Speech Portrait of a Small Person (on the Material of the Story “Sofya Petrovna” by L. K. Chukovskaya)

2022. № 5, 104-114

Olga S. Shurupova, Lipetsk State Pedagogical University named after P. P. Semenov-Tyan-Shan (Russia, Lipetsk), shurupova2011@mail.ru


The purpose of this article was creating a speech portrait of the main character of the story “Sofya Petrovna” by L. K. Chukovskaya. Its main character is a woman who, being a typical resident of Leningrad in the 30s, passionately loves her only son and loses him during the repressions. After going through many hours of standing in prison lines, dismissal, and insults from the neighbors, the unfortunate mother goes crazy. The story presents the character’s interiorized speech, which makes possible the immersion into Sofi a Petrovna’s inner world. The relevance of the article is due to the need to study the linguistic personality of the character, who belongs to the group of “small people” of the “St. Petersburg texts” of Russian literature. The article analyzes the discourse of the character, and draws attention to the vocabulary used by the character. In Sofya Petrovna’s speech, there is an abundance of newspaper stamps, which are whimsically mixed in her speech with borrowed words, the use of which betrays her noble origin and upbringing. The words with diminutive suffi xes that Sofya Petrovna uses reveal her soft, maternal character. The article also studies the defi nitions selected by Sofya Petrovna for most nouns and refl ecting her perception of objects and phenomena by purely external signs and the character’s unwillingness to think about the essence of the processes she observes. The results of the study allow us to state that with the help of the interiorized speech of the character L. K. Chukovskaya reveals the inner world of Sofi a Petrovna and demonstrates the inevitability of the events that are happening to her. The study draws the about the signifi cance of the character’s speech portrait for understanding the meaning of the story. The results of the study can be applied in articles devoted to the study of the artistic image as a linguistic personality.

For citation:

Shurupova O. S. Speech Portrait of a Small Person (on the Material of the Story “Sofya Petrovna” by L. K. Chukovskaya). Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2022. No. 5. Pp. 104–114.