Gorky undertook the task of showing the labouring man not so much as the victim of an unjust society but as a person making history, a person valiantly fighting the social injustice of his times.
The plot of the novel is based on true events: the May Day demonstration of workers in Sormovo in 1902, the activities of the Sormovo Party organisation and the trial of its members after the breaking up of the demonstration. The events, however, have been artistically refashioned and the prototypes of his heroes, Pyotr Zalomov and his mother, were recreated and thrown into new and dramatic circumstances by the author. As a result we have a work of art presenting a broad and generalised picture of the struggle of the Russian working class on the eve of the revolution of 1905.
Gorky's workingman is a man who is concerned with the fate of the whole world, not only with the fate of his own class in his own country. He is an intellectual in the full meaning of the word. But he is a man of action as well, a man who ponders and philosophises. And he does not act alone; he acts as a representative of the masses.
It is a book which, at the time it was written, was of vital importance to the Russian working class and all the Russian people. In 1907, Lenin expressed the following opinion of Mother: “It is a book of the utmost importance; many workers who have joined revolutionary movement impulsively, without properly understanding why, will begin to comprehend after reading Mother”
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The Song of Youth
‘The Song of Youth’ is a novel by Chinese revolutionary writer Yang Mo. It presents a lively, inspiring and gripping account of the brave struggle of young men and women fighting for the liberation of the semi-feudal semi-colonial Chinese society.
Her novel The Song of Youth published in 1958 created a furor among readers throughout China and eventually became a best seller. Written in a free and lucid style, this work vividly depicts the strenuous life and unremitting struggle of the patriotic students led by the Communist Party of China during the momentous period from the September 18th incident in 1931 to the December 9th Movement in 1935. A film with the same name was made which released on the tenth anniversary of the Revolution in 1959. This was one of the most popular literary works during 1960s and 70s. It was pushed into the background after 1976 when the new rulers took the capitalist road in a big way and promoted a culture of individualism and selfish competition in place of the revolutionary spirit. Yang Mo wrote a ‘sequel’ to The Song of Youth in 1980 but was not much noticed in the changed atmosphere of China.
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