely «Falstaffian spirit» and the amazing inner emancipation of both the author and his heroes, and the mockery of hypocrisy, in any unexpected manifestation ...


However, let's turn to the plot. Actually, the story begins even before the appearance of his protagonist, begins with the meeting of his parents - daddy, Esquire Gemalied picla, who lives "in a certain county of England, which is washed by the sea on one side and is located a hundred miles from the capital," and mother , Miss Salie Appleby. However, in the subsequent narrative, the hero’s parents will appear infrequently, the inexplicable hatred that Mrs. Pickle had for her firstborn will make Perigrin an exile from an early age, and he will spend all his childhood and youth in the house of his father’s Commodore Tranion’s former sailor, described by Smollet with incredible color: his speech almost entirely consists of purely marine terminology, with the help of which he sets out all his judgments, as a rule, which have nothing to do with the sea, in addition, the whole structure of his house, called the "fortress", preserves the signs of marine life, which is "condoned" by his comrade-in-command, Lieutenant Jack Hatchway, and his servant, former boatswain Tom Pipes. It is these people who will become for life the most devoted and loyal friends of our hero. However, soon Perigrin and Commodore Tranyon will intermarry, for the sister of Pickle Sr., Miss Grizzle, will become the wife of the Commodore, and the little Peri will thus be his nephew.

The Pushkin formula «the child was cuts, but sweet» is quite applicable to the small (and not very small too) Perigrin. Children's pranks are replaced by youthful ones, before him are his «school years», we get acquainted with another very colorful type - the teacher and mentor Perigrin Jolter. And indispensable participants in his amusements and pranks are Lieutenant Hatchway and Tom Pipes, who don’t have a soul in their young «master». Then - the first love - a meeting with Emilia Gantlit. Perigrin’s poems addressed to her are frankly parody (author's intonation is clearly audible!), Coupled with the full seriousness of the young lover, this combination gives an amazing farce effect. Emilia will be the very heroine whose relationship with Perigrin will last until the very end of the novel, going through all the «necessary» stages: an attempt to take her away and seduce her, insults, proposal and refusal, mutual torment and, at the end, a successful union in the «legal marriage» of the matured Perigrin, who had learned to at least slightly distinguish the true from the false, and generously forgive and forget all Emilia. However, the love story is also, of course, burdened with all sorts of branches and complications: for example, Emilia has a brother, Godfrey, and their late father, Ned Gantlit, turns out to be an old friend of Tranyon, his companion in the old battles on the battlefield. The magnanimous Tranion buys an officer patent for Godfrey, telling the young man that it was his father who once lent him an nth amount of money, which Tranion now returns to him in this way; the sharpness and directness of the old warriors quite successfully combine with his tact and scrupulousness. In general, the Tranion, with all its eccentricity (and maybe

Meanwhile, other children appear in Perigrin’s parents: a son bearing the same name as his father, Gem, and daughter Julia. A brother turns out to be a disgusting child, cruel, vindictive, treacherous - and as a result - a mother’s favorite, like her, who hate Perigrin fiercely (never before crossing the threshold of their home during their parents’s lives), but Julia, on the contrary, by chance met her older brother, sincerely attached to him, and Peri pays her equally faithful love. It is he who rescues her from her parents' home when her sister, standing on his side in a confrontation with her mother and younger brother, also finds herself in the native home either a hostage or a captive. Perigrin transports her to the house of Tranion and later quite successfully contributes to her happy marriage.

Smollet’s novel is characterized by the presence in it of «references» to real characters and events of that era. These are many «false stories», such as the story of a «noble lady» called «Memoirs» and belonging, as commentators believe, to the noble patroness of Smollet, Lady Wen. The participation of Smollet himself in the text of Memoirs is clearly limited only by stylistic editing - their tone, colorlessness and edification are so different from the Smollett narrative itself. The first edition of the novel contained attacks against Fielding, as well as against the famous actor David Garrick; in the second edition, which appeared in 1758, Smollet removed these attacks. However, the "reference" present in the canonical text of the novel to the previous work of Smollet himself, his first famous novel, "The Adventures of Rodric Random," is noteworthy: in one of the people he met, Perigrin recognizes "the face that is so deferentially mentioned in" The Adventures of Rodrick Random. " This element of mystification gives Smollett’s narrative an unexpectedly modern coloring, adding variety to the monotony of the plot canvas. And besides, the writer thereby emphasizes the «chronicle» of the story, combining his novels into a kind of «cycle» - a kind of unified alloy of biographies, individual sketches, and realities of the era.

Smollet’s story about Perigrin’s trip to Paris, Antwerp, other cities and countries, his description is by no means a «sentimental» journey of his hero. Description of the «light», which, incidentally, does not accept Perigrin into its «close-knit ranks», for, with all the youth’s cheekiness, a stranger, «a man from the outside» was still guessed in it; Telling about the conclusion of Perigrin in the Bastille, Smollett with pleasure describes the insolence and fearlessness of his not at all ideal hero. And again, the colorful personalities that Perigrin met on his way, in particular, two of his compatriots, the painter Pelit and a certain doctor, his close friend, whose quirks become for Perigrin an occasion to countless tricks and ridicule of a not always harmless quality. In his "jokes" Perigrin shows both ingenuity and a mocking disposition, and even a certain cruelty, the ability to take advantage of human weaknesses (of which he himself, by the way, is not without). There is undoubtedly something in the hero of Smollet from the rogue, the favorite character of the picaresque novels: the rogue, the rogue, the mocker, the good fellow, on his mind, far from moralizing and each time ready to violate any "moral principles." Such are the many amorous adventures of Perigrin, in which he wonderful leads the husbands deceived by him, gladly instructing their horns (for which, however, they quite reasonably make him pay later, sending all sorts of troubles, very significant). a good fellow, on his mind, far from moralizing, and each time himself ready to violate any "moral principles". Such are the many amorous adventures of Perigrin, in which he wonderful leads the husbands deceived by him, gladly instructing their horns (for which, however, they quite reasonably make him pay later, sending all sorts of troubles, very significant). a good fellow, on his mind, far from moralizing, and each time himself ready to violate any "moral principles". Such are the many amorous adventures of Perigrin, in which he wonderful leads the husbands deceived by him, gladly instructing their horns (for which, however, they quite reasonably make him pay later, sending all sorts of troubles, very significant).

But for all that, Smollet puts many thoughts and observations into the mouth of his hero, with which he identifies himself, ascribing to him his own views and beliefs. Whether it’s a theater, in the discourse about which Pickle unexpectedly shows common sense and undoubted professionalism, or about the hypocrisy of clergymen, alien to Perigrin’s nature, taking into account all his weaknesses and shortcomings inherent in man in general, our hero expresses many sensible, sincere, direct and passionate remarks, although sometimes pretense is not alien to himself. He is equally alien to any manifestation of mispronomy, any form of limitation - whether it comes to religion, scientific discoveries, literary or theatrical matters. And here the author’s mockery is inseparable from the one that his hero exposes to his opponents.

Having completed his journey with yet another love affair, this time taking place in The Hague, Perigrinus returns to England. It was at that moment when his hero sets foot on his native land that the author considers it necessary to give him, almost for the first time, a «characteristic» which is quite unpleasant: «Unfortunately, the work I have undertaken imposes on me the obligation to point out ... corruption of feelings "Our arrogant young man, who was now in the prime of his youth, was intoxicated by the consciousness of his dignity, inspired by fantastic hopes and proud of his condition ..." He leads his hero through many more trials of life, which partly knock off the "pollen" itself confidence, infallibility, commitment to what we call today «permissiveness». Smollet calls him an "adventurer"; a young rake full of vitality which he does not know where to apply, wasting it on «love joys». Well, let — the author knows, this too will pass — how youth will pass, and with it carelessness, confidence in a radiant future will disappear.

In the meantime, Smollett is happy to describe the countless love victories of his hero that take place "on the waters" in Bath - without the slightest moralization, mockingly, as if he himself were becoming young and carefree at that moment. Among Pickle's new acquaintances are again the most diverse, unusually colorful personalities; one of them is the old misanthrope, cynic and philosopher (all these are the definitions of Smollet himself) Crabtree Cadoleder, who until the end of the novel will remain Pickle's friend: faithful and unfaithful at the same time, but still in difficult moments invariably coming to his aid. Always grumbling, always dissatisfied with everything (misanthrope, in a word), but something undoubtedly pretty. Than? Obviously, the fact that it has an individuality - a quality that is extremely expensive for a writer in people, which determines a lot for him.

Pickle took the death of his benefactor, the old Commodore Tranyon, as a bereavement, and at the same time, the inheritance he received then «did not at all contribute to the humility of the spirit, but inspired him with new thoughts about greatness and grandeur and lifted his hopes to the highest peaks». Vanity - a vice undoubtedly inherent in the young hero of Smollet - reaches its peak at this moment, the desire to shine and revolve in the light, to make acquaintances with noble persons (real, and even more imaginary), - in a word, «the head was spinning» in the boy. And no wonder. At this moment he imagines that everyone should fall at his feet, that everything is accessible and subject to him. Alas...

It is at these moments that he inflicts that terrible insult to Emilia, which was mentioned above: only because she is poor and he is rich.


A heap of "heroes" of the hero’s novels, all kinds of intrigues and intrigues, a series of lovers, their husbands, etc. at some point becomes almost unbearable, obviously parody, but perhaps all this is necessary for the author precisely in order to gradually instruct his the hero "on the true path"? For all his attempts to enter secular society, to become its full member, end not only in failure - he suffers a monstrous fiasco. He becomes a victim of fraud, intrigue, loses his entire fortune as a result, and finds himself on the verge of poverty, falling into the famous Fleet Prison for debts, the manners and «structure» of which are also remarkably described in the novel. The prison has its own «community», its own foundations, its own «circle», its own rules and attitudes. However, Pickle does not have a place in them, in the end he turns into an unsociable misanthrope, aloof people, who decided that his life is already over. And at that very moment, luck comes to him, a little «invented», a little «fabricated» by the author, but still pleasant for the reader. Godfrey Gantlit arises, only now having learned that it was Perigrin Pickle who was his true benefactor, the hidden spring of his career successes. Their meeting in the prison cell is described with touching sentimentality and mental pain. Godfrey removes a friend from prison, and then an unexpected inheritance keeps up (Pickle's father dies without leaving a will, as a result of which he, as the eldest son, enters into inheritance rights). And finally, the final chord is the long-awaited wedding with Emilia. The reader waited for a «happy end», to which Smollett of his hero had so long and so painfully twisted through the Vedas. slightly «fabricated» by the author, but still pleasant to the reader. Godfrey Gantlit arises, only now having learned that it was Perigrin Pickle who was his true benefactor, the hidden spring of his career successes. Their meeting in the prison cell is described with touching sentimentality and mental pain. Godfrey removes a friend from prison, and then an unexpected inheritance keeps up (Pickle's father dies without leaving a will, as a result of which he, as the eldest son, enters into inheritance rights). And finally, the final chord is the long-awaited wedding with Emilia. The reader waited for a «happy end», to which Smollett of his hero had so long and so painfully twisted through the Vedas. slightly «fabricated» by the author, but still pleasant to the reader. Godfrey Gantlit arises, only now having learned that it was Perigrin Pickle who was his true benefactor, the hidden spring of his career successes. Their meeting in the prison cell is described with touching sentimentality and mental pain. Godfrey removes a friend from prison, and then an unexpected inheritance keeps up (Pickle's father dies without leaving a will, as a result of which he, as the eldest son, enters into inheritance rights). And finally, the final chord is the long-awaited wedding with Emilia. The reader waited for a «happy end», to which Smollett of his hero had so long and so painfully twisted through the Vedas. the hidden spring of his career success was precisely Perigrin Pickle. Their meeting in the prison cell is described with touching sentimentality and mental pain. Godfrey removes a friend from prison, and then an unexpected inheritance keeps up (Pickle's father dies without leaving a will, as a result of which he, as the eldest son, enters into inheritance rights). And finally, the final chord is the long-awaited wedding with Emilia. The reader waited for a «happy end», to which Smollett of his hero had so long and so painfully twisted through the Vedas. the hidden spring of his career success was precisely Perigrin Pickle. Their meeting in the prison cell is described with touching sentimentality and mental pain. Godfrey removes a friend from prison, and then an unexpected inheritance keeps up (Pickle's father dies without leaving a will, as a result of which he, as the eldest son, enters into inheritance rights). And finally, the final chord is the long-awaited wedding with Emilia. The reader waited for a «happy end», to which Smollett of his hero had so long and so painfully twisted through the Vedas. The final chord is the long-awaited wedding with Emilia. The reader waited for a «happy end», to which Smollett of his hero had so long and so painfully twisted through the Vedas. The final chord is the long-awaited wedding with Emilia. The reader waited for a «happy end», to which Smollett of his hero had so long and so painfully twisted through the Vedas.